Discipleship – No More Excuses
You have heard pastors talk about Jesus’ call to “make disciples.” You have understood your responsibility to obey that command. But, you have thought, “I’m just not sure I can do that.” Or, “I just don’t know how to do it.” Those excuses are no longer valid.
I had the privilege of getting an advance copy of Growing Up: How to Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples by Robby Gallaty. After reading it, the overwhelming sense I got was, “This book removes all excuses.” I want to highlight just a few reasons every believer should read, AND THEN PUT INTO PRACTICE, the contents of this book.
First, the book simply lays out biblical principles of disciple-making. These are not new or novel concepts. They are just brought to light in a fresh, easily-understood way. Gallaty simply lets the Bible speak as to the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of disciple-making. Second, the book is exceedingly practical. This is not the lofty, academic work of a theoretician, but is rather a tried and tested field manual from the hands of a practitioner. You will not walk away from this book saying, “I understand the concept of disciple-making better, but I’m still not sure what to do.” Third, Gallaty’s approach is reproducible. You can read the book yourself, walk through it with a discipleship-group, and then have your d-group participants go and do it with a group of their own.
Not only does this book explain the “How” of disciple-making, but it also gives you the tools to put into practice. The eleven appendices provide everything from a d-group covenant to suggested resources for d-group study. Also included are suggestions for praying for lost friends and a list of frequently-asked questions related to disciple-making.
At the end of the day, walking as a follower of Christ is not complicated, but it requires discipline and commitment. Gallaty, in an engaging and encouraging way, helps the follower of Christ understand not only the discipline and the tools needed, but also the necessity of the Spirit of God doing His work both in and through the believer. He makes clear the role of spiritual disciplines: necessities for the process of spiritual growth, but not mechanical items on a spiritual checklist. Above all, he roots the process of growing as a disciple-making disciple in love for Christ that issues forth in obedience to Christ.
As a father, I will work through this book with my kids to help them grow as disciples and to prepare them to make disciples of others. As a pastor, I will be using this book in several ways. I will walk through the book with members of my church, equipping them to walk through it with others in intentional disciple-making relationships. I will also use this book as a tool for pastor training as I travel internationally to equip local pastors to make disciples in their own contexts. I would end by simply saying, as noted in some of the endorsements, “Don’t just buy this book and read it. Live out what it teaches.”
(FTC disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for writing this unbiased review.)