Discipleship is the buzzword today. Many believers are contemplating in a fresh way what it means to take the Great Commission seriously. Rediscovering Discipleship takes the guesswork out of Christian maturity.
Based on insights gained from a decade of personally making disciples, author and pastor Robby Gallaty tackles the two hindrances that keep believers from getting involved in making disciples: ignorance and uncertainty. Since many believers have never been personally disciple, they have no model to guide them in discipling others. Their ignorance of the process fuels their uncertainty, which leaves them crippled from the start. With simple principles that are easy to apply, Rediscovering Discipleship provides readers with the tools to follow the Great Commission—to go and actually make disciples who multiply and make disciples.
Gallaty begins with a brief historical overview of the discipleship ministries of influential theologians, preachers, and pastors from years past, and then identifies roadblocks that hinder believers from becoming disciples before offering a step-by-step process for readers to immediately get started on the path to effective disciple making.
Chapter 1 You Must Know the Man Before You Go With the Mission The first chapter will cover the pedagogical method of first century rabbis, which is the context in which Jesus raised his disciples. He was a Jewish man in a Jewish culture investing in Jewish men. Ambiguity in discipleship can be eliminated with a deeper understanding of the historical origins and Hebraic roots of Jesus. The chapter will compare the Hebraic mind with the Greek/Western way of thinking. The goal of the Greek system of training was to know oneself. The goal of the Hebraic system of training was to know God. Finally, I will highlight the effects of Hellenism, and its eerie similarities with Hollywood today. Chapter 2 A Forgotten Practice I will provide a brief overview of the discipleship ministries of prominent theologians, preachers, and pastors throughout the ages, who are not recognized for their intentional investment in others. I will examine men such as Augustine, Thomas Cranmer, Richard Baxter, Jonathan Edwards, and John Wesley. Chapter 3 A Band Aid for the Church In the 1750s, John Wesley created a three-fold strategy for exponential growth in the life of a believer: societies, classes, and bands. Simply put, he was an organizational genius who initiated a movement that was, at one time, the largest Protestant denomination in America. The most bountiful fruits of his labor, however, would come after his death. According to historian Kevin Watson, “From 1776 to 1850, American Methodist grew like a weed. In 1776, Methodists accounted for 2.5 percent of religious adherents in the colonies, the second smallest of the major denominations of that time. By 1850, Methodists comprised 34.2 percent of religious adherents in the United States, which was 14 percent more than the next largest group.” This chapter will answer the question, “What elements of this methodology, if any, are applicable to the modern church?” Chapter 4 Why Has the Church Been in a Discipleship Coma? I have uncovered two translation problems that may be the culprits for the lack of discipleship in the church. The first is in the rendering of the word mathetes in Matthew 28:19 in the King James Version of the Bible. Instead of translating it as “make disciples,” the committee translated it as “teach”: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations.” Teaching is an aspect of discipleship, but discipleship is more than teaching. The second translational issue is found in Ephesians 4:11-13: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Based on this wording, the job of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers is threefold: 1. To perfect the saints, 2. To do the work of the ministry, and 3. To edify the body of Christ. The ministers, pastors, and clergymen are expected to carry out all of the ministerial duties. As a result, church members have sat idly by while the trained professionals conducted the work of the Gospel. Chapter 5 Making Disciples in a McChristian Society An often-overlooked aspect of discipleship is patience on the part of the disciplemaker. God is never in a rush. In fact, the only time we see God in a hurry is when He responds to a repentant sinner returning to Him (Luke 15). While Jesus ministered in 5 groups during His time on earth, three are applicable to every believer: the congregation (50+), the community (12-15), and the core (3-5). Attendance in the large gathering (congregation) is imperative for a believer. The focus of a life group (community) is to reach, teach, develop, and minister. The purpose of a D-group (core) is to intentionally equip believers with the word o