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Equipping Your Reimagine Journey

c. 1984/2004 (20th Anniversary Edition with Leader's Guide, Baker Books.

Bill Hull writes with years of experience under his belt.  He has lived out his mission to return the church to its discipleship roots as a pastor and as a leader of an independent parachurch organization, T-Net International.  He is both a writer and speaker.  Jesus Christ Disciple Maker is perhaps his best known work on the subject of discipleship.  The 20th Anniversary edition, not only offers his insights on building discipleship within your church, but a leader's guide developed by Randall Knutson which can be used to educate and bring the leadership of your church on board when implementing the discipleship process in your church.

Hull's model is based on his observations of Jesus' interaction and development of the 12 disciples in the Gospel of John.  He divides this process into four parts:  Come and See, Come and Follow Me, Come and Be With Me, and finally, Remain in Me.  After describing and explaining the significance of each of these phases, he concludes the section with practical principles and suggestions that can be applied and adapted to your particular church.

Hull's experiences are woven throughout the text.  He offers insights from his successes and failures.  He also includes Scripture references and examples, highlighting Jesus and his relationship with the disciples.  Perhaps the most striking aspect of Hull's work is his observation that discipleship is not a program, but a process.  Part One (Come and See) is a look at the beginning stages of discipleship and includes chapters entitled Eyes That Begin to See and Creative Persuasion.  Part Two (Come and Follow Me) looks at the second phase of discipleship and how you and your church can continue to develop today's disciples with chapters like Confirmation of the Call and Our Spiritual Bonding Force.  Part Three (Come and Be With Me) moves the disciple further along in their committment to Jesus in It Is For Life and Becoming More Like the Master.  Part Four (Remain In Me) brings the discipleship process full circle in the final chapters, The Character of a Leader and United With God.  In these chapters the disciple is now discipling others in the manner he/she has been discipled.  The book concludes with the Leader's Study Guide, a three part "workshop" which pastors, elders, deacons, and ministry leaders can take Hull's material and measure it against what is already functioning within the church's ministries.  The guide is divided into an Introduction (The Difference Between Philosophy and Strategy), Part One (Developing Structural Insights), Part Two (Building a Biblical Foundation) and Part Three (Developing Your Own Plan) with activities which you can do as a group or individually.

There are many useful discipleship models available in print today.  The strength of Hull's model is that it does not require you to discontinue what has already begun in your church.  Rather it can be used as a means to improve how you and your congregation grow in faith and live it out in this world.  The use of this model will demonstrate that there is no hierarchy of important ministries and less important ministries in your church.  Each ministry is a necessary step in the discipleship process and each person plays a part in the work of Jesus Christ whether they are a new disciple or a seasoned one.  I highly recommend it.

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Great job, Ann. Thanks for following through on this and creating a wonderful book review for our members.

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