Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: NavPress (September 15, 2016)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #297,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #195 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Church Growth #65731 in Books > Religion & Spirituality
In the culture that Jesus called his disciples to follow him there wasn't much confusion on what that looked like. Discipleship or apprenticeship was very much apart of their religious culture. It wasn't an odd ask. If you think about American church culture, discipleship is an odd ask for many of our churches. What the American church desperately needs is to reclaim a culture of discipleship. For that to happen we don't really need new content, or curriculum. Others have argued that we are actually educated beyond our level of obedience. What we need is a game-plan, a framework of how to reproduce the life and teachings of Jesus.That is what is refreshing about Alan Brigg's new book "Guardrails." He understands that discipleship is holistic and that it is relational. Therefore, discipleship isn't a class you graduate and it will look different from person to person. So instead of pushing curriculum he is offering a framework that reflects the way Jesus walked with folks. These are principles that he refers to as "guardrails" things that don't box us in but keep us on track. Structure and creativity aren't at odds. We must have a biblical and Christ-like framework for how we help others follow Jesus. I have talked with several folks who have the passion, they have been fired up by the great commission of Jesus to make disciples but they don't know how to do it. Discipleship isn't a part of our culture and they simply have never been discipled themselves. Briggs tries and give some guardrails to all those who are passionate but aren't sure where they are headed. Alan contributes strongly to a growing voice within the church that is seeking to bring our focus back to the main thing - Jesus.
"Guardrails" is a book to help inspire and encourage people to create and find the right type of discipleship program. It helps people to discern whether they are stuck on "The Spiritual Activity Track" (Busyness Without Transformation) or "The Process to Programs" (Transformation Yielding Activity). It also helps people to try to find and be accountable to other people for discipleship. It describes what makes a good discipleship group/program, such as agreeing to go to all meetings (except during times that can't be helped, like when going out of town). It also encourages leaders to make other leaders in the groups so they won't fall apart if the main leaders have to miss any meetings. I think I could also see places in the book where there was some one-on-one discipleship experiences discussed.One thing that really got my attention in this book was the part that described "The Cycle of Religious Enslavement", which shows a diagram about how when we are forced to try harder it puts us in a cycle that eventually causes us to give up and have other negative feelings. I am a person that likes to be guided step by step so when I am rushed through a process without even going through step one I get very frustrated. I think I have been held back because of some people trying to push me too hard spiritually.One thing I really have struggled with in congregations is being an onlooker/outsider on the sidelines when people are off participating in classes, going on field trips and congregational trips, and participating in potlucks. A lot of it happened during a time in my life I could barely afford to buy anything extra (like even a pencil for myself or anybody else).
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