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Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow Paperback – June 1, 2012
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About the Author
Eric Geiger serves as one of the Vice Presidents at LifeWay Christian Resources, leading the Resources Division. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. Eric has authored or co-authored several books including Creature of the Word and the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church.
Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball.
Michael Kelley is director of Discipleship at LifeWay Christian Resources. His previous written works include Holy Vocabulary, The Tough Sayings of Jesus, and Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal.
Philip Nation is director of Ministry Development with LifeWay Research. He co-edited The Mission of God Study Bible and co-authored Compelled by Love with Ed Stetzer.
Top customer reviews
At the heart of this book is the transformational power of the gospel. As believers are discipled in the Word the power of transformation in Christ is at their disposal. This is not simply the ability to change bad habits of their lives, but the ability to alter their hearts. The authors unite biblical analyses and examination of teaching and training methods to show the readers the great blessings and faith altering power of discipleship.
During his earthly ministry, Jesus made some of his most memorable and impactful advances, not when he was speaking to large crowds, but when he was discipling a handful. The authors stress the deep influence one-on-one discipleship has in Christians. We grow and deepen our relationship with Christ when another believer loves Jesus enough to train us and shepherd our growth.
The authors tell us the end result of discipleship is not merely the knowledge of all Jesus commanded but the obedience to all Jesus commanded. Churches that are transformational in discipleship help people encounter Jesus as Lord and not merely as Rabbi. The supreme proof of a true conversion is holy affections, zeal for holy things, longings after God, longings after holiness, desires for purity. The book centers on using discipleship to leave behind shallow Christianity and instead go deeper with our saving faith in Christ.
This is a wonderful book for personal use or as a group study. The content and style of the book are easily digestible and helps to educate and spur greater interest in the topic. Discipleship is a biblically emphasized and underutilized method for spiritual growth and maturity. This book hits a homerun on this important topic.
Perhaps the best aspect of the book comes in the beginning, where the authors specifically state that their approach is NOT a model. It is a description of their findings after researching the issue about what makes for Christians who are maturing and growing in Christ. That is significant, in that the book does not purport to give a model to accomplish the goal of discipleship. Instead they showcase the principles and foci that bring authentic discipleship and then leave the actual modeling and accomplishment to the reader. I love this, because the situation of each church will be different and therefore implementation will be as well.
The book's tone is approachable and readable; this is not a technical manual by any means. Geiger, Kelley, and Nation make sure to "put the cookies" on the bottom shelf and simplify wherever possible. I loved the venn diagram that makes up the heart of the book's information. The fact that they kept coming back to that reinforced the message as simple and important, and that was helpful.
I am going to use this book to train our leaders.