Read Brandon Guindon’s review of The Discipleship Gospel by Bill Hull and Ben Sobels to help you decide about using it for your group.
In this post, Brandon Guindon and I review The Discipleship Gospel by Bill Hull and Ben Sobels. You’ll get the main message of the book, Brandon’s three biggest takeaways, and vital information about using this book in a group.
Brandon Guindon is the author of Disciple-Making Culture, among other discipleship books, and he is the lead pastor of Real Life Texas. His church has helped plant many other churches in various areas.
It’s a book that challenges leaders of the church to really examine how the church in America has divorced the gospel of Jesus Christ from the methodology of Christ. It challenges us to examine how damaging that that has been.
So The Discipleship Gospel brings the process — the methodology of disciple making — back to what the intent of the gospel always was. And you can’t separate those two things.
Bill and Ben do a great job of identifying what problems that causes in the church. But also, they give a solution of what it can look like when we realize that discipleship should never have been separated from the gospel and when we bring the two back together.
Discipleship and the gospel are intimately woven together, and I love it.
The Bonhoeffer Project is the organization that Bill Hull founded later in his life. What they talk about at The Bonhoeffer Project and use in their whole training process is the idea that upstream theology leads downstream to discipleship. In other words, you’ve got to check your gospel to see if it leads to discipleship.
The main message of the book: This book is about bringing disciple making back to what the intent of the gospel always was.
Three Big Takeaways
Brandon Guindon offers his three biggest takeaways from The Discipleship Gospel.
1. A Common Definition
I think the first thing that I’ve taken from this book is the concept of coming up with a definition of the gospel. Just this Sunday I used the definition of the gospel. The encouragement to come up with a clear definition was helpful to our church.
2. Not Veering Off Course
The second thing that I took away from the book is to really make sure that we are not doing things in our church that would divorce the methodology of Christ and the process of disciple making from the gospel. This book has been able to help us make sure that is not happening and that we are staying on course.
3. A Tool for the Whole Church
This book has been a great tool for us as a leadership to utilize with our small group leaders, and really to use in communication with our church. It’s helped us to imbed throughout the culture of our church how important the gospel is, how important Jesus’ methodology is, and how to bring those two things together.
We often talk about this quote from Dallas Willard: “The gospel you preach will determine the disciples that you make.” That’s common language in our church, and our people understand how those two things go together.
How to Use The Discipleship Gospel With Your Group
We read this together as a staff, and we discussed it at a staff level several years ago. I also took the book and had all of my elders read it; we read it and talked through it together. So those were two venues that we used.
Then I’ve had elders and staff take their volunteer leaders through reading the book and also using the workbook. So those two things together have been powerful tools.
Vital Information About The Discipleship Gospel for Groups
- Chapter Count? 15 chapters
- Weeks of Study? 3–15 weeks
- Recommended size of group? 8–12 people
- Age of target audience? Adult
- Gender specific? No
- Reader difficulty? 6 out of 10
- Appropriate for New Believers? Yes
- What level of maturity does The Discipleship Gospel assume? This book assumes that readers want to better understand the gospel and not necessarily stick with what they’ve assumed it is.
- Discussion questions in the book? No
- Homework required? Yes
- Video series available? No
Theology of The Discipleship Gospel
- Theological red flags? No
- Denominationally specific content? No
- Author’s preferred Bible translation? NLT
- Publisher? Nashville, TN: HIM Publications, 2018
What can The Discipleship Gospel accomplish for your group?
- Challenges the church today with a fresh reading of Jesus’ gospel
- Defines seven essential elements of Jesus’ gospel and why you must include each one in your gospel if you want to make disciples, not just converts
- Helps you clarify your understanding of the gospel
- Teaches you how to contextualize your message
- Helps you create a plan to make disciples who embrace the full gospel
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