insourcing

INsourcing: Bringing Discipleship Back to the Local Church is written by Randy Pope, the founding and current pastor of Perimeter Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The book is part “how to”, but primarily it is a telling of the story of how Perimeter Church has taken the call of discipleship seriously and in the owning of the Great Commission, they have transformed the very fabric of their church.

I was embarrassed reading this book in realizing just how complicated we make discipleship sometimes and on the other hand, how often we completely ignore our call to make disciples. In the Great Commission Jesus is explicit as to our calling as followers of His. We the Church are mandated to go and make disciples. INsourcing is a great reminder of our calling, and lays a simple path to finding our way again.

The book begins by asking all the right questions: What is a disciple? What does the discipleship process look like? Are our churches seeing disciples of Jesus made? The book does a great job in defining what a mature & equipped follower of Jesus looks like and explaining how this won’t happen because of a program or from a stage, but rather it happens in “life on life” ministry.

One of the arguments against large churches, is that they are far too big for real personal one on one ministry to happen in them, and that the small groups introduced to meet this need end up just being avenues of community building and social opportunity, not intentional discipleship. Perimeter Church proves that even in a very large church, intentional “life on life” ministry can be the foundation and emphasis of the church.

Here are a couple of quotes I found to be quite sobering:

“…this is exactly what the church is notorious for ignoring. We give people truth and then delegate the mission of living for Christ without the necessary equipping and accountability” (p. 45).

“When all is said and done, the person discipling is the curriculum for the person being discipled” (p. 167).

As you get near the end of the book he mentions a couple of times that their curriculum is available for churches to use, but it doesn’t come across like a pushy sales pitch. In fact Pope stresses it’s not about the “curriculum” you use, but rather the intentionality of how we go about making disciples regardless of what churches decide to use to get there.

The only really noticeable negative for me is the fictional story that weaves throughout the book modeling the discipleship process at Perimeter Church. It’s not a large percentage of the book, quite small actually, but I am just never a big fan of that kind of thing.

The question I am left wrestling with after reading this book is:

Q. Am I as a follower of Jesus making disciples? (not from a stage, but “life on life”)

I think this is a must read for every church leadership team. I probably wouldn’t use the exact curriculum Perimeter Church has developed, but it will definitely inspire how I lead and live moving forward. Very thankful for this book!

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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