review of contagious disciple making
Updated: Jun 10
Written from the experiences of the authors and those they train, Contagious Disciple Making is the learning and best practices of church planting movements experiencing radical results in India, Africa and other regions of the World.
Initially David and Paul Watson identified as participants in Church Planting Movements. However, they soon joined a unified voice of disciple making thought leaders - Planting churches doesn’t produce disciples; making disciples plants churches. The Watsons offer a thorough investigation of the commonalities and practices of prolific disciple making movements. In turn they present key thoughts and behaviours that consistently result in disciple making movements; whatever the context. The book is organized in two major sections.
1. Mindset of the Disciple-Maker:
· Embrace lessons taught by failure
· Deculturize, not contextualize, the Gospel
· Plant the Gospel rather than reproduce their religion
· Realize how hard completing the Great Commission will be for strategies and organizations built around branded Christianity
· Realize the structure of the community determines the strategy used to make disciples
· Realize their culture and religious experience can negatively influence their DM unless they are careful
· Understand the importance of obedience
· Make disciples, not converts
· Understand the importance of the priesthood of the believer
2. Practices of the Disciple-Maker:
· Think strategically and tactically about DM
· Be a disciple who makes disciples
· Engage lost people
· Finding a person of peace
· Discovery groups
· Establishing churches
From the perspective of a North American Christian, asking the question, “What needs to happen in order to be faithful to the Great Commission on North American Soil?”, I was inspired and encouraged by this book. I could feel my faith growing as I read. David Watson’s journey started with his desperate declaration to God that disciple making is impossible on our own. Then he shares God’s faithful revelation of Jesus’ model for disciple making, leading to persistent and faithful implementation, and eventually giving way to the explosive growth of disciple making movements around the world.
The authors don’t claim a magic pill, or quick fix, but instead share the fruit of learning from their hard, persistent pioneering in disciple making. The reader benefits from the lessons learned and processes implemented by these faithful co-labourers. Take a deep breath! Making disciples who make disciples is possible! If you want to be inspired and challenged in your thinking, while being equipped with tools to lead a contagious disciple making movement, I commend this book to you.
Watson, David L., and Paul D. Watson. Contagious Disciple Making: Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery. Nashville, TN: Tommy Nelson, 2014.