Remember that awkward moment when you were younger and there was that girl that you liked but were way too afraid to ask her on a date? So as a young intellectual man you concocted a plan that was sure to win her heart and make her fall in love with you in some sort of mushy kissing scene from “The Notebook”. You ran out, bought a blank tape, and, in a stroke of genius, recorded all of the famous, gushy, state of the art love songs you could think of. You brought your mix tape to the girl and basically asked her to hang out with you and be seen with you in public. If that entailed holding hands, hey, that worked too.
Gospel-Centered Discipleship has pretty much put together a mix tape of the “best of” from the articles found on their great website. They bring it to an awkward church, minus the yawn-arm around the shoulder moves found in many movie theaters, and it does not disappoint. Brandon Smith, Executive Director, Gospel-Centered Discipleship, has combined a resource which needs a wide distribution among the church today.
Brandon leads the readers on a journey of disciple-making in three different areas. He begins with the tenet that we must first make disciples. We hear from men like Tony Merida, Jeremy Writebol, and Jonathan Parnell. They teach us about the basic call on the life of a believer, that of making disciples, in a way that would make the reader want to go out and literally, lay their lives down for this gospel we have been entrusted with. After we have laid down our lives for this gospel call, we need to move people onto maturity in Christ. The second section on maturing disciples helps us to strengthen believers in very practical ways. Jonathan Dodson, Brandon Smith, and Stephen Witmer lead us on the journey of seeing Christ in all his fullness and glory through his defeat of sin and victory over Satan. Section three calls us to mission, not only our own, but with those to whom we minister alongside. Seth McBee keeps us on mission and in community, Brent Thomas shows us how to stop that community from thriving, and J.A. Medders shows us how to kill off that community once and for all.
Compilations like this are extremely vital for the health of believers today. We need to reminded of our simple heavenly call in Christ. He commissions us to Make, Mature, and Multiply disciples. The articles in this book are well written without the complex and technical language which accompanies some discipleship manuals. The authors break it down in very applicable for those of us who may just be starting to make disciples. In the Editor’s Preface, Brandon Smith points out three goals for this book; the glory of Christ on every page, that the reader would be captivated by the beauty of the gospel, and that the reader would not be able to stop him or herself from taking this message to the ends of the earth. I think many will join in my prayer that these goals would be fulfilled above and beyond any expectations that the GCD crew would ever be able to imagine.
Today, GCD released the newest book from GCD Books—Brandon Smith’s Make Mature Multiply: Becoming Fully-Formed Disciples of Jesus. You can buy a digital copy from the GCD Bookstore for $3.99 or get paperback for $9.99.
Make Mature Multiply: Becoming Fully-Formed Disciples of Jesus Brandon Smith/GCD Books, 2014 Review Copy Courtesy of GCD Books