Bobby and Chad Harrington review Real Life Discipleship by Jim Putman to help you decide whether to use it for your group.
In this post, I review Jim Putman’s book Real Life Discipleship with Bobby Harrington, CEO of discipleship.org and renew.org. Bobby is going to give you the main message of the book, his three biggest takeaways, and how you could use this book in discipleship groups.
Bobby Harrington: I want to encourage everybody with this book. I think it’s clear, easy to understand, and you’ll find it very helpful for all the details.
The main message of this book is that people grow through phases. If you understand those phases, you can help those people grow.
Bobby’s Three Biggest Takeaways from Real Life Discipleship
1. Phases of Discipleship
This book helps you understand the different phases of discipleship. What is a spiritual infant? What is a spiritual child? What is a spiritual young adult? And what is a parent?
A lot of people know that that’s in the Bible, but they don’t really understand it super well.
2. Helping Someone Become a Spiritual Parent
This book helps you understand what it takes for somebody to grow from being a spiritual young adult into a spiritual parent.
This is especially important for a group of leaders to understand while working through this book. These spiritual young adults are often the people who usually do the ministry and work at a church.
But in the North American culture, most of them don’t grow to the point where they become spiritual parents. Real Life Discipleship is really good at helping you see how to go from being a spiritual young adult to a spiritual parent.
3. Being a Spiritual Parent Yourself
This book is also helpful for wrapping our minds around what it means to be a spiritual parent yourself. In the eyes of God, spiritual parenthood is such a great thing.
How to Use Real Life Discipleship With Your Group
This book is really volume one of a two volume set. The second volume is the workbook, which is great for small groups.
The best use of this book is just to read it. This is the kind of book that you would have your leaders at a church read through to understand the basic concepts. You could have your team read through it, or you could have the leadership at your church read through it.
It’s the kind of thing you read through for understanding. And there’s great value in that. You can read through it for understanding and have some conversations around the four concepts, and it will really help everybody.
Vital Information About Real Life Discipleship for Groups
- Chapter Count? 15 chapters
- Weeks of Study? 15–17 weeks
- Recommended size of group? 4–12 people
- Age of target audience? Adult
- Gender specific? No
- Reader difficulty? 4 out of 10
- Appropriate for New Believers? No
- What level of maturity does Real Life Discipleship assume? It assumes that readers are wanting to grow as disciples and make other disciples either now or in the future.
- Discussion questions in the book? Yes
- Homework required? Yes
- Video series available? No
Theology of Real Life Discipleship
- Theological red flags? No
- Denominationally specific content? No
- Author’s preferred Bible translation? NIV
- Publisher? Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2010
What Can Real Life Discipleship Accomplish for Your Group?
- Helps you reexamine your methods of discipleship
- Reveals a new vision for what the church can be
- Challenges how you create disciples
- Helps you create a culture of discipleship
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