I have recently been given several new opportunities to read, review, and promote books. I want to share reviews of good books with the readers on this blog. This way I can alert individuals of things I find as useful in my personal spiritual growth. As a reviewer, I do not expect to have all positive reviews, and I will share those to help readers avoid spending money on books I do not find beneficial or poorly written, or something with which I don’t believe.
One of the first new books I have been reading and have reviewed is a new book called Rediscovering Discipleship, written by Robert Gallaty. I want to share my review of this book with you now, and hope it encourages you to get a copy to read for yourself. I find it exciting and encouraging, especially in light of where God has been leading us as a congregation:
This book has the potential to have a huge impact on your life as a follower of Christ, but also your life as a replicator of Christ followers.
As a pastor, I have struggled with the best way to train and equip individuals to evangelize and disciple. Some are open to sharing their faith more than others, and I readily accept this. I believe a certain level of spiritual maturity is needed before some will proclaim their faith. Once an individual begins to proclaim their faith, they tend to become more willing to share more of their faith, then begin sharing the Good News that others can have this relationship with Christ. Most people eventually accept some level of evangelism, which is a good thing. While it is great when people begin sharing their faith, there seems to be a point in this process where individuals seem to resist surpass.
Sharing one’s faith tends to get easier for most believers. However, the process of discipling others seems to be the point many won’t pass. Through the years I have heard countless reasons and excuses for the resistance in helping others know more of Christ. I believe this book helps identify the underlying reason for this hesitancy, but more importantly, it helps give gentle, practical advice in helping developing disciples for Jesus Christ.
Looking at the Bible in a cultural, historical context, Gallaty does an excellent job of helping look discipleship being a program. People can be trained in how develop disciples, but they need to understand it is a lifestyle, not a program. As Gallaty draws the reader into a contextual setting for the words and actions of Jesus, the reader in turn realizes Jesus trained His disciples by living life with them. I believe the author does a nice job of helping the reader this is still possible, even expected, in the life of today’s followers of Christ.