Transformational Discipleship

Gieger/Kelly/Nation 2012


This book is a collaborative effort that relies on research done by the lifeway research team and the pew organization. The describe discipleship as something which occurs in various levels, and to various degrees. They look for a “sweet spot” which is visualized as the intersection of three circles on a ven diagram. The first set of circles represents the truth framework. These circles are identified as the gospel, identity and discipline. Truth is communicated from all three aspects. The second set of circles represents posture. These circles are identified as weakness, interdependent and outward. When all three types of postures are working together the “sweet spot” is achieved. Strangely they only list two aspects of the third part: leaders. The two are leaders and transformed disciple. While the book is helpful in identifying a concept of a “sweet spot” where maximum growth occurs (in a descriptive sense), the framework of the book feels forced. One example of how the framework feels forced is the way in which part one is structured. Gospel seems to be the source of one’s identity, so it seems odd that the authors break the two apart in describing influences of truth in one’s life. On the other hand, it seems that a minister can take notice of whether or not a person exhibits characteristics of all three of these influences of truth as a way of figuring out spiritual maturity. Then, the minister can take notice of the “posture” circles to see if a person truly shows potential for growth. Then, one can evaluate the leader’s role in some way – one that is not entirely clear in this book. While the book is mildly helpful, it certainly isn’t worth keeping in one’s library. While the book does not intend to describe a model for discipleship, it does attempt to describe how to achieve transformational discipleship. Unfortunately it does not clearly accomplish its stated purpose.

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