This title is the second I've read by Gordon MacDonald, and I was so impressed that it certainly won't be my last. MacDonald approaches discipleship from a different perspective than most would do -- discipleship is not found in greater effectiveness for ministry, but in greater purpose for living. He doesn't tell the reader how to do what he/she is doing better, but to discover WHY it is being done. MacDonald calls believers to search their hearts, seeking godliness above busyness. This book is an excellent read for all Christians, but especially for church leaders and pastors. I recommend it highly.
I must first say I have only read the edition printed in 1985-1985 version ISBN#0-7852-7161-9. It's content is deep, reflective, serious, and honest. It looks over things very carefully, incredibly important though subtle things-integral for the person who takes their Christian walk seriously, or wishes to. I was hesitant about the journaling section, and sometimes he gets a little bit over fanatical about time management. But gets back on track and makes a lot of ground in what is a fairly small book. Lot's of meat in this book. Digest this book slowly. I have found it is really good regarding the topics of keeping ones priorities straight in worshipping, and studying the Lord, and prayer, and basically your life. The addressing of prayer in the book was very helpful to me. It does seem written towards men, from a man, so that was incredibly helpful. It's down to earth, and "let's get down quickly and talk about what needs to be talked about" is great. No fluffing around. Again, possibly only this version. Seems many books written in the 1980's have a lot of substance comparatively to these days. In my opinion it's a great book, for anyone who wants to look deeper into their spiritual devotion, intensity, regardless of lay or a paid church worker, and maintain it. It would be really valuable for church leaders to read and study together. It offers you the opportunity for clear, focused, Godly internal communion, encouraging that, and honing with sharpness the things that are needed and cutting those that take away, beyond values, in depth values, pretty simply too. Organization, prioritization, taking one's spiritual life seriously, and valuing and respecting one's personal time with God, ordering your private world, might help you find the order you've been craving, the inner peaceful paradise you've since lost, and the peace that passes understanding you've been missing or never experienced as your inner, private world gets orderly.