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Mobilizing Men for One-on-One Ministry: The Transforming Power of Authentic Friendship and Discipleship Paperback – September 1, 2010
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About the Author
Steve Sonderman is Associate Pastor of Men's Ministry at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Passionate about helping every local church have its own ministry to men, he consults widely and speaks annually at more than fifteen leadership events in the U.S. and elsewhere. Steve and his wife, Colleen, have four children.
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I won't rehash the book its self, but I will say that my copy of this book is filled with underlinings, application points in the margins, and drawings to help me remember key concepts.
I have bought this book 4 or 5 times for staff members and friends and have recommended it countless times to others beginning discipleship.
**NOTE: This book is written with a bias toward discipling men, BUT... there are principles and practices included that can fit any discipling setting.**
Sonderman diagnoses the weak spiritual growth of most of today's Christian men as a symptom of aloneness. He says that churches too often leave men to grow on their own, and that leaves men stumbling through life with too little direction and protection, handicapping their ability to lead and undercutting their potential for ministry.
He urges pastors and churches to inculcate in their men a commitment to Christ that is developed and strengthened through prayer, through commitment to one another, and through fleshing out faith in ministry to others. He breaks down his plan through observations about the nature of the male psyche, and the unique needs of men for spiritual growth. Sonderman then launches into several "how-to" chapters (on discipleship, mobilization, leadership development, small groups, etc.) grounded in a faithful study of Scripture and his own experiences from years of ministering to men through the local church.
While books on specific areas of ministry are quite common, Sonderman's stands out not because it is innovative but because it is a refreshing recommitment to the tried and true building blocks of all effective discipleship: prayer, Scripture, fellowship, study, and outward ministry. Though somewhat formulaic in style, He offers a needed reminder that the work of the Church has always been accomplished by "apprenticeship" (that is, the careful discipleship of new believers that leads them into a deeper and more active faith) more than any other method. If the Church is to take back masculinity from the world and build the next generation of leaders, we would do well to follow his example and start discipling our men.