NEW CENTURY DISCIPLEMAKING: Applying Jesus’ Ideas for the Future by Bill Hull focuses on making disciples. This book review was written by Hank Griffith of South Suburban Evangelical Free Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota. This book is good for those who have a passion for disciple-making and evangelism.
For well over two decades, Bill Hull’s name has been synonymous with disciple making. His bio speaks to this fact: “Bill’s passion has been to help the church return to its disciple making roots and he considers himself a discipleship evangelist. This God-given desire has manifested itself in twenty years of pastoral service and the authorship of many books. Two of his more important books, Jesus Christ Disciple Maker, and The Disciple Making Pastor, have both celebrated 20 years in print with new and expanded editions. Add to this the third in the popular trilogy The Disciple Making Church, and you have a new paradigm for disciple making.”
Stages of Disciplemaking
New Century Disciplemaking is actually a republication of Jesus Christ Disciple Maker, with some additional helps at the end. This work is a fascinating study of how the Lord Jesus went about making disciples over His three-year ministry. Hull believes Jesus equipped His men in several stages: (1) as converts (“Come and see” – period of four months), (2) as disciples (“Come and follow” – period of ten months), and (3) as laborers (“Come and be with me” – period of twenty months), and finally (4) as leaders – on the last day before His crucifixion, He gave the Twelve a set of essential instructions for leadership. In keeping with the biblical wording of the other stages, Hull calls it “You will remain in me.”
Even if you don’t completely agree with Hull’s four neatly packaged stages in Jesus’ ministry, you will most certainly profit from reading this rich study of how Jesus made disciples. Hull extracts numerous transcultural and transgenerational principles from Jesus’ life and ministry. If you haven’t read this fine book previously, I strongly encourage you to do so, and if you read it a number of years ago, I encourage you to pick it up and read it again.