Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Review of the Essential Guide to Becoming a Disciple by Greg Ogden

Essential Guide to Becoming a Disciple

The Essential Guide to Becoming a Disciple: Eight Sessions for Mentoring and Discipleship
by Greg Ogden
ISBN 978-0-8308-1149-6
IVP Connect
Reviewed by Clint Walker

Greg Ogden is passionate about discipleship. And, he has a methodology that has worked for him. I have used his book Discipleship Essentials in both mentoring and small group discipleship, and found that if people are invested in the process, the curriculum can be profitable and enjoyable for students and teachers alike. Now, Ogden has written The Essential Guide to Becoming a Disciple which is a simpler, smaller guide to kick start the mentoring/discipleship process based upon Jesus' Great Commission to his disciples in the gospel of Matthew.

This is an eight-session curriculum, although Ogden freely admits it may take more than eight meetings to get through the study. Each session begins with a core truth, then has a brief bible study, an article to read, and then some discussion/life application questions. The process really makes the participants think through what they believe, and begin to process what Jesus has commanded his people to do and who he has commanded them to be as disciples.

I am going to get this curriculum, gather together two or three people, and get started learning and growing with some of them about the basics of being a disciple of Jesus.

Book Review of Ministry Mantras by J.R. Briggs and Bob Hyatt


Ministry Mantras: Language for Cultivating Kingdom Culture
by J. R. Briggs and Bob Hyatt
ISBN 978-0-8308-4136-3
IVP Praxis
Reviewed by Clint Walker

Don't let the cover fool you. When I read the title and looked at the cover of this book, I wondered for a brief moment if it was a book for Bible-believing Christian churches, or if it was some syncretism of eastern spirituality and Christian teaching. However, after spending a few minutes looking through this book I discovered that this is a great new book, deserving to be in church libraries and pastor's desks across the country.

The word "mantra" has been adopted into the English lexicon decades ago. In religious practice, it was a word or phrase that was repeated to aid in an experience of the divine. In our modern time, it is a slogan or a truism. Briggs and Hyatt use the term to speak of slogans and proverbs that are easily remembered and memorized with summarize truths of life and ministry for churches and church leaders.

The book is divided into several sets of sayings. The topics of the mantras range from teaching stewardship to placing one's attention in the right place while offering pastoral care. Each slogan has a brief teaching and explanation of its meaning. I think the book could be read in bite size chunks, or read in fewer sittings. I recommend both however. Read it all the way through, then use certain sayings at certain times, re-reading the book like a devotional, perhaps sharing in meetings that require a devotional thought or two.

I will have this book on my desk and in my bag for a while, pondering the words that are said.


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