Real-life Discipleship by Jim Putnam provides an overview of Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho. Their whole church centers around making disciples…moving people from spiritually dead to spiritual infants to spiritual young adults to spiritual parents. Each category of people has specific needs. This paradigm helps them to be intentional and thorough in their disciple-making. The book explains each category and gives some ideas of what that group may need in terms of teaching. The pastor is adament that gaining knowledge is only a small part of growing as a disciple. Real growth will happen through real life experiences. In their small groups (this church has over 700 of them), all of them use Bible story-telling as the curriculum for their small groups.
Overall this book was a good overview. I think for churches who are looking for a really basic schema to get them started, this may be something to get them started. This overview leaves lots of the details out, which is great, because those details would be ones that specific church leadership should come up with on their own. The chapter I liked best was the one that discussed the characteristics and needs of spiritual young adults. I think that’s where most “leaders” are in the church, especially ones my age, and it was helpful in pointing out some weaknesses that we may have.
p.s. I received this book free from NavPress through their book bloggers program- thank you!