Discipleship is Messy…

-Book Four -Chapter Nineteen -Many years ago my wife and I went out to dinner with a visiting Presbyterian pastor and his wife. They had a couple children younger than ours, and the topic was brought up on how to reach the lost of this world for Christ. Without realizing I was broaching a subject […]

Discipleship Involves Earnest Love & Hospitality…

-Book Four -Chapter Eighteen -In the Apostle Peter’s first letter, he talks quite graphically of how those outside of the church live and what they, “want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same […]

When Disciples Need to be Rebuked…

-Book Four -Chapter Seventeen Growing up in an evangelical Christian community, I can’t count how many times I was chastised, corrected, rebuked, and reproached by my parents and the Christians around me. Of course, most of it I brought on myself, since I’ve always been a pretty miserable and regular sinner. Fortunately, I also have […]

Discipleship is For Misfits…

-Book Four -Chapter Sixteen -One of the early recollections I have of church sermons as a youth, was a message given by a pastor about the type of disciples that Jesus chose; instead of choosing men who were part of the popular crowd, Jesus literally chose young men at the bottom of Jewish society. There […]

Abandoning Retirement to Make Disciples…

-Book Four -Chapter Eleven -For nearly twenty years, Pastor Pohly made an indelible mark on my life. Though he was fifty-two years older than me, I could never imagine wanting to spend time with someone else, more, than I wanted to spend time with him when he was alive. I was sixteen when I met […]

Disciples Need Room to Roam…

-Book Four -Chapter Ten -One of the more dramatic moments during the night that Jesus was betrayed, occurred when Peter drew his sword and struck the ear of the high priest’s servant. Of all the disciples, Peter was often the most outspoken and first to put his foot in his mouth. Rather than upset Jesus, […]

True Discipleship is Immersed in the Culture

-Book Four -Chapter Nine -I’ve made a habit of regularly visiting Latin America throughout my adult life. In those travels I’ve learned a LOT about how different people are from one another across the globe. Just as Americans who live in the rural South are vastly different than Americans who live in Urban Chicago where […]

When Christian Children are the Disciples of Pagans..

-Book Four -Chapter Seven -Many years ago, as a young twenty-something about to have his first child, I spent a lot of time considering what God’s word had to say to parents about how to raise their children. No other text in holy writ influenced me more than the Shema Yisrael in the book of […]

Discipleship Immersed in Community…

-Book Four -Chapter Six -Throughout my life I’ve met a lot of Christian families who have moved away from the cities in America and moved far into the country. These parents have literally told me, their decision was based on getting away from “the people of this world” and raising their children in a safer […]

That Time The Discipleship Movement Failed…

-Book Four -Chapter Five -After my parents moved our family from Chicago to Michigan in the 1980’s, my parents became involved in a church that was connected to what was nationally known as “The Discipleship Movement” (also called “The Shepherding Movement”). The Discipleship Movement was an ecumenical group of Christians comprised of Roman Catholics, Lutherans, […]