Everyone is being discipled. The question is: what is discipling us?
The majority of Christians today are being discipled by popular media, flashy events, and folk theology because churches have neglected their responsibility to make disciples. But the church is not a secondary platform in the mission of God; it is the primary platform God uses to grow people into the image of Jesus. Therefore, as church leaders, it is our primary responsibility to establish environments and relationships where people can be trained, grow, and be sent as disciples.
There are three indispensable elements of discipleship:
Learning to participate in the biblical story (the Bible)
Growing in our confession of who God is and who we are (theology)
Regularly participating in private and corporate intentional action (spiritual disciplines)
Deep Discipleship equips churches to reclaim the responsibility of discipling people at any point on their journey.
Deep Discipleship sample chapterdownload
Why did you write this book? What inspired you to write it?
For too long, the local church has played a secondary role in the formation of God’s people. Over the past few decades seminaries, bible colleges, non-profits, and other ministries have become where God’s people have to go in order to grow in the understanding of the Word and what it means to follow Christ.
I believe with all of my heart that the primary context for Christian discipleship is the local church. God has commissioned and ordained his church to be the place where, by the power of the Spirit, he forms his people into the image of the Son. It is time for local churches to remember their calling as the primary place God forms deep disciples.
For whom did you write this book?
I wrote this book for anyone who is passionate about discipleship. I hope pastors, ministry leaders, and serious Christians will pick up this book and implement deep discipleship in their local contexts.
What do you mean by a “holistic” approach to discipleship? How is that different than what most people consider when they think of “discipleship”?
Deep discipleship is holistic discipleship. God cares about the whole person, not just our head or our heart or our soul or our strength, but God cares equally, and wants to form our head, heart, soul, and strength. If we are whole people, we need discipleship models that form the whole person and that best happens in the local church.
How is this book different from other discipleship resources and books?
I think Deep Discipleship is different because it does not just say deep discipleship matters, but it provides a way forward for every church. It does not offer a playbook for every church to adopt, but it offers a set of better questions – questions that will give us better answers for our local contexts.
What are the two or three greatest hindrances to creating deep disciples in our churches today?
The greatest hindrance to deep discipleship is the shallow versions of Christianity that we have become accustomed to.
What are the two or three most important things church leaders can do immediately to begin creating deep disciples in their churches?
If you want more participation in your church you need to raise the bar, don’t lower it. We have believed the lie that if we lower the bar people will be more involved, but we have lowered it is not worth jumping over.
Give your people more Bible, not less, more theology, not less, more spiritual disciplines, not less. They will thank you for it.