A new book on discipleship has recently been released, and I wanted to provide a review for those interested.
In Replicate, Gallaty and Swain seek to help ministry leaders begin to create of culture of disciple-making within their current ministry context. The first half, parts one and two, focus on the concept of disciple-making. In these sections, the authors explain the need for discipleship, the relationship between evangelism and discipleship, and the practices involved in disciple-making. While the first half of the book is informative, and therefore helpful with regard to knowledge, it’s not practical. It’s all theory and no practicality. The second half of the book makes up for part one’s lack of practicality. Just to clarify, the principles taught in the first half CAN be applied, but the authors make no effort to help readers understand how to apply the principles apart from supplying them with knowledge to be extrapolated.
The second half of the book is worth the price of the book. If you’re the type of person (like me) who needs an author to spell-it-out for you, then you will be pleased with the second half. Gallaty and Swain explain the process of disciple-making in clear, easy to understand language and lay out their ideas in a straightforward manner. For instance, they teach ministry leaders how to examine all that they are currently doing in their ministry contexts and begin to transform what they are already doing into a disciple-making culture. Rather than eliminating your Wednesday evening services, the authors suggest finding a way to keep the Wednesday evening service but transform it in a way that fosters spiritual growth and encourages replication and multiplication. They answer the question: How can I take what I’m currently doing and make it more effective? They suggest a ministry model similar to Jesus’ own ministry. Jesus had larges crowds (akin to congregation on a Sunday morning), He had His 12 (akin to a Sunday school or small group class), and then He had His 3-Peter, James, and John-(akin to a discipleship group). Most of their suggestions are related to discipleship groups, and their ideas are extremely practical and immediately applicable.
For anyone wanting to learn how they can begin to create a culture of disciple-making right where you are, this book is for you. If you want to learn how you can transform your current ministry activities to be more effect and encourage spiritual growth and replicate disciples, this book is for you. If you want to begin implementing discipleship groups at your church but are unsure how to go about it, this book is for you. If you need someone to explain the whole process of disciple-making to you and make it as clear and practical as possible this book is for you. For anyone interested in being a disciple-maker, this book is for you.
Moody Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book as part of their blogger review program.