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Discipleship Essentials: A Guide to Building Your Life in Christ Paperback – December 28, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I have long admired Greg Ogden's rare ability to distill the complex down to the essential. Discipleship Essentials has become a modern classic in the field of discipleship because it does just this. If you've ever looked for a tool to help people you care about understand the core principles and practices of the Christian life, look no further than this book. I have seen it help absolute beginners and advanced disciples alike mature in their walk with Christ in a life-changing way. The book is interactive, thought-provoking, enjoyable and deep. I use it weekly myself." (Daniel Meyer, senior pastor, Christ Church of Oak Brook, Illinois)

"If you're looking for a shortcut to the likeness of Christ, stop looking because there isn't one. No program or structure can replace the hard, time-consuming, rewarding and utterly fulfilling process of discipleship. Discipleship Essentials is revolutionizing the lives of the people in our church. Everyone can and should use this effective tool!" (Jan den Ouden, minister-at-large, OM International, Rotterdam)

"Our entire congregation used Discipleship Essentials as the template for a yearlong sermon and small group series. It served as a life-changing tool that united our church family and deepened our faith as a community. Ogden's work is thorough, organized and challenging―a great resource for churches and small groups who desire to grow in their love for the Lord and their commitment to following him." (Rev. Jane Filkin, associate pastor of community life, First Presbyterian Church, Boulder, Colorado)

"I am currently leading my fourth group. The study is a Spirit-inspired study of the skeletal structure of our Christian faith upon which individuals can flesh out the shape of their individual walk with our Lord. If taken seriously and followed as a spiritual discipline, the truths it contains will change the follower's life, and lives that come in contact with the disciple will be touched by God's love. It's a powerful tool in a group for learning to practice confession and being accountable. It is never old for me. The Spirit speaks to me through the Word in the study. I am refreshed every time we meet as a group." (Hudson Staffield, president, Chi Rho Ministry)

"Greg Ogden's engaging book sets the expectation that every follower of Jesus has the joyful responsibility to invest into two or three regularly and purposefully for the kingdom. For the past ten years, Discipleship Essentials has provided an engaging and balanced approach to the task of raising up mature believers who will then themselves invest in others. I can only imagine that in the next ten years thousands more will be shaped toward maturity because of his important work that gives each believer the inspiration and the framework to do what they were made to do: advance the kingdom by making mature disciples." (Rev. Timothy J. Yee, minister of young adults, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach, California)

"One of the most serious challenges facing the church in North America is that of undiscipled church members. Greg Ogden's work seeks to move Sunday-only consumer Christians into the adventurous life of following Jesus on a daily basis in authentic community. It provides an indispensable resource to help local churches address this challenge." (Eddie Gibbs, professor, Fuller Theological Seminary and author of ChurchNext)

"Discipleship Essentials is the most effective tool I know of for use in encouraging actual growth in personal discipleship. I give it to all of the pastors I am working with in congregational transformation and missional engagement because growing disciples is essential to their congregations' vitality." (E. Stanley Ott, president, The Vital Churches Institute)

From the Author

IVP: Describe in your own words the meaning of discipleship.

Greg Ogden: Discipleship is the process whereby our lives are conformed to the image of Christ or we go through the metamorphosis of constant rebirth so that we are dying to self while Christ's life is coming alive in us. It's akin to the transformation that occurs when the caterpillar spins the cocoon and out comes a butterfly. Paul talks about discipleship as continuously putting off the old life while putting in its place the new life in Christ. It is like taking off an old set of garments and being re-dressed in righteousness and holiness. It is truly a makeover from the inside out. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 237 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Connect; Csm Exp edition (December 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830810870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830810871
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I have used this workbook with men one on one; in a triad; and in a group of four. In all three groups the participants have enjoyed the study, the group time, and have gone on to make more disciples by using the book to disciple others. As a pastor and life Coach I have used this tool for a few years now, and still think it's the best tool to get Christians together and grounded in the Christian basics - theologically, philosophically, and with a Christo-centric focus for all of life.

In Ogden's own words he says he designed this discipleship workbook as a tool to accomplish these three elements to create a climate for the Holy Spirit to bring accelerated growth:

1) "The first element is the unchanging truth of God's word" (each chapter contains a core truth based on a memory verse, and includes an inductive bible study with discussion questions based on the passage for study, discussion, and application).

2) "The second element in the Holy Spirit's laboratory is transparent relationships...Transformation occurs when we grapple with the truth of God's Word in the context of transparent relationships. It is a biblical axiom that the Holy Spirit will have free sway in our lives to the extent to which we open ourselves up to one another. Honesty with God is not sufficient. We give God permission to reshape our lives when we risk self-evaluation and confession to others. We can't grow in Christ by ourselves. We are people made for community" (each chapter has a selected reading after the inductive Bible study on the topic of discussion - these selections are short and very good).

3) "The third element that creates the climate for transformation is mutual accountability...
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After years of various approaches to disicplemaking, I was so excited to first read Greg Ogden's "Transforming Discipleship" which then led me to this work, "Discipleship Essentials," a 24 week curriculum for disciplemaking. Our church is using it in groups of three or four who upon completion prayerfully enlist their own "triad" to go through the material with. It can take as long as a year, but for the first time we are seeing genuine multiplication take place. Get both books and get started today!
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The philosophy/theology behind this workbook is in Ogden's Transformed Discipleship - a must read for leaders considering using this workbook. The workbook is excellent, covering the basics. But a caution is necessary. If it is treated like a Sunday School, fill-in-the-blanks, assignment, transformation is unlikely. Read the questions carefully. Reflect on them. Ask God to reveal to you how to answer from your heart. If you do, you will become a disciple. Living out Christianity is not "purpose" driven but "process" driven: Matt 28:19-20 declares the process is "make disciples" . . . this workbook is the teaching component of that. Go, now, make disciples.
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Rather lengthy, but well worth it. Excellent for new or maturing believers. We managed to average a lesson a week and finish in about exactly one year. Designed to be done in a triad(group of 3). I First did it with a larger group of 7, with 5 making it to the end. It was difficult to keep the group focused and meetings took much longer. Later did with 5 and enjoyed it much better, but recommend as the book does to try to do it with just 3. Currently doing it with one other, and wish we had a third.
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I use this workbook as a tool to lead others to knowing more about their Christian faith in a small group setting (3-4 people). You do not have to be a teacher to use this material. It is a great tool for new and well seasoned Christians alike. It explains Christian concepts in a very good format. It helps new Christians to understand their faith and it reminds seasoned Christians of things they may have forgotten. It also is helpful in that it gives you a renewed confidence to share your faith with others. I highly recommend this workbook for every Christian - no matter where you are in your walk with the Lord.
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I've seen my students leaders barf on various kinds of discipleship "materials" over the years. This is the only discipleship "stuff" that they have really loved and been impressed by (re: because it's well written & and written at a college-level). I love it because it's lead foot is "making disciples" ...it's got the right DNA.

Daniel Curran
The Bay Area Campus Ministry * Campus Crusade for Christ
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Excellent resource for new believers and the many of us who have accumulated head knowledge but not awareness of our personal discipleship -- great tool.
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I am using this book in a small group study with established church members ranging in age from late 20's to early 80's. So far it has held their interest, the first study to have done so in seven years of ministry. The theology is well-balanced with a strong evangelical undertone.
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