Book Review: The Gospel Centered Church by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester

A Fantastic Resource For Making Multiplying Disciples

 Veteran British church planters Steve Timmis and Tim Chester have put together a very helpful workbook for churches that desire to be more intentionally & strategically gospel driven. In three loaded sections this guide (suited ideally for discipleship, leadership teams, or small group’s of various kinds) covers six sessions on the Priority of Mission; six sessions on the Priority of People; and another six sessions on the Priority of Community and the last chapter which is on why “It’s all about the gospel.” This book is ideal as a workbook for church planting core groups, or churches that want to be more missional and multiplicational in their process of making and maturing disciples of Christ.

Each chapter stands alone and contains the following five sections:

Consider this – A scenario—often based on a real-life situation—which raises some kind of dilemma or frustration in gospel ministry.

Biblical background – A relevant Bible passage together with some questions to help you think it through.

Read all about it – A discussion of the principle, both in terms of its theological underpinning and its contemporary application.

Questions for reflection – Questions that can be used for group discussion or personal reflection.

Ideas for action – Some ideas or an exercise to help people think through the application of the principle to their own situation.

I think this is a phenomenal resource that helps a church think through how to contextualize the gospel message in its own unique setting. It is concise, deep, Christ exalting, biblical, gospel oriented, God-glorifying and extremely practical. I can’t recommend this resource highly enough.

Book Review: The Essential Commandment by Greg Ogden

Another Winner by Greg Ogden to Help You Make Multiplying Disciples

 I finished reading Ogden’s 3rd workbook for making disciples this morning and I’m really excited about how God will use this book in building up His church through the multiplication of disciples around the world. The focus in this discipleship resource is on what it means to practically love God and others by studying, discussing, and applying the many principles gleaned from God’s Word related to what we call the “great commandment.”

Ogden has done an exceptional job (once again) of writing a discipleship workbook that is based on specific Bible passages, non-wordy, provides deep food for thought, and giving great insights and discussion questions along the way. I have used the two previous workbooks by Ogden and found that they work best in groups of three or four people.

Each Chapter in this book provides a: 1) Core truth – “the nugget around which each lesson is built;” 2) Memory Verse – “so that God’s viewpoint on the topic at hand becomes our own;” 3) Inductive Bible Study – “The place to discover reality from the only perspective that counts is the Bible;” 4) Reading – “Each lesson concludes with a teaching printed in the guide. This reading is intended to provide a contemporary discussion of the eternal core truth that will challenge our lifestyle and stimulate our thinking. The follow-up questions will make the learning concrete.”

I can’t recommend this workbook highly enough. Ogden is an expert at making disciples and knows how to get groups thinking, talking, praying, and serving together – resulting in what the church is supposed to be all about – making multiplying disciples. He has done a great service to the church by adding to his two previous works in this series (Discipleship Essentials, and Leadership Essentials). I hope that many will buy this book and use it repeatedly with triads and quads so that we continue to obey the great commandment and the great commission together for God’s glory.

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