Bring Back Discipling

Tommy Nelson | May 23, 2016

Discipleship has never been in vogue. Maybe that’s because discipleship takes time, and we are driven by the urgent. This is why Mark Dever’s new book on discipleship in the local church, Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus, is so necessary.

What I look for in any book on discipleship is simplicity. Too often authors make discipleship too sophisticated. They make it more than what it actually is: the natural process of life between a more mature Christian and a younger one who longs to grow in Christ. Dever’s book, though, is straightforward and clear.

The book is made up of three sections covering the definition of discipleship, where it occurs, and how it occurs.

Made to Disciple

Dever, who serves as senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and president of 9Marks, argues that we either influence others or are influenced by others. All of us, in a sense, are discipling or being discipled. And true Christian discipleship is deliberate and unapologetic in its goal: to change others. Additionally, as a creature made in God’s image, man is created for others. Being involved in the lives of others is a natural and normal part of the human experience. We are made to disciple.

Discipleship is toil. It can be painful, disappointing, and downright humiliating. Paul uses words like “labor,” “agony,”…

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