Hi Friends! My name is Brandi and I’m addicted to books. (grin) So I’ve started a little something new. Have you seen the new page added to my website – The Book Shelf?! It’s a cozy little place where I’ll share some of what I’m reading. And today I’m kicking it off with a book I really didn’t expect to read (and honestly, I didn’t expect it to have as much of an impact on my heart as it did…)
Contagious Disciple Making
Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery
by David Watson and Paul Watson
“Our Christian culture can have an extremely negative impact on disciple making. …In fact, Christian culture – not to be confused with God or what He teaches through the Bible – is often a barrier to people falling in love with Jesus.” ~David Watson
“Lost people are mostly repulsed by religion but inexplicably drawn to spiritual men and women.” ~David Watson
This. Right. Here. Has me pondering deep and long about what my beliefs look like to my neighbors. I get it. Christian-ese and church-i-ness can get under my skin like nobody’s business. (And I am an avid church goer…). The world hungers for real faith, faith that breathes the same air in the church as outside the church. Faith that touches everyday life in the real world.
I went into reading this book thinking it was a “how-to” book about church planting and in all honesty, I hadn’t ever given much thought to the process of starting and growing a community of believers. However, this book is not a “How-To” book, this is a book about The Great Commission. This is a book about discipleship.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19
David and Paul Watson, Father and Son duo, have been planting and growing churches for over 26 years. David has seen 100,000 churches start and trained more than 30,000 leaders from 167 nations. Paul has trained 1,500 disciples-makers in 14 different countries and served along side his father with the mission organization, City Team. And they decided to write a book for the believer who sits in church on Sunday and wonders why the people they pass in the supermarket on Wednesday aren’t sitting here too.
Right on page 4 of this book David gripped my heart and pulled open my eyes. “…I had to focus on making disciples of Christ, not followers of my church or denomination.” Growing the church is not a formula of doctrine but a practice of relationship. They want real and so do I.
Relationship. A multifaceted and incredibly complicated process. Vulnerability and time are essential requirements. Discipleship is about taking faith and making it livable. Knowledge becomes wisdom through the process of relationship and in the nitty gritty of living life the intellect of scripture becomes faith. Nobody needs intellect, but everyone needs faith.
The book is broken into two parts, the first half detailing the difference between mainstream church planting and the true need for a Discipleship Group within the Global Christian community. The second half of the book is all about what a Discipleship group looks like and how it works. These pages are chalk full of information, giving detailed thought to the essence of the gospel message, what prayer is, and connecting within a community. The last few chapters in the second section are about transitioning community groups into a church.
Even if you don’t want to start a church, but you do want to spread the message of the cross, this book is for you. If you are like me and you are learning to live your faith outside the comfort of your prayer closet… you might like what this book has to say.
“Please note that it requires no faith to learn something. …Learning does not require faith, just intellect. Obedience requires faith.” David Watson