*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
An all new revised and expanded edition of Discipleship Essentials: A Guide to Building Your Life in Christ by Greg Ogden was published last month. This contains over 25 studies that were designed for groups of three, but can be done as an individual, one-on-one, or in small groups. This is a great tool for new and old believers alike.
When I first read there were 25 studies, I thought this would be a gargantuan book, but it’s less than 300 pages. This book is broken up into four parts: Growing up in Christ, Understanding the Message of Christ, Becoming Like Christ, and Serving Christ. Each chapter covers Core Truth (a topic each chapter is built around), a memory verse, and inductive Bible study, and a contemporary reading section with questions. I like how most of the reading sections had a book recommendation for further reading on that topic.
Each Core Truth includes a question and an answer. For example, chapter one says:
“What is discipling?
Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip and challenge one another in love to grow towards maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to make disciples who make disciples.”
Afterwards, there are some questions asking to identify key words or phrases in the question and answer, and to state their meaning in your own words. Then you’re asked to write down any questions or issues you have.
Next, you have a memory verse and study guide. To get the full context of your memory verse, you’re asked to read a chapter or section, then you write the memory verse down, and answer some questions.
The next section is an inductive Bible study where you read some verses or a chapter. I found that it was easier to answer the questions after reading the reading section… which is 3-5 pages long, and includes even more questions! Overall, each chapter has ~20 question that will definitely provide a long and deep group discussion.
The space for writing your answers is about an inch or so. Because I write fairly large, I used a notebook. The paper is thick enough to use a pen instead of a pencil, if you like living dangerously.
An example of some of the questions are:
“What does Paul mean when he writes that ‘the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children?'”
“How does God satisfy his justice and mercy?”
“What does it mean that the righteousness of God ‘has been made known’ apart from the law?”
At the end of the book is an appendix on building a discipleship ministry and a leader’s guide. If you’ve never heard of this book and you’re looking for something to do with your church, small group, or even a family devotional, check this out! It’s really fantastic.