Book Review: Real-Life Discipleship – Building Churches that Make Disciples

REAL-LIFE DISCIPLESHIP: Building Churches that Make Disciples by Jim Putman is about discipleship. This review was written by Hank Griffith of South Suburban Evangelical Free Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota. This book is good for all believers who are interested in being effective in their discipleship.

Are you looking for a book with a biblical but also tried-and-proven plan for making disciples of Jesus Christ in the context of the local church? Real-Life Discipleship: Building Churches that Make Disciples just may be that book. It’s based on the actual experience of Jim Putman, the pastor of Real Life Ministries, which began in 1998 as a small group in Post Falls, Idaho. The church has grown to a membership of more than eight thousand, about half new converts, 90 percent of whom are active in small groups. In addition, the church has planted six churches in their greater area.

In the ten years prior to the writing of the book, the staff at Real Life grew to more than ninety people, only five of whom had worked on a church staff before. The church recruits primarily from within their congregation, rather than outside, which means that they know who they’re getting. They’ve seen them in action. It also means those who join the staff understand and fit their church’s culture. Putman asks, “So why don’t most American churches tap into the hidden talent buried on their benches? I believe it’s because they do not focus on making and training disciples. They spend so much time putting on a show that they do not have time to know or invest in their people”

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