Monday, March 21, 2011
Book Review: Real-Life Discipleship
I just finished reading a great book called Real-Life Discipleship: Building Churches that Make Disciples by Jim Putnam. I would definitely recommend it. Here's my review.
Real-Life Discipleship by Jim Putnam is an excellent basic manual for the Christian desiring to disciple others. Though this book is written specifically for church leaders, it is a valuable resource for all believers. Real-Life Discipleship emphasizes the biblical mandate for all Christians to make disciples (the Great Commission) and gives a biblical and practical strategy for how to make it happen.
One of the things I found most helpful in this book was the way Putnam defined the spiritual stages in the life of a Christian and how to minister to believers in each stage. I have witnessed first-hand the various spiritual stages (dead, infant, child, young adult, parent), but I was at a loss for how to minister according to the stage a person is in and how to move them forward in their spiritual maturity. I have read some reviews of Real-Life Discipleship that said the spiritual stages were presented in too strict a manner, verging on legalism. I don't think this is the way it was intended. The descriptions of the spiritual stages are only generalizations and a person may be between stages at any given time. They are given only as an aid to finding where a believer is at in their walk with Christ and how to minister to them right where they are.
The discipleship "game plan" laid out in Real-Life Discipleship is one that has been tried and proven effective at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho - one of the top 100 most influential churches in America. But this is not a manual on how to turn your church into Real Life Ministries. Rather it is a book about discipleship the way Jesus did it. I highly recommend this book.
*I received Real-Life Discipleship by Jim Putnam by request for review from a Mission Frontiers promotion (http://www.missionfrontiers.org/).
To purchase Real-Life Discipleship or read a sample chapter visit NavPress.com.