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Awakenings can be wonderful, but the ones in this book are startling. Church no longer seems relevant or helpful--or even good--to many people, so they are leaving (or not even bothering to show up). Many of those who make it to Sunday service are biblically illiterate, lack commitment to evangelism and mission, and have a shallow faith.
In a study commissioned by The Navigators, the Barna Group has confirmed some of our deepest concerns. Preston Sprinkle offers the evidence in Go, along with practical solutions that Jesus employed with his earliest followers and that we can use too. Those disciple-making tactics still work today and are deeply needed to fulfill the great commission.
Number of Pages: 192
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 1.00 X 1.00 X 1.00 (inches)|
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Drawing on a 2015 Barna Group study of the state of discipleship in the United States commissioned by The Navigators, bestselling author Preston Sprinkle provides a holistic, biblical response for discipleship, providing accessible tools for all those who are engaged in making Christ-followers in the 21st century. Sprinkle points pastors, church leaders, and frankly, all Christ-followers, to a discipleship that is responsive to this most current research and accountable to the model of Jesus and his earliest followers, who counted making disciples as their most important work.
In an extremely practical fashion, Go helps us to discern, from the Scriptures and from exemplary disciple-making ministries, what discipleship is and is not, what it has become and what it can still be.
contemplativereflections4 Stars Out Of 5Book Review: GoSeptember 23, 2016contemplativereflectionsQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0In "Go," Preston Sprinkle addresses the topic of discipleship in the context of contemporary American Christianity. Based on a 2015 survey compiled by the Barna group, the author hopes to dig deeper into what he sees as a lack of authentic Christian discipleship today. Sprinkle suggests that the result of ineffective discipleship has led to major declines in church attendance and mature believers. In each chapter, the author analyzes how traditional approaches are failing to grow believers in different areas such as Bible literacy, missions, and relationship building. For example, in chapter 6, Sprinkle points out that the absence of adequate biblical knowledge results in stunted spiritual growth that will inevitably lead to the departure of disoriented church members. In chapters 8 and 9, the author challenges readers to rethink the structure of their church and what steps can be taken to simplify such as reducing unnecessary budget items in order to use those funds to reach out to those who would never dream of entering a church building. Thus, the underlying theme of the book is that current discipleship models are much too stringent, inflexible, and unwelcoming to allow for vibrant discipleship and community to take place. The author agrees that even some megachurches can do well in growing its people but states that the vast majority of American churches are falling short in building up its members and fostering a loving community.
One point though that I find somewhat disconcerting is the author's heavy reliance on the Barna group survey to draw broad conclusions that may not be necessarily true of the highly varied American church landscape. Every research methodology has its strengths and weaknesses thus using a single survey's data with limited external support may result in establishing conclusions that would easily corroborate with the book's premise. I am not suggesting that all of what Sprinkle points out is untrue but I am proposing that a better approach may have been including greater dialogue and interaction with a wider collection of research data, opinions, and observations to form a more informed analysis. Christianity in America consists of a plethora of churches with different historical, socio-economical, and cultural variances. Thus a more encompassing analysis of the data would help make the author's claims more convincing.
I would recommend this book to Christians eager to reflect on how genuine discipleship can take place in their churches. Although the author tends to paint with a broad brush, his observations are thought-provoking and will challenge readers to re-evaluate their own understanding of what Christian discipleship and community should look like. Moreover, there are many ideas and suggestions that could serve as useful templates to engage those who are uncomfortable with the typical American church context. The advice and suggestions given are practical and actionable allowing readers to think more deeply and creatively about how discipleship is being addressed in their own church community. Despite the many discipleship methods we may use, the crucial point is that we remain committed to make disciples of all nations not on our own ability but through the power of the Holy Spirit and Scripture.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a book review.
pastor2519West Point, UTAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Discipleship: it's more than a pew with your name on itSeptember 1, 2016pastor2519West Point, UTAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5There is more to Christianity than going to church on Sunday and perhaps attending a midweek Bible Study, book study or small group. That's not to say that one needs to be busy all the time, being so busy working for the Lord, that relationships with Jesus and with others get pushed to the side. Preston Sprinkle in Go: Returning Discipleship to the Front Lines of Faith (NavPress, 2016) addresses the issue of discipleship from a fresh approachone that many pew happy Christians need to hear.
We are called to be full-time Christians. The idea that the professionals are the only ones expected to do the work that Jesus called all Christians to do (Remember Matt 28:18-20 or Acts 1:8)
For me the book starts rather slow, but after the first couple of chapters things picked up, there were interesting stories of how discipleship can, should, and DOES work. By the end of the book I was disappointed that there weren't a few more chapters.
Apart from the early slowness, this is a fascinating book, full of personal and scriptural examples of what it means to be a disciple, and by the way "to be a Christian is to be a disciple, and to be a disciple is to be on mission."
Sprinkle has a knack for tying together the different aspects of discipleship: relationships, loving and serving God and others. It's more than how many verses you have memorized or how often you're attending a bible study or church service. It's how you share Jesus with the world.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review.
MichaelIndian Trail, NCAge: 45-54Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5GoAugust 29, 2016MichaelIndian Trail, NCAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4"Go" by Preston Sprinkle is a good title about the effectiveness of today's discipleship in the local church. The title is around 180 pages and covers topics such as:
1. 4 ways grace based discipleship helps us become more like Jesus.
2. Jesus spent more time with small groups of people instead of addressing large crowds.
3. The Christian faith is a communal faith.
4. Many believers keep their spiritual lives private because they haven't experienced true community.
5. Many churches fall short of creating community.
6. See the gospel as affecting all areas of life.
7. Suggestions for improving the quality of discipleship.
The book is very readable and smoothly transitions from topic to topic. I would have liked to have seen more "how to". For example, the author does mention some at the end of the book:
1. Evaluate where the church budget dollars are going.
2. Evaluating church programs' effectiveness in producing real disciples.
3. Instead of producing expensive events try doing some simple gatherings where true ministry takes place (meals, enjoyable activity, etc.) where the emphasis is more on doing life together instead of just doing Bible studies.
4. And some others.
While the suggestions are good (have tried them and they do work) I would like to see even more of the book devoted to strategies. I've noticed that many Christian books I've read lately are long on exhortations and short on how to. Still, "Go" is a good read.
I received a review copy from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review.