Making Disciples in a Postmodern Era: Reviewing and Contextualising Historical Discipleship

Discipleship 2

We’ve just had a 9-day travelling holiday in the Red Centre of Australia.

Judith had been to Prayer Conferences at Uluru, the indigenous name for Ayer’s Rock, but I’d never seen “The Rock” as we Australians affectionately call it. I found it incredible and was amazed at the way it completely dominated the desert landscape. It was well worth seeing.

Something else dominated my spiritual senses as we travelled and that was again the perplexing nature of discipling in this era of history. I took with me our second book in which we set discipling today in the context of discipling down through the historical eras of church history. At nearly 300 pages, it’s hardly a popular contemporary read. However, it’s well set out and, although content-rich, quite interesting reading and easily followed and digested. So I enjoyed my holiday reading and recharged my discipleship juices.

There was a reason I chose this for my holiday reading. In a couple of weeks, Judith and I will be involved again with a young leadership team in a session devoted to this book. They are leading a church of about a thousand people and are seeking to build disciples of Jesus from their first contact with people in the community. So I’ve set them the task of reading a portion of this book each month  over the next six months and reporting back to their leadership team once a month on the insights they have gained. This will be a challenge for them but the stretch will be good as they consider current paradigms and where those paradigms have come from. The process could be fun….

Just before our holiday break, I had the privilege of being Zoomed into a class of young leaders at Fuller Theological Seminary. This particular book, Making Disciples in a Postmodern Era: Reviewing and Contextualising Historical Discipleship, was part of their required reading for a course on Discipleship.

I thoroughly enjoyed my interaction with them. They responded very positively to the book, gave good feedback and asked very insightful questions. All agreed that the discipleship approaches we have been using are no longer working. They did find it hard to accept that there is no silver bullet for moving forward. We need to put prayer, time, effort and creativity into forming relationships that will see the making and multiplying of disciples foundational to our efforts. And we need those willing to experiment, to have a go and to share what they are experiencing with others.

Perhaps you are one of those who is seeking to disciple postmoderns. What have you discovered so far? How long have you been working at this? Is there anything you have read that has been helpful in reorienting your thinking and practice?

You may find something we have written helpful.

The two brief books on the subject, each readable in an evening, are:-

As you go, Make Disciples

Making Disciples in the 21st Century

Or, if you prefer to consider more deeply and chew on a subject, we would recommend

                Making Disciples in a Postmodern Era: Reviewing and Contextualising Historical Discipleship

Our books are available in both hard copy and downloadable versions at

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