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Disciple: Getting Your Identity from Jesus Paperback – September 7, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Listen to the wise words of a seasoned pastor who knows that being a disciple of Jesus is much more than developing biblical literacy and theological knowledge. Learn how grace embeds your little story in the larger story of redemption and transforms your heart in the process.”
Paul David Tripp, President, Paul Tripp Ministries; author, What Did You Expect?

“Bill Clem uses his powerful storytelling ability, theological insights, and personal journey to speak straight to the heart of discipleship. Reading this book was like having a cup of coffee with one of the most influential thinkers and ministry leaders of our day.”
David Livermore, president, Cultural Intelligence Center; author, Serving with Eyes Wide Open

“In all my ministry years I have never met anyone who is more adept and passionate about the subject and lifestyle of discipleship. This book will not be one you half read and then set aside for the next garage sale; it will be part of your permanent library, used to equip yourself and others for years to come. In fact, I wager you will read and reread this. It’s that good! Disciple challenges us all to dig deeper so that we might learn what it means to be a true follower of Jesus and to help others to do the same.”
Mike Love, founder, director, Extreme Dream Ministries

“Bill Clem shattered all of my preconceptions of discipleship, but in so doing he masterfully painted a beautiful portrait of what a disciple is and what discipleship looks like. A must-read for anyone serious about making gospel-centered disciples.”
Carlos Montoya, Lead Pastor, Blaze Christian Fellowship, Santa Fe, New Mexico

“Through both his writing and his life, Bill Clem has given us an inspiring vision of what it looks like to live out our identity as disciples of Jesus.”
Pete Kelley, Lead Pastor, Doxology, Corvallis, Oregon

Disciple connects the relational community of the triune God to his image bearers in the greatest nonfiction story of all—the story of God. The privilege of playing our part in his story is masterfully told by Clem. Not only is Disciple a ‘great read’; it is a ‘must-study.’"
Mark A. Hoeffner, Executive Director, CB Northwest; Lead Elder, Grace Baptist Church, White Salmon, Washington

“Bill has been one the most influential pastors shaping my thinking on discipleship. He brings a holistic, gospel-centered, Jesus-exalting approach to the ongoing formation of the redeemed people of God. I thank God for Bill’s impact on my life and I trust that you will as well after reading this book.”
Jeff Vanderstelt, Visionary Leader, Soma; Pastor, Doxa Church, Bellevue, Washington; author, Saturate

About the Author

Bill Clem serves as pastor of leadership formation at Imago Die Community Church in Portland, Oregon.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (September 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433523493
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433523496
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Logan Stewart on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I selected Bill Clem's "Disciple: Getting Your Identity from Jesus" because I thought the book was about discipleship groups, mentors/mentees, etc. and practical applications for modern life. Instead, I found myself reading a book about what it means to be a Christian for the first 3/4 of the book. I almost get the feeling that Clem would prefer to use the word Disciple instead of Christian, though that is pure speculation. Nevertheless, "Disciple" proved to be a mostly interesting and thought provoking book.

Divided into 12 chapters, the book alternates between the biblical ideal of the chapter's topic (such as Community), followed by a chapter with how we've distorted it. I really enjoyed the layout like this, and as I progressed through the book it was obvious how much latter chapters built off the previous ones. I also liked that each chapter ended with a "homework assignment." Clem gives the reader Scripture to read and ponder over, and often challenges us to act on these verses.

As for the last chapters, this is really where practical thoughts on discipleship came up. I suppose a foundation must first be established before application can be described, and Clem definitely built off his groundwork.

The art of discipleship and mentoring is neglected by many today. Too often we distort the very definition of "disciple," thinking that it's a stagnant "relationship." We replace Jesus' Great Commission in Matthew 28, "Go and make disciples" with "Go and make converts." It's obvious Clem has a heart for loving on people and investing in them, and he backs this imperative with plenty of Scripture. He wants the reader to make disciples (as well as be discipled), not coverts.
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I would like to preface this review by stating that, though I like, the book it is not in fact about creating disciples. This book is about being discipled by Christ. I found this same thing to be true with Redemption by Mike Wilkerson. The title and back cover summary almost feels a bit misleading. That said, the hook of Bill Clem's book can be neatly summarized by a sentence found on page 75.

"Humans were originally design to image God, but sin made everyone in need of complete refurbishing"

This is the main idea of the book and one that Bill builds on throughout the 12 chapters and a little bit over 200 pages. If I were to break this book up into sections I would say that chapters 1-4 are a theological foundation for his view of the discipleship process, chapters 4-10 summarize his "distorted images" of God followed by accurate images of God , and chapters 11-12 make up the application for all of the preceding information. Going into this book I expected the bulk of it to made up of the content found in chapter 11 which is titled Plan and covers the area of how to be discipled and some information on how to disciple others. However much of the book is spent trying to convince the reader that they are in fact flawed and need some discipleship to work through these flaws or "distortions". Though I think this is true as I believe in total depravity, it is not the content I expected to get from the book

In the end I feel like this is another exceptional book from Re:lit that has suffered from poor marketing and packaging. If it were to come with additional resources or perhaps more practical application I would feel more comfortable recommending it.

Final opinion, skip it unless you are doing a comprehensive study in the area of discipleship. If you do pick it up and want to skip the appetizer and hit the meat and potatoes read chapters 4-10 as they contain the pearls.

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Format: Paperback
How do we make disciples? This is the question that so many are asking these days. Do we do it by creating new programs and courses? Do we do it informally, getting together and "doing life" one-on-one?

While there are many different approaches, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, Pastor Bill Clem suggests the key to making disciples isn't so much figuring out a program that works, but understanding a disciple's identity in Jesus in the first place. In his recent book, Disciple: Getting Your Identity from Jesus, Clem unpacks what it means to get our identity from Jesus through the storyline of redemption. The result is a book that offers a more robust view of discipleship than, perhaps, we've become accustomed to.

There is much to be commended in Disciple. Most fundamentally, this is a book about Jesus. He is the starting point, the hero of Scripture and the example of what true discipleship looks like. This is an approach I've not really seen before, but it works exceptionally well. Jesus, in his 33 years on earth, was the epitome of what it meant to be a worshipper of God--indeed, He was the only one who ever wholeheartedly did so. He perfectly expressed a heart of worshipful obedience to the Father. He perfectly lived in community with His disciples. And He perfectly walked with intentionality--He was single-minded about His mission to seek and save the lost, and redeem a people unto Himself.

This is something that's easy for us to overlook, even when we are reminded again and again from others that Jesus' life is to be an example to those who follow after Him. Fortunately, Clem doesn't just say, "Hey look at Jesus and do what he does; then you'll be a disciple." Such exhortations, no matter how well intended, rarely lead to godly living.
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