BN.com Gift Guide

Growing True Disciples: New Strategies for Producing Genuine Followers of Christ

Hardcover (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$9.12
(Save 59%)
Est. Return Date: 02/23/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$12.94
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.89
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 86%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (23) from $2.89   
  • New (10) from $5.87   
  • Used (13) from $2.89   

Overview

Christ’s command to the church is clear: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations...” It is in building disciples—helping others to embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, mature in him, and then lead others to do the same—that the Kingdom grows. And when the Kingdom grows, churches do, too.

In Growing True Disciples, respected author and researcher George Barna helps pastors and leaders assess how their churches are doing in fulfilling their role as disciplemakers. And he reveals models and examples that will equip churches to dramatically increase their effectiveness. As a result, your church can begin to see more involved members who want to live out their faith in submission to God, and joyfully share their resources to fulfill Christ’s commission.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“My study of discipleship in America has been eye-opening. Almost every church in our country has some type of discipleship program or set of activities. Stunningly few churches have a church of disciples.” –George Barna
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578564231
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Series: Barna Reports
  • Pages: 186
  • Sales rank: 768,164
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

George Barna is president of Barna Research Group, Ltd., a marketing research firm located in Ventura, California. He has conducted research for hundreds of churches and parachurch ministries as well as Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations. A best-selling author and frequent speaker at conferences around the world, Barna has taught at universities and seminaries and has served as a pastor at a large, multi-ethnic church.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Do You Want to Make a Difference?

Ignite people’s passion for God and get out of their way.

Christians and Christian churches employ all kinds of strategies to influence their world.

We try to elect politicians who share our values and goals.

We strive to enact laws and policies that reflect our beliefs.

We attempt to expose people to Christian ideas and precepts through religious radio and television programming.

We hope to shape the minds of young people by enrolling them in Christian schools or by ensuring that God and His principles are not completely removed from the public school environment.

We use clever advertising campaigns and comprehensive direct marketing programs to encourage people to attend our churches or to develop a relationship with God.

We endeavor to get people to know Jesus by inviting them to evangelistic crusades, revivals, or other outreach events.

All such efforts are well intentioned and bear some fruit. But I would like to propose what I believe is a better strategy for growing the kingdom of God.

IGNITE AND NURTURE PEOPLE’S PASSION FOR GOD

What would happen if we were to focus on the four out of every ten adults and one out of every three teenagers who have already asked Jesus Christ to be their Savior—and do everything we can to help them grow into inspired, unmistakable disciples of Jesus?

What would happen for God’s kingdom if we did not consider our job complete when people confess their sins and say a prayer inviting Jesus to be their Redeemer, but would use their new commitments to Christ as a launching pad for a lifelong quest to become individuals who are completely sold out—emotionally, intellectually, physically, spiritually—to the Son of God?

Churches work hard at trying to expand and strengthen the kingdom of God with all types of creative and life-affecting ministries. Thousands of churches are currently fine-tuning their worship services to make them more attractive and compelling. The typical church labors to integrate numerous programs, classes, and other offerings into its menu of possibilities. Millions of dollars flow from church budgets into events each year in an effort to influence people’s thinking and behavior. Literally billions of dollars are spent every year maintaining, upgrading, and expanding buildings and facilities to provide the space and equipment required for the ministries planned by the church. To appeal to people who have thus far turned a cold shoulder to God, churches and denominations launch sophisticated marketing campaigns that are designed to reposition churches and raise awareness of the things of God.

All of those activities can be justified by their intent and outcomes. But here’s a better strategy: Ignite people’s passion for God and get out of their way. When individuals are single-minded in their devotion to God, their commitment to His ways and His principles becomes much deeper, much more intense. Once they have made an enduring and serious commitment, the peripherals don’t matter as much. They’ll endure worship services that may not meet their exact specifications because their focus is on God, not themselves. They’ll attend activities at times that are not optimally convenient because the most important reality is to experience God’s presence. They will sacrifice more of their hard-earned money for the purposes of ministry because they recognize that they are stewards, not owners. They will gladly share their faith in Christ with nonbelievers because they understand their responsibility to other people and to God, and because they simply cannot contain their own excitement about the privilege of relating to God.

REDEFINING MINISTRY SUCCESS

When you talk to pastors, church staff, and lay leaders across the nation you quickly discover that churches work hard to increase attendance figures, to provide a full range of programs, and to have adequate facilities to support a broad-based, inclusive ministry. The people and resources available for such ministry efforts represent a tremendous blessing from God.

But what if we were to change our standards? Suppose we were to de-emphasize attendance statistics, square footage, and income figures in favor of a commitment to depth and authenticity in discipleship? What if we were to redefine ministry success in these ways:
• congregants who worship not just on Sundays but every day of the week—not just in the sanctuary but wherever they are
• constant efforts by the laity to discover new insights into their faith and to convert that information into personal application
• complete submission to the Holy Spirit in both decision making and behavior
• hearts that are sensitive to sin and wounded every time they do something that offends God
• individuals who joyfully share their resources—time, money, skills, information, relationships, possessions—with those in need, especially those who share a love of Christ and a commitment to His people
• a deep commitment to building a lasting and life-changing community among those who profess Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord
• spontaneous demonstrations of selfless compassion toward those in need of emotional, physical, financial, or spiritual assistance
• engagement in “organic evangelism”—the process of sharing one’s faith in Christ in very natural and unforced ways, based on relationships with the recipients of the information and supported by lifestyle modeling
• people who live differently from the norm because of their faith, leading lives that conform to the dictates of Scripture without cutting corners or trying to interpret biblical passages for personal comfort or advantage
• a church body that projects (and lives up to) an image of being loving, caring, focused, and clear-minded in its pursuit of the ways of God
• individuals who are continually linked to God through prayer and meditation, as if they were “online” twenty-four hours a day with the ultimate spiritual power 
• believers who take the initiative to use their gifts, skills, and training for the benefit of their church without having to be cajoled into serving

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)