Walk With Me: Simple Principles for Everyday Disciplemaking
March 2021 • Paperback • 978-0-8024-2029-9
Have we over complicated, over systematized, and over formalized making disciples?
When our hearts are changed by Christ, it’s natural that we should want to help others come to know Him too. And while Scripture clearly sets forth how to do so, modern Western society has formalized, professionalized, and systemized disciplemaking to a point that it seems too complicated to practice. What happened to the simple, heart-to-heart ministries of the New Testament?
In Walk with Me, you’ll return to the essential biblical practices that help people grow as Christ-followers in simple, slow, and deep ways. Learn how you can connect with your neighbors, coworkers, or anyone you want to reach with the gospel in ways that are relational and Spirit-led. You’ll learn five kingdom principles that will reshape how you can pass on the faith:
- In heart-to-heart ways
- By keeping it simple
- By going slow
- By building deep
- By living on mission
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Mowry (M.A., Ohio State University) has a passion for creating ministry cultures where relational disciplemaking is the norm. Bill and wife Peggy serve on staff with The Navigators Church Ministries in Columbus, Ohio. Both are avid “yardeners” and Peggy is a certified Master Gardener. Bill and Peggy have two adult children, two special grandchildren, and a coon hound named Ginger. They live on “Above and Beyond Acres” where they want to create a little place of beauty in a fallen world where people can reflect on the goodness of God. Bill is a published author in culture building, evangelism, and disciplemaking. You can contact Bill at his website: www.alongsider.com.
In a Christian culture where disciplemaking has been relegated to professionals, Bill Mowry has revealed from Scripture that making disciples is something that every follower of Jesus can do and should do! Bill is not only an author but a practitioner that I have observed firsthand in the context of our local church. I invite you to walk with him on the journey of learning your role in making disciples.
– Brent Miller
Lead Pastor, Linworth Baptist Church, Worthington, OH
When we talk about disciplemaking, we’re talking about people who are “learners.” The Greek word discipulus means one who learns, who follows, who is ready to open up to the new. Disciples want to learn about Jesus, they want to learn from Jesus, and they want to learn to follow Jesus. Disciples are people eager to learn.
My friend Diane lamented the mistake she made about the women she invited into her small circle. “I chose people who I thought needed to grow, not those who wanted to grow.” Sometimes those who need to grow as disciples may not want to grow as disciples. We must look for those in whom the Holy Spirit is at work, and this is often demonstrated by people who are eager to learn.
The “qualifications” for who to invite into our small circle of disciplemaking are pretty simple. We look for people who show up and for people who are eager to learn.
Now comes the commitment question: “Do I ask for a commitment from someone to walk with me?” The answer is both yes and no. If I’m inviting people into a circle of disciplemaking, a small group that meets for the purpose of shaping our lives to follow Christ, then I ask for a commitment. I expect people to come prepared (there are always assignments and work in discipleship circles), to come to participate, and to come to apply.
Sometimes I invite people to a circle of two – me and one other person. Do I ask for a similar commitment that I expect from a small group? Sometimes I ask for a commitment but generally I simply do it. I identify people in my network of relationships who show up to grow and have a hunger for life change. I invite them out for coffee or a meal. In the course of the conversation, I inquire about their walk with God, their progress in maturity, and how they’re living on mission. I then issue a simple invitation. “How would you like to regularly meet to talk about what it means to be Jesus’ disciple today?”
If they say yes, I set up our next meeting. I may or may not use a curriculum, as I would with a small group, when I walk with someone one-by-one. However, I do have a picture in mind and I do have a process to go deep.
Inviting people to walk with us in this life of discipleship does not have to be complex. We can keep it simple. Simplicity brings clarity and commitment, and it creates effective communication. When we invite people to walk with us, we keep it small, we keep it focused with a clear picture of a disciple, and we keep the qualification of who to invite pretty simple: we look for people who show up and for people who want to learn.
As you consider your disciplemaking walk, keep it simple by asking these questions:
Are you willing to start small with a few?
Do you have a clear picture of a disciple, the destination of your walk?
Are you wise in your selection – looking for people who show up and who want to learn?
Your rich journey in disciplemaking will be greatly enhanced as you focus on simplicity!
Keep it focused: Find the essentials, aim for clarity.
Start small: Invest in a few.
Be clear: Have a picture of a New Testament disciple.
Select wisely: Who shows up? Who wants to learn?
After seeing the dead-end of church life driven by constant programming and new gimmicks, I believe American Christians are beginning to rediscover the beautiful simplicity of Jesus’ method of disciplemaking. Walk with Me is a practical guide for that journey. With decades of hands-on experience, Bill Mowry offers winsome advice and helpful stories about learning to make disciples in everyday life. Whether you’re a church leader looking to lead cultural change, or a churchgoer who is ready to get in the game and start learning how to make disciples, this book is for you!
– Matt Reynolds
President, Spirit and Truth Ministries
Bill Mowry writes with winsome clarity about a subject that is near to the heart of God and invites us into the ways of Jesus Christ. No other topic reflects more fully the life and purposes of Jesus than His focus on helping everyday people walk with God and reflect His character. Bill makes it doable for all of us, people in busy lives and in a culture that tries to pull us away from meaning and relationship.
– Doug Nuenke
US President of The Navigators
Walk with Me is the fruit of Bill’s decades-long practice, study, and teaching about the art of disciplemaking. Bill provides thought-provoking and practical insights into the secrets of life-changing relationships. This book makes disciplemaking simple and doable for every follower of Jesus, whether a beginner or a veteran disciple.
– Tyler Flynn
Former Pastor and Executive Director of Mission Columbus