Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Review: The Gentle Art of Discipling Women

From the back cover:

"Does Jesus' call to 'Go and make disciples' seem a little intimidating?  You're not alone!  Let seasoned discipler Dana Yeakley mentor you on this incredible journey of discipleship.  Dana knows that discipling women can be overwhelming- but she's seen how our amazing God works and knows the He has uniquely designed you to disciple other women."
I was excited to review this book on the topic of discipleship as it is something very close to my heart...not only as a pastor's wife, but as a woman of God desiring to obey what God has commanded me to do.

Most Christians have a tender heart toward missions and the gospel, but often we forget the foundational call in both of those areas: discipleship!  In Matthew 28, where Jesus gave the disciples (and us) the great commission, it was to go and make disciples!

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

When God does that miraculous work of drawing us to Himself through the Holy Spirit by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, we become His disciples...His followers.  We dig into the Word, we learn all we can about God and His character, we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and He shows us how to become conformed to the image of Christ!  And as we grow in the Word, prayerfully, there will be those more mature in the faith, to lead us by example of how to walk as exiles upon this earth. How to be in the world and not of the world.  Those who will say, with Paul, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1)

Sadly, there is a lack of discipleship in many of our churches.  Discipleship, meaning, being one who authentically follows Christ and is building, investing into someone else's life.

There are various ways for discipleship, but all should center around the Word of God. And it should be more than just a bible study, but an apprenticeship or teacher/student relationship.  A one on one intimate relationship formed around the Word. We have a beautiful model of this as we see that Jesus taught many, had 12 disciples, and was very close to three.  Who better to learn this from than from Christ Himself! It was a model of multiplication and reproduction...and one we see carried out in the early church.

In this book, Dana Yeakley, lays out as a guide, how to begin discipling for those who are unsure where to start.  But, she also explains the why's and the how's.  The first half of the book is about being His disciple important step in determining if it is your season to disciple or be discipled.  The second half is how to make disciples.  Each chapter allows you to go deeper with study questions and though-provoking questions.  The book is flexible for those who really want to dig in and study the topic and also for those who need a quick refresher and reminder of the call.

I appreciate the author's emphasis on the importance of the Word, prayer, while also reminding us that discipleship is also an act of walking alongside each other for real life application.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to be a disciple, or one who is looking to obey the call to disciple other women.  My recommendation, though, would come with the advice to study the Word and be in prayer primarily, and use this book as only an addition to that.  God's Word to us is the greatest manual for learning how to "go and make disciples."

*I was give a free copy of this book by Tyndale for an honest review