It’s become a bit of a book week here on the blog hasn’t it? Next up for review: Walking as Jesus Walked written by Dann Spader and published by Moody Publishers.
Long time readers know my desire to write discipleship curriculum. It’s been a passion of mine for years and is something that I work hard at. As I make progress on that, I occasionally check out other resources to see what is available, what works, and what’s missing from the conversation. One thing that I am particularly passionate about is Missional-Anabaptism, looking at how historic and modern Anabaptist faith drives the missional conversation.
Dann Spader probably wouldn’t call his book Walking as Jesus Walked Missional or Anabaptist, but it certainly has a lot to appreciate.
It’s a gospel heavy look at the work of Jesus, arguing that we need to look not only at Jesus what Jesus did, but how Jesus did it (message and method). Spader explains, “The word translated ‘walk’ in this passage [1 John 2:6] is the Greek word peripateo. It is used in the New Testament to mean ‘following, making progress, regulating one’s life, or conducting oneself’ after the pattern of another person. To walk like Jesus, then, means that we are to emulate the pattern of living that Jesus modled for us.” [pullquote]To walk like Jesus, then, means that we are to emulate the pattern of living that Jesus modeled for us.[/pullquote]
The book is divided into ten different weeks and focuses on the key aspects of Jesus life, ministry, and discipleship goals; topics like Holy Spirit dependence, prayer, pointing others towards God, and intentional loving relationships. Each week has five days for personal study and a time to come together for group process, discernment, and encouragement.
The goal of any Jesus follower should be to not only produce fruit, but to call others into relationship with Jesus. If you are a pastor, ministry leader, Bible study leader or starting a missional community, this resource is definitely worth a look.
That said, I’ve got one small critique: the book also claims to be for personal study (meaning no small group required). I’m not sure discipleship can (or should) be done individually. The whole point of Jesus calling people was to bring them into a new community and relationship with God, by choosing to be discipled and disciple others, community is a requirement. Outside of that, I think it’s a wonderful resource for people to add to their shelves. As a pastoral leader helping people enter missional discipleship, I can see it as a resource that I will use in the future.
Disclaimer: I reviewed a free copy of this book through the Moody Publishers blogging program. I was in no way compensated for this review and all views are solely and completely my own. I was not required to offer a positive review either through the publisher or author.