Second Reformed Church

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Review: "Rediscovering Discipleship"

Robby Gallaty's Rediscovering Discipleship:  Making Jesus' Final Words Our First Work was an interesting read.

Gallaty argues that discipleship is central to the work of the church and is missional, accountable, reproducible, communal, and scriptural (18).

He opens his book arguing that it is not possible to disciple a non-believer and that the believer needs to spend time getting to know Christ as He is presented in the Scripture -- and not just as a collection of facts, but as Someone in which one has a heart-belief (27ff).

The scriptural process of discipleship is one of Jesus exampling, assisting Jesus, Jesus assisting, and, finally, the disciples going out on their own (36).

Gallaty present the first disciples and argues they were generally blue collar, uneducated, and young (74).  This is a good place, he says, to look for modern disciples.

Gallaty looks to church history to show this was the practice until recent church history (87ff).

In looking at Ephesians 4:11-13, he shows "it is the job of pastors and leaders to equip believers to carry out their God-given ministry (121, emphasis his).

Turning to methodology proper, he argues that disciples ship is a slow process and ought to happen in small groups (under six) (135ff).

He gives this definition:  "Discipleship is intentionally equipping believers with the Word of God through accountable relationships empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to replicate faithful followers of Christ" (155, emphasis his).

In chapter 13, he explains the "MARCS" earlier enumerated:

Missional -- building intentional friendships and engaged in lifestyle evangelism (188).
Accountable --  group members know and hold each other to the group's standards and questions (194).
Reproducible -- each mentee eventually becomes a mentor (197).
Communal -- a biblical love amongst the members (200).
Scriptural -- the Bible is central to all that is done (201).

Gallaty brings up many good practices and explains them well, though he writes by giving many stories, which I found wearying -- though I know others would appreciate that.

My reservations concern some remarks he makes, such as that Whitefield was a failure regarding discipleship because he didn't have a method like Wesley (116).  And the defense of not discipling unbelievers being the same as why you don't baptize infants -- not profession of faith as a foundation (!) (168).

I was also concerned, despite the caution to move slowly -- to have the main goal to move the mentees on to being mentors -- sounded too much like what he says it is not -- I tell two friends, and they each tell two friends, and so on, and so on.

There is good here, and there is a lack of discipleship, but I would encourage more work on this book before another edition.

#RediscoveringDiscipleship

[I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This review appears on my blog and Amazon.com.]

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