Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
About the Reviewer: Intrigued by discipleship for years and impacted by a small group ministry, I am now, at age 54, back in school to frame up my thoughts on the subject and practical tools for discipleship. I entered vocational ministry in 1999 as a minister of education and later responded to a call in the role of senior pastor in a First Baptist Church on the coast of NC with 350 attending worship. I serve today as an interim pastor in a small town Baptist church while in school.
Title: Every Disciple’s Journey: Following Jesus to a God-Focused Faith
Author: Thomas R. Steagald
Publisher/Copyright: NavPress, 2007
About the Book:
The stated goal of Every Disciple's Journey is “to reach, disciple, and equip people to know Christ and make Him known by publishing life-related materials that are biblically rooted and culturally relevant.” The book certainly accomplishes this aim.
Steagold’s message is aimed at disciples of Jesus who are journeying from a “self-centered faith” toward a “God-centered” faith. His premise is that many methods of discipleship in the church fall short of a connected and comprehensive gospel to equip the disciple fully. The author offers a solution to this challenge by suggesting a program based upon the Church Year. In this way, he hopes to also offer a journey for the reader through insight into the Scripture and strengthening of a heartfelt faith that is lived authentically.
Steagold stays on task as he reviews the titanium story of Jesus in light of the Christian year. He acknowledges that he “cannot tell every story every time.” However, he suggests there is a benefit in the larger sweeping story of Jesus life as “we will not so easily caricature the One who’s Story we attempt to tell.”
The author writes with the assumption that many of his readers may not be aware of the Church calendar, and he offers explanations of the seasons as he goes. Helpful to the reader are his refreshing approaches to the text and examples of worship that he has used in a “memoir” style of writing. In his mix, he often includes the theologian, patristic fathers, and historical personalities and events, which give depth to his teaching.
This book is a handy book for the lay person or those new to using the Christian calendar as a resource for preaching and teaching in pursuit of making disciples. The book’s structure lends itself to small group studies complete with suggested responses. Particularly, those communities of faith already invested in the Christian calendar should find this an excellent teaching tool. For the seasoned Christian and church leaders, the book is a quick read and is a refreshing look at the Christian Calendar and perhaps one that inspires invention for retelling the great story again.Every
I had not really considered this before, but with my background of being a member of a Methodist church for awhile before becoming a Southern Baptist, there was much more an emphasis on the church calendar in the Methodist church. Different colors were used for different seasons of the church calendar which was quite nice to help one reflect upon the life of Christ. It was always special to see the draping of the cross at Easter. Maybe some Baptist churches do this also.