Creating a Discipleship Pathway for Your Church

By Ken Willard, Mike Schreiner Published
Paperback image ISBN: 9781501849220 $13.99 Buy
eBook image ISBN: 9781501849237 $13.99 Buy
There is no quick fix or secret formula to help move a church out of a rut.Churches of all types around the country are struggling. The more programs they try the more evident it becomes that there is no quick fix or secret formula to help them out of their rut. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Movement, once said, “The way to keep a Methodist alive is to keep him moving.”

It is time to recapture this simple yet profound truth and get back to the basics of making fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. The authors developed and launched a highly successful pathway to discipleship in their church (Morning Star UMC, in St.Louis). Here, they show others how to create a successful discipleship pathway for their own particular contexts, based on the principles developed at Morning Star.

Willard and Schreiner share the process of developing a discipleship pathway that meets individual people where they are. They provide examples of each element and practical instruction on how to plan, implement and sustain the discipleship pathway. The authors are teaching this material in conferences around the UM connection, from New Mexico to Missouri. They also share examples of how the pathway works in other churches.


Stride is a great resource for any size church. Pastors, lay leaders, and followers who want to strengthen their discipleship should read this book. Leaders in the Missouri Conference will certainly be reading it.”

—Robert Farr, Bishop, Missouri Conference, The United Methodist Church

“Churches wanting to move from making members to making disciples as their goal now have a superb guide. In addition to providing a living example of a discipleship pathway, the authors describe the steps and adaptations required for any church to develop a plan that fits its unique needs.”

—Lovett H. Weems Jr., Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership, Senior Consultant for the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC

“This is valuable for all leaders looking for clear and practical ideas to jumpstart intentional discipleship in their church. It shows how to ensure that every aspect of a church’s ministry is designed with discipleship in mind. I especially appreciate the focus on connecting with the community.”

—Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary/CEO, Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church

About the Authors

Ken Willard

Ken Willard is a Christian leadership coach, certified church consultant, author, speaker and developer of curriculum used by pastors and laity leaders. He is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation and a member of the faculty with Coaching4Clergy. 

Ken lives in the St. Louis area with his wife Mary and works with pastors, laity leaders, local churches and other church organizations all over the country. 

As owner of Leadership4Transformation, Ken’s mission is to help equip God’s people to expand God’s Kingdom. 

Mike Schreiner

Mike Schreiner is the Lead Pastor of Morning Star Church, the largest United Methodist Church in the Missouri Annual Conference.  With the help of a core group, Schreiner launched Morning Star Church in 1999.  Under his leadership, it has been the fastest-growing new United Methodist Church start in the state of Missouri, and now serves as a model for other new church starts.