January 15, 2019

Simple Discipleship by Dana Allin

Discipleship can sound like a big complicated task - yet another item on your to-do list for spiritual growth. Rev Dr Dana Allin addresses this in Simple Discipleship, with the premise that discipleship does not have to be complicated, but standardized programs do not work for everyone.

I didn't think I would like this book. As soon as he mentioned “eight qualities and 21 supporting characteristics of a disciple”, I was concerned the book would overwhelm the reader, making general discipleship programs look very appealing compared to his customized one. However, covering different qualities and characteristics does show the big picture of discipleship and helps readers recognize where they may be lacking. 

The first two-thirds of the book are about the character, knowledge, mission and ministry and what that means for a disciple. The last third is related to the optional assessment and is helpful for those in church leadership who might need assistance in how to develop disciples in their church. (Note: I chose not to take the assessment because of the required information to do so). 

The majority of the book is useful for people who choose not to take the assessment. Readers will benefit from the description of principles they may want to practice in their lives. For example, one principle is that discipleship is about more than just taking in information. People need to apply what they learn rather than just learn about different qualities of a disciple. Regardless of one’s score on the assessment for this area, people can recognize if that statement applies to them, meaning they learn things but they don't actually do anything with what is learned. 

I enjoyed the book because Allin offer guidance that is practical and biblical. Readers who use the book for themselves can skip the last section for church leadership. Those in church leadership position might appreciate the guidance for working with church members and the assessment that gives them something to work with. 

 Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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