About the Book:
In Matthew 28:19, Jesus told his disciples, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." This commission includes believers today. The task may seem large, but it doesn't have to be an intimidating mandate, rather a way of living that invites people into what God is doing in their lives. However, somewhere along the line, disciple-making moved from being a part of everyday life to the sole responsibility of pastors and evangelists. The result is that we no longer feel equipped to share the life-giving gospel of Jesus with our friends and neighbors.
This isn't how things are supposed to be, and in Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples, Francis Chan and Mark Beuving show you how the joy of living your life with Christ in front of others can be restored. You'll discover the confidence and encouragement you need to step out in faith and make disciples out of the people that God has placed in your life.
Multiply offers 24 sessions of discipleship mentoring material designed for small-group use.
Francis Chan is at it again. But this book is very different from Chans Crazy Love or Forgotten God. In recent years much of Chans work has been focused on small group discipleship and this new book is an integral part of a new discipleship movement Chan and David Platt have put together to help Christians make disciples. Multiply walks the reader through a 24 study of all of the milk of the Christian life- the basics to help one build a solid foundation for their newfound faith in Jesus Christ. The book is split into 5 parts:
- Living as a Disciple Maker
- Living as the Church
- How to Study the Bible
- Understanding the Old Testament
- Understanding the New Testament
As you can tell, this is a very practical resource. Centered mainly on the evangelical staples of discipleship- reading the Bible and living in Christian community- any new follower of Christ who works through this book will be set up to be a well grounded follower of Christ and have a framework to work from when carrying out the Great Commission. That is, after all, the intent of this tool. To help disciples become disciples who make disciples. Disciples who multiply the Kingdom of God for the Glory of God.
It's hard for me to judge a discipleship book. Most of the material in this book (and most books like it) is very basic and foundational Christianity. But Chan's writing style and theological rigor, even though not profound, make this book easy to read and compelling to the new believer. The questions at the end of each section are a little basic and not to thought provoking, but once again, could be well used in a one on one discipleship situation. The book also has a multimedia edge like most of Chans books- Francis Chan and David Platt have recorded a video series that is available for free online that corresponds with each chapter of the book which adds a whole new level of depth to the reading.
The only thing lacking in this resource are the broader aspects of discipleship. My pet peeve with most Evangelical discipleship tools is that they are great at forming the inward spiritual self, but the call of Jesus is to be converted internally to convert the world externally- through incarnational loving and living. Multiply, as far as I can tell, gives no instruction on what it means to live practically as a disciple of Jesus. Which if funny because of all the evangelical leaders, David Platt and Francis Chan are the two most "Kingdom" focused and justice oriented. I think leaving these important aspects of being a disciple of Jesus (in fact, essential aspects) points to a big problem in the evangelical church and the reason why it is not being as effective as we once were- we are far to focused on the self and God instead of God and the world as Christ calls us too. But this is not the place to rant about that.
I think the concept that Chan and Buving are envisioning of creating a resource for disciples to make disciples has in fact been grasped. This resource is sure to prove to be valuable to the spiritual formation of countless new believers. With that said,
I give Multiply by Francis Chan and Mark Beuving 4 out of 5 Stars.
Video: What is Multiply?
For more information on the Multiply Movement, visit their website by clicking here.
Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples is published by David C. Cook Publishers and is available in a bookstore near you on November 1, 2012.
Review for the Patheos Book Club Roundtable Discussion
For more information about the Patheos Book Club, click here.