Without question, Transforming Discipleship by Greg Ogden, is the best book I have read to date on the subject of making disciples. I picked up this book in preparation for a sermon series on discipleship and it radically changed and clarified so much of how I view the process of discipleship.
The book is well researched and theologically sound. It is broken up into three sections: The Discipleship Deficit, Doing the Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way, and Multiplying Reproducing Discipleship Groups (NOT a traditional program).
I don’t think anyone in the Church (and maybe even outside the Church) would disagree that discipleship (becoming maturing and reproducing followers of Jesus) has taken a back seat in Christianity (for the most part). We tend to be content simply attending our gatherings and doing missional acts of social justice. Our gatherings aren’t bad (I think they’re beautiful), and the missional side of Church is a must, but where did we lose sight of making disciples? The response to this according to Ogden, and I love this, is to NOT start a program to make disciples.
The highlight of the book for me was the chapter on how Jesus went about making disciples. It was eye opening to read this chapter and at the same time I was left asking myself, “Why haven’t I seen this before?”
Transforming Discipleship is challenging, in depth yet understandable, and very practical. This is a must read for any follower of Jesus, and I think if church leaders took this kind of route in making disciples (although it will be slow and not immediately “impressive”), I think it would radically change the Church (and our world) for the better.
Here are some quotes from the book:
“Reducing the Christian life to embracing the gift of forgiveness has made obedience to Jesus in daily life an irrelevance” (p. 47).
“By focusing on a few, Jesus was not displaying indifference to the multitudes. Instead, Jesus had a different vision for reaching the masses than our approach through mass gatherings. Jesus has enough vision to think small” (p. 72).
“To the extent that we live among fellow believers with a conscious awareness that we are living a double life, we will not have fellowship with each other or with God” (p. 162).