Book Review: Discipleship Essentials By Greg Ogden

15 Jun

I have used this workbook with men one on one; in a triad; and in a group of four. In all three groups the participants have enjoyed the study, the group time, and have gone on to make more disciples by using the book to disciple others. As a pastor and life Coach I have used this tool for a few years now, and still think it’s the best tool to get Christians together and grounded in the Christian basics – theologically, philosophically, and with a Christo-centric focus for all of life.

In Ogden’s own words he says he designed this discipleship workbook as a tool to accomplish these three elements to create a climate for the Holy Spirit to bring accelerated growth:

1)    “The first element is the unchanging truth of God’s word” (each chapter contains a core truth based on a memory verse, and includes an inductive bible study with discussion questions based on the passage for study, discussion, and application).

2)    “The second element in the Holy Spirit’s laboratory is transparent relationships…Transformation occurs when we grapple with the truth of God’s Word in the context of transparent relationships. It is a biblical axiom that the Holy Spirit will have free sway in our lives to the extent to which we open ourselves up to one another. Honesty with God is not sufficient. We give God permission to reshape our lives when we risk self-evaluation and confession to others. We can’t grow in Christ by ourselves. We are people made for community” (each chapter has a selected reading after the inductive Bible study on the topic of discussion – these selections are short and very good).

3)    “The third element that creates the climate for transformation is mutual accountability…Accountability means giving your discipling partners authority to call you to keep the commitments you have made to one another.”

The book includes 25 Chapters and takes about 2-4 hours to work through between the lesson and discussion time (it goes faster if everyone works on their lesson first – my recommendation). Here is how the lessons are arranged:

Part One: Growing Up In Christ (C1 Making Disciples; C2 Being a Disciple; C3 Quiet Time; C4 Bible Study; C5 Prayer; and C6 Worship)

Part Two: Understanding the Message of Christ (C7 The Three-Person God; C8 Made in God’s Image; C9 Sin; C10 Grace; C11 Redemption; C12 Justification; C13 Adoption)

Part Three: Becoming Like Christ (C14 Filled with the Holy Spirit; C15 Fruit of the Holy Spirit; C16 Trust; C17 Love; C18 Justice; C19 Witness)

Part Four: Serving Christ (C20 The Church; C21 Ministry Gifts; C22 Spiritual Warfare; C23 Walking in Obedience; C24 Sharing the Wealth; C25 Money – and the Appendix on Building a Discipleship Ministry)

In meeting with several different groups (and counting) I have found all three of the above elements taking place. This book fosters deep theological discussion, fosters healthy accountability, and leads to numerous new Christ-like habits that benefit the individuals in the discipleship group, and the lives that they touch on a daily basis.

I think out of all the resources that I have used over the last 25 years of discipleship making that this is the best I’ve used. I highly recommend it.

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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Book Reviews, Discipleship


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