This is theology earthed in the real experience of life and ministry. Roger Waltonâ€s masterful survey of small group discipleship gives much needed and practical insights on how to form disciples in todayâ€s church.
Thoroughly researched and supported, yet accessible and applicable, Disciples Together is a vital resource for a church that sees its future in forming disciples through small groups. Iâ€m excited about how this book helps us to see a way forward that is not only driven by necessity but by theology â€" recognising that in the decline and exile of the church as it has been conceived there is a great opportunity for imagining and resourcing church as it was perhaps meant to be.
This book should be read by all Christian leaders who work with small groups. It is both inspiring and challenging and presents thorough research in an accessible style that makes reading each chapter a pleasure.
Having often lamented the small sizes of village congregations to which I often preached, I remember the shock when I really came home to me that there were no church buildings for about the first two centuries of Christianity, and that the typical churches of the New Testament period, like the dynamic(!) church in Corinth, probably met in a house which could hold no more than a few (that is, three or four) dozen. I recalled too that the most enriching and deeply-engaging experiences of exploring the actual realities of discipleship, of grappling with and growing in faith, have come in small Bible-study and discussion groups, mostly in homes. Which is why membership of a small group has always been integral to my wifeâ€s and my practice of discipleship. So I found Rogerâ€s book a breath of fresh air, so well informed on the reality of Christianityâ€s beginnings and times of renewal, drawing on what we might call lots of penetrating case studies, and drawing out the value and power of small groups in making real the body of Christ today. I wish I had been able to spend longer reflecting on what Roger has written (it sparked off so much reflection), but I have read enough and had time enough to know that this will be a challenging and inspirational book for many who are looking for a deeper depth of reality in their churchmanship and discipleship. I commend it most warmly and look forward to hearing good stories of its impact and benefit in â€˜building upâ€ (1 Cor. 14.26).