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Building a Discipling Culture [Kindle Edition]

Mike Breen
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)

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Book Description

There is a discipleship crisis in the Western church. Many Christians may come to a worship service, join a small group or even tithe, but few have the kind of transformed lives we read about in Scripture. If we made disciples like Jesus made them, we wouldn't have a problem finding leaders or seeing new people come to faith. Building a Discipling Culture is the product of 25+ years of hands-on discipleship practice — developed in a post-Christian context, tackling how to make the types of missional disciples Jesus spoke of.

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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Church Could Use More Books Like This August 21, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I have the good fortune of knowing the authors and some of the other people that stand behind both the content and the lived-out reality of the text. I titled this post "The Church Could Use More Books Like This," for 3 reasons.

1) This book isn't theory, it emerges from decades of experience and reflection. And not just any experience, but experience in the trenches of Post-Christian Britain. It's not a perfect symmetry, but in many ways, the United States is following quick on the cultural heels of Western Europe and we would do well to pay careful attention to the insights of our brothers and sisters who are seeking to live into the reality of God's Kingdom in that context.

2) The focus of this book is something that a great many of us should be embarrassed is not more central to our ecclesiologies, discipleship. For far too long, discipleship has been seen as an add-on to the life of our churches. The assumption of these authors, however, is that churches actually only exist for one single purpose, to make disciples of Jesus. They'll come right out and tell you that their way isn't the only way to go about it, but they are unrelenting in their assertion that creating a discipling culture is imperative to a healthy identity and life for local congregations.

3) The final reason the Church needs more books like this is because it will provoke important questions. Vested readers are sure to find their margins filled with marks and notes. The assumptions and conclusions in this book emerge from a theological perspective which, though not fully unpacked here, will undoubtedly result in readers discovering that they may need to rethink some of their own perspectives and paradigms in order to really receive what the authors are saying and doing.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a book on personal discipleship, that is reflecting on how I worship, pray, and work in God's kingdom around me, Building a Discipling Culture is excellent. The author has some unique and Bible-based insight around all parts of how we relate to God and the world around us. I especially liked his section on prayer that for the first time, for me anyway, really took the Lord's prayer and used it as a structure for daily prayer. It seemed to address how God would have us a pray much more completely then, say, the ACTS approach.

The other breakthrough I had with this book was personal gifts. Mr. Cockram presents the five gifts of Apostle, Pastor, Teacher, Prophet, and Evangelists. His concept that we have a dominant one but use all of them seems much more on-target than so many presentations on gifts. It is also interesting how he separates Pastor and Teacher. The explanation goes a long way in showing how we can all be pastors while most "pastors" are probably primarily teachers.

As a book about alternative ways to approach church, something I know it is used for, I found it a bit odd. The whole shapes approach is interesting but seems to create a new "secret language" of worship. Now instead of a "bullwark never failing" and various other churchy references, we can talk about the hexagon, circle, or various charts. The gifts, for example, are the five-fold ministries, the pentagon. He even goes so far as to say "this language should be the DNA....shared by you and the people you are discipling". I found it all too intentionally cryptic and think there is too much "secret, special" words we use amongst ourselves.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new paradigm, not just another program September 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I've been a small group and discipleship pastor for nearly ten years now, and in that time I've seen lots of different theories and resources for how to develop discipleship systems. I've led the groups ministry for a large mega-church, for a small church plant, and I've listened to, coached and counseled churches of every size in between. In all my experience it is rare to find someone who's not just talking about a new process or program but a whole new paradigm on discipleship. This is what Mike Breen and the folks from 3DM are offering. These aren't just theories or abstract ideas; this is a book borne from the labor of leaders on the front lines working with one burning passion - to create growing disciples of Jesus Christ.

One caution: do not read this book as you might all the other small groups or discipleship resources out there. Do not go looking for the next "how to" book on creating a new program or system. You may even read this book and think, "So what. That seems too simple." But do not let the simplicity of the ideas obscure its power. Read the book, reflect on its ideas, and if you are stirred by the concepts presented, I suggest you find someone already implementing these ideas in their church and learn from them. You cannot put new wine in old wineskins, and you won't be able to apply many of the principles in this book without letting go of some of your existing paradigms. Seek out someone who can help you with that journey. We've greatly benefited from the learning of others who have walked this road ahead of us.
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