NASHVILLE, Tenn. Oct. 19, 2018 /Discipleship Ministries/ — Discipleship Ministries (The General Board of Discipleship) announced a new organizational design today from its office in Nashville, Tenn. The new structure will maximize the agency’s ability to successfully reach its organizational priorities and assist United Methodist leaders in their disciple-making efforts.

Leadership expects the new design to be implemented over the next six to nine months.
“The new organizational design is the culmination of a rigorous two-year process with our board of directors and leadership team to discern the best way to effectively live into our three priorities,” said the Rev. Junius B. Dotson, Discipleship Ministries’ General Secretary (chief executive officer).

The three priorities include an intentional disciple-making process in every church; engagement with people currently outside the church; and cultivation of local (contextual) resources around the globe.

In 2017, Discipleship Ministries launched an initiative called See All The People. It was designed as an experiment to find new ways to resource the denomination with all three priorities in mind.

Bishop Mark Webb, Discipleship Ministries board of directors’ president and episcopal leader of the Upper New York area, said, “The new initiative helped us gain valuable insight and deepened our understanding of what it means to be ‘brokers of knowledge’ and ‘conveners of strategic conversations.’”

Dotson said that through the See All The People efforts and other initiatives, Discipleship Ministries learned their organizational structure’s design no longer helped the agency fully reach its goals.

“This new organizational design is more integrated across all areas,” he said. “It is holistic in that it keeps disciple-making as its goal and keeps us focused on what’s important for the church. It will also help us accomplish more with fewer expected financial resources in the coming quadrennia.”

A new simplified senior leadership structure will combine three existing programming units into one “Strategic Programming” area consisting of the offices of the General Secretary, Strategic Programming, Stakeholder Relations, Upper Room, Communications, and the Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer.

Specifically, the current Leadership Ministries, New Church Starts/Path 1, and Young People’s Ministries units will be combined into a single Strategic Programming area that will be led by one Associate General Secretary (AGS). The AGS will also serve as the chief staff officer for the Division on Ministries with Young People (DMYP).

The new area will allow the agency to maximize resources to respond to the disciple making needs of the church and be laser focused on fueling the movement to create new places for new people.

Bishop Gary Mueller, episcopal leader of the Arkansas area and the chair of the Path1 (New Church Starts) strategy team, said, “Discipleship Ministries is organizing around its missional priorities. Championing and resourcing the new church start movement remains its main strategy for making new disciples of Jesus Christ.” The Path1 strategy team will continue to shape the agency’s strategies for starting new churches and reaching new people.

“We anticipate implementing some of the new design before the end of 2018,” said Dotson. “While the next step in this new plan is to ensure we have senior leadership in place to lead the Strategic Programming and Stakeholder Relations areas, Discipleship Ministries will absolutely remain faithful to our commitment to the churches and their discipleship needs.”

The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit, the Press Center at or call the Communications Office at 877.899.2780, Ext. 1726.