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Real-Life Discipleship: Building Churches That Make Disciples Hardcover – September 1, 2010
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From the Back Cover
It’s time to reexamine your methods of discipleship. But how do you effectively disciple an entire body? It’s not about making converts. The responsibility falls to every believer in your fellowship to create intentional followers of Christ, who in turn create other intentional followers.
The secret is in your small groups. Discover a new vision for what the church can be by challenging how you create disciples.
Also available from NavPress: Real-Life Discipleship Training Manual.
About the Author
Jim’s passion is discipleship through small groups. With his background in sports, he believes in the value of strong coaching to win and teach disciples for God.
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The companion Training Manual is a 12-week workbook that goes into detail the process described in the book. The manual begins the process of defining a disciple, how they grow, how to make disciples, how to be intentional in sharing your faith and helping others to become disciples of Christ. The book concludes (Week 12) with a highly practical section titled "One Necessary Tool: A Small Group Curriculum" and it is the curriculum that the author uses in the small group ministry at Real Life Ministries.
Overall, both of these books are excellent and they have been practical and insightful for me in helping find and develop a discipleship process that works. I am looking forward to using this material in the future as I seek to go out and find people who want to be disciples who go out and make disciples.
Few of the other reviewers have mentioned that the small group meetings that are the heart of Real-Life church confine their study of the scriptures to the STORIES of the Bible (chapter 13). The rest of scripture, the epistles, law, poetic, wisdom, and prophetic literature are, I assume, used for preaching during congregational worship services. Furthermore, the importance of such congregational services and of preaching are minimized several times by Pastor Putnam compared to the importance of the small group meetings. I'm not sure Jesus, Paul, or the other apostles would agree with him on the relative unimportance of non-narrative scriptures and preaching. Effective use of the stories, especially those from the gospels, is vital, but I'm reluctant to make it the predominant focus of discipleship groups.
Get the book anyway, church leaders, and find out what you and your church SHOULD be putting into practice.
With that in mind, Jim Putman's book, Real-Life Discipleship: Building Churches That Make Disciples, is a godsend. Putman is the founder and senior pastor of Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho--not exactly the Bible Belt. But God has used Putman's passion for discipleship to build an 8,000 member church in less than 15 years. The amazing thing is that over 90% of the church's weekly attendance is involved in small groups. Real Life Ministries is not a typical big show driven mega-church. It is a disciple making factory.
In the book, Putman introduces his readers to the discipleship methods used at Real Life. Although he frequently illustrates the book with real-life stories from Real Life, the book does not devolve into a self-congratulatory "look at how good we are" book. Instead, it comes across as humble, eye-opening, instructive and encouraging--just like a disciple maker is supposed to.
This book is for every church leader or church member who is part of a church that struggles with making disciples. While not coming across like a know-it-all how-to manual, it is detailed enough to make leaders think about how the principles will work in their context. Putman's five stages of disciples' growth and the steps required to move them from one stage to the next bring great clarity to the reader. Especially helpful are the summaries, profiles and resource listings in the appendices. Be sure and have a notebook handy while you are reading--the book is an idea generator. That fact alone makes it invaluable to all who are concerned with the health of their churches.
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Study this book together with the workbook.
You will be blessed.
even how indispensable discipleship is for the Church.Read more