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Review: Discipling as Jesus Discipled 13th November, 2016

Posted by Scotty in Books, Reviews.
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9780802414632Discipling as Jesus Discipled is a Bible Study written by Dann Spader of Sonlife ministries. I was keen to have a look at this after hearing Dann’s story and philosophy of discipleship on the discipleship.org podcast.

The resource is designed to be a 10-week study, with 5 lessons each week. There’s great flexibility with how this could be implemented.

Based in John 17 this study explores the “seven disciplines of a disciplemaker” taken directly from the chapter:

  1. REVEAL: I revealed You to those You gave me
  2. SPEAK: I gave them the words You gave Me
  3. PRAY: I pray for them
  4. PROTECT: I protected them
  5. SENT: I sent them into the world
  6. SANCTIFY: For them I sanctify Myself
  7. SHARE: I have given them the glory You gave Me

What I like?

The study is grounded in Scripture, seeking to inspire disciple making through reflection on the life and ministry of Jesus. Each day looks at the topic through a lens of one of Dann’s stages of Christian maturity (Seekers, Followers, Workers, Mature Disciplers). There are good questions which push the reader beyond finding-the-right-answers. The questions encourage deeper reflection on the Biblical narrative trying to get you to enter into the story.

The material keeps moving from the content to practical implementation. So for example, the SPEAK section looks at Jesus as a man of the Word dependent upon the Spirit, introduces (and requires practice) of devotional Bible study and learning to hear God in Scripture, then sets the expectation of sharing what learned with others. Similarly, the section on PRAYER aims at establishing consistent prayer for those who are sovereignly positioned around you.

What I don’t like?

Dann likes to speak of those you are investing in as “your disciples”: “let’s refer to them as your disciples that God has brought to you… don’t feel uncomfortable calling them your disciples” (p81). I think it’s more appropriate to speak of them as Jesus’ disciples, not mine. As disciples of Jesus we come alongside others in their discipleship to Jesus.

However, this is a minor issue in a robust study. Overall I think this is a great resource to give people a firm grounding in how Jesus trained his discipleship and the implications of this for our investment in the lives of others. Well worth the time investment.

(I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review)

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