Five Great Discipling Resources
By Pastor Mike Matheson
If we want to be a healthy church, one of the things we must focus on is discipleship: growing in Christ and helping others to grow in Christ. One of the best ways to do that is simple: read through a good Christian book and get together with another Christian and talk about it. Here are five great places to start:
1. What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert. Want to grow in Christ? We need to begin by having a very clear understanding of the gospel – the good news about what God has done for us in Christ. Are you able to articulate the gospel? Can you discern what the gospel is and what the gospel isn’t? Can you explain the gospel to someone else or preach it to yourself? This resource from 9Marks is a great place to begin by getting clear on the gospel. 130 pages.
2. Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne Grudem. Do you know the core doctrines of the Christian faith? Do you know the difference between justification and sanctification? This book is a great short, simple and accessible introduction to the basics of the Christian faith in twenty chapters with a few discussion questions at the end of each one. The Trinity, the atonement, election and the return of Christ are among the topics. 160 pages.
3. God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts. This is practically a must-read for all Christians. Do you know how the bible is put together? What are the covenants that God has made with his people? What is the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament? This great little book answers those questions in a clear, helpful way, all the while showing how the entire bible tells one unified story and that whole story points us to Jesus. 160 pages.
4. Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins we Tolerate by Jerry Bridges. This resource helps us to look inward at the sin that remains in our hearts. Many of those sins, like anger, pride, or even gossip, are often considered “minor” so we give them a pass. But discipleship means experiencing transformation in these areas as well. A discussion guide and small group curriculum can also be purchased, making it a great resource for Life Groups. 192 pages.
5. Knowing God by J.I. Packer. Written to both sharpen our minds and warm our hearts, this is one of the most influential books in evangelical Christianity. Packer helps us not just to know more about God, but to know God, deeply and personally, as he has revealed himself in Scripture and through his Son, Jesus Christ. This is probably my favorite book and I try to read it every year. 286 pages.
Listen to Pastor Mike’s recent sermon, Discipleship in the Local Church.