I am excited that David & Paul Watson’s book is finally available entitled Contagious Disciple Making. Their material has helped to shape our work, particularly in East Africa, for years.
The first part of the book lays out some key principles for seeing the Gospel multiplied (the mind-set of a disciple-maker) while the second part of the book outlines practical strategies and practices.
Here are a few key thoughts from the book:
Disciple-makers deculturalize, not contextualize the Gospel.
The role of the cross-cultural worker is to deculturalize the Gospel—presenting the Gospel without commentary, but with the question, “How will we obey what God has said?” If it’s not in the Bible, don’t introduce it to the culture.
Disciple-makers plant the Gospel rather than reproduce their religion.
We must never equate religion and spirituality. Religion is about how we do church. Spirituality is about how we live out our relationship with God and people in such a way that we, our families, and our communities are transformed. Lost people are mostly repulsed by religion but inexplicably drawn to spiritual men and women.
Disciple-makers realize how hard completing the Great Commission will be for strategies and organizations built around branded Christianity.
What we realize, however, is that organizations that promote a particular brand of Christianity will have difficulty completing the Great Commission.
Disciple-makers realize the structure of the community determines the strategy used to make disciples.
If you believe in only one brand of church, or if you are familiar with only a few different brands of church and allow these tool structures to determine your tactics, then you will fail more often than succeed in disciple-making. Success will be found in creative and intentional diversity of tactics and churches.
Disciple-makers understand the importance of the priesthood of all believers.
The doctrine of the Priesthood of Believers is incredibly important to disciple-making. It affirms the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all believers; it affirms the ministry potential and responsibility of all believers; and it empowers all believers to function as needed for the church to minister to the people who are not a part of the body of Christ as well as those who are part of the body of Christ. This one doctrine opens the door and fuels the passion for any believer to be an apostle, prophet, evangelist (better understood as disciple-maker), and pastor/teacher. It moves Christianity from a profession to a lifestyle. It empowers the ordinary to do the extraordinary. It makes the church relevant and essential to a healthy community. And it appears that much of the modern church is throwing this doctrine out the door.
The practices of a disciple-maker are each discussed in relevant detail which I simply outline here:
- Thinking strategically and tactically about disciple-making
- Be a disciple who makes disciples
- Engage lost people
- Finding a person of peace
- Discovery groups
- Establishing churches
An excellent read and guidebook for unleashing today’s church throughout the world!
Categories for this post include house church, simple church, organic church