Book Review: The Disciple-Making Pastor

This book (although with a new cover and updated) by Bill Hull caught my eye at a recent conference. Discipleship not conversion is the biggest challenge of our day, how to produce a church of people that don’t merely give assent to Christ as their Saviour but follow Him as Lord. Across 9 chapters and 300 pages Bill Hull works through the issue of disciple making. The book was first published in 1988 and in this revised and expanded edition we have the original text plus ‘further reflections’ from Bill,…

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Bonhoeffer: on the cross

“The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every person must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is the dying of the old person which is the result of our encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death – we give over our lives to death.” This is quite different from many altar calls I have heard. ‘You have sinned, God can forgive you – be guilt free’ but what Bonhoeffer…

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Generous Going

In the final part of my January series on discipleship I talked about Generous Going, following on from Discipleship, Generous Living, and Generous Giving (follow the links for the audios – except for the giving talk, not sure what happened there but we lost the recording. Shame) There’s an initiative that is based in the community of the trinity that takes us beyond ourselves to include others and draw them into the love of God for humanity. For us this draws us into the mess of human lives, the joys,…

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Get Saved

This is the third in my series of posts on the book ‘UnChristian: What a new generation really thinks about Christianity..and why it matters’ (see here and here for earlier posts). The second major complaint is that “Christians are insincere and concerned only with converting others” (Chapter 4, pages 67-90) and have a reputation similar to that of the Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses. In effect we don’t really care about people. The author then explores a number of myths and misconceptions Christians hold about effective evangelism. The best evangelism efforts…

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Where should Generosity flow from?

Last Sunday I preached from Colossians 2:6-7 on growing in Christ. In my understanding growing in Christ is what discipleship is about, it is about obeying Christ and following Christ. That has led me to freshly reflect on the two greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” If I love God with all that I have, if I love people as I love myself then how…

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Discipleship implies community

I preached about church on Sunday from Colossians (listen here) and a few things have struck me since on further reflection. To love the church, to really love the body of Christ as Jesus does is to love others. To love God and to love your neighbour are intimately and intricately woven together. I didn’t bring that out as well as I could have done and it’s only really hitting me now. Secondly, this feeds into another train of thought that has been swirling around for a while, which is…

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