A Course in Christian Discipleship for Africa






intentional discipleship








How it works ...

Rooted in Jesus is a practical discipleship programme in which trained leaders facilitate small groups of people who wish to deepen their discipleship. It is not a Bible study programme – it is an applied, interactive programme which aims to change people’s lives, churches and communities. Designed specifically for Africa, Rooted in Jesus covers the basics of Christian faith and ministry from an African cultural perspective, using only resources that are commonly and freely available.

Rooted in Jesus is inspired by the Great Commission, the command to go and make disciples (Matt 28.18-20). We understand a disciple of Jesus to be a person not just who knows Jesus or has made a commitment to Jesus, but a person who is learning to become like Jesus, both in his life and in his ministry. Disciples of Jesus live as Jesus taught them to live, they minister as Jesus taught them to minister, and they help others to become disciples and do these things too (2 Tim 2.2). And they do this not as private individuals but together - as Alison Morgan puts it in her book Following Jesus, we believe that the plural of disciple is church.

These things do not happen by accident; they happen when we take steps to make them happen. If there is an intentional culture of discipleship and disciple-making within a diocese or network, then the lives of individuals, churches and communities within that diocese will be transformed. Discipleship is not just one of many things that we do: it is the core from which everything else flows.

Rooted in Jesus is a tool designed to help dioceses to make disciples. Where it is used as part of a deliberate strategy of disciple-making, we have seen remarkable things happen. We have seen the lives of individuals transformed through being part of a Rooted in Jesus group. We have seen churches grow and their members become active in ministry. We have seen whole dioceses move into growth.

Preconditions for growth

If a diocese wishes to introduce Rooted in Jesus the following things must be in place:

  1. The leadership of the bishop is crucial. If the bishop (or denominational leader) truly wishes his diocese to grow in discipleship, and if this is part of the strategic aim of the diocese, then this is likely to happen. There must be a culture of discipleship and disciplemaking within the church or the diocese. We ask that the bishop makes this clear within the diocese by attending the training conference himself, and that he takes steps to ensure that an ongoing priority is placed on discipleship, and on Rooted in Jesus as a tool for making disciples, within the diocese.

  2. A diocesan coordinator must be appointed. This should be a person who is motivated by disciplemaking, who has the seniority within the diocese to command the respect of clergy and group leaders, and who has the time to follow up those who have been trained. In practice a diocese will need to set a small annual budget to help with his travel costs, so that he is able to do the job.

The conferences



Local support and implementation

Follow up

Rooted in Jesus Junior

Having introduced the adult programme, many dioceses choose to follow it up with a Rooted in Jesus Junior conference, at which Sunday School teachers are trained to use the Junior version with their classes. Rooted in Jesus Junior provides what in many places is the first curriculum for teaching the Christian faith to children, and works on the same principles -the aim is that children become disciples of Jesus. The Junior programme is most effective if the Sunday School teachers are already themselves part of an adult Rooted in Jesus group. To find out more about Rooted in Jesus Junior click here.


For a simple print-ready guide to how Rooted in Jesus works in a diocese or denomination, please click here.

Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28.19-20.

Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. 2 Timothy 2.2.


Rooted in Jesus is edited and directed by Revd Dr Alison Morgan, and is published and supported by The Mathetes Trust.