Founder’s Story

The Disciples Made movement began in the fall of 2010 when Brian Phipps, the Discipleship Pastor at Westside Family Church in Kansas City, made a grave admission. 

Brian and his team successfully grew the church’s small group ministry to over 2,500 participants. They were effectively recruiting volunteers and helping the church add new attendees. But, they were not able to develop the volunteers and small group leaders into disciple-makers and spiritual influencers that would produce a harvest of disciple-makers. Brian admitted that he did not know how to multiply disciples.

Jesus modeled multiplication. Paul prescribed multiplication in 2 Timothy 2:2. 

In September of 2010, on his way home from a successful small group campaign launch, Brian felt the presence of Jesus in his car. Jesus’ presence was powerful enough to cause Brian to pull the car over and just “listen.” 

The message Brian received was “multiplication is no longer an option.” It was there Brian decided that he would figure out how to multiply disciples or die on the hill trying.

The invitation Jesus offered to Brian was:

  • Shelve everything you think you know about disciple-making
  • Pray for your next step but don’t act until you receive it
  • Take that next step without questioning it
  • Take notes about what worked as you took that next step
  • Share what you learn with others so they can take similar steps 

Four months later, Brian was mentoring five new small group leaders and their apprentices through a one year program he sketched out in under an hour. Brian called this plan “Disciples Made” because it was designed to turn these young apprentices into thriving disciple-makers. The goal was to develop them in “head, hand, and heart” as they were apprenticed in their leadership skills.

Five months into that year, the results were staggering. Those new leaders were not simply leading their groups well, they were being transformed into passionate missionaries that owned the mission of multiplying disciples. That summer, these leaders shared their transformation stories at a church leadership gathering. There was an immediate demand by men and women alike to be in a similar group. 

Two more groups were started. The following year there were multiple groups with three generations of leaders leading them. By 2014 multiple churches around the Kansas City area were starting their own group. Disciples Made was now more than a few experimental groups. Disciples Made was a movement focused on developing character and calling. 

A lot has changed since then. An entire ecosystem of disciple-making language, strategy, and best practices has evolved. Dozens of churches leveraged Disciples Made’s courses, coaching, and multiplication cohorts to establish disciple-making cultures in their church. 

Brian left his post in the local congregation in 2018 to found Disciples Made as a 501(c)3. Brian continues to lead the team and Board of Directors as they pursue their vision of equipping 70,000 disciple-makers to help 2,000,000 of their friends to live more Fully Alive by 2040.

You are invited to play a part in this story. Click below to schedule a time to hear more.

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