Along with Eberhard (Bethge), Dietrich attempted a new social form: with three other candidates they founded the House of Brethren, a kind of Protestant community whose members committed themselves to do without possessions, to share goods, to celibacy, and to sacrifice for the cause of Christ in the world.

In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich wrote:

“The life of Jesus Christ on earth is not finished yet, for he continues to live in the lives of his followers”

(Renate Wind, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke in the Wheel, 111).