The Problem With a Lot of Ministry Books Today

I just finished one of the most highly recommended books on discipleship written in the last six months. Here is the book in a nutshell – We are supposed to disciple people because God commanded it. We have to take God’s commands seriously. We haven’t done it (that was said at least 50 times in different ways). The mission God has for us is amazing. Let’s go do it. The book concluded with a single chapter on how to do it that turned out to be a list of questions to consider. I can’t say that I walked away from that book with a single new idea regarding discipleship or anything that I would actually do that the book helped me see more clearly. What is so frustrating about that is, I know the author of this book is up to some really great things and it might be helpful to learn from some of that. I don’t think everything he is doing in his context will work in mine but I do think hearing what he is doing would help.

Discipleship is such a hot topic because it has been a gaping hole in the mission and ministry of many churches. We need to hear about discipleship. I am fine with that but at some point action has to be taken and most of the books I have read have a lot of things to say about what is going on and what should be going on but have little to say on what it might actually look like if we did something about it.

Over the last 10-15 years of Christians publishing it seems like the same few topics come up all the time and the same things are said over and over again. It kind of makes me feel like we are running in circles with the need for a few trail blazers to finally pick a direction and go rather than just keep rehashing the same stuff over and over again. Or maybe the trail blazers who are righting the books need to spend less time trying to convince us of what we already know (that God said we must do it but we aren’t) and more time equipping us to create a vision for it in our context and execute ministry in line with that vision. I am so grateful to Mike Breen for doing exactly that in his writing.

Anyone else experience this?

Thanks to these guys for recently following the blog:
Deacon Jason
Gene
Colonel of Corn
Everyday Power Blog
Jason Stover

4 Responses to The Problem With a Lot of Ministry Books Today

  1. ozziepete says:

    I hear you. (I was hoping you were going to tell me which book not to buy next.) I have been using Real-Life Discipleship by Jim Putman to train members how to invest and guide younger Christians. It’s a bit “one-size-fits-all”, but I’ve found it very helpful.

  2. I also hear you. I’m getting really tired of the “ten-steps-to” or “six-ways-to” Christian self-help books on the market. Evangelism just doesn’t work like that.

  3. Yes. There are too many books.

  4. Matt,
    I believe you are one of those trail-blazers you say we need more of!

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