Insourcing: Bringing Discipleship Back to the Local Church (Leadership Network Innovation Series) by Randy Pope gave me both less and more than I expected. I expected a more general systematic or Biblical explanation of discipleship along with a call to general church discipleship. Instead, I got a very practical and specific model for discipleship called Life-On-Life Missional Discipleship (LOLMD). This is not just a general description of discipleship, it’s an actual program at Perimeter Church where Pope pastors. At first, I was disappointed with this but, by the end, I was grateful I got something other than what I expected.
Solidness: Plus+ While this book is about a specific program, it is based on a solid theological framework. Pope’s “Journey Groups” center around five components of discipleship: Truth, Equipping, Accountability, Mission, and Supplication. These groups, (which are not the same as traditional small groups), are focused on leadership development. They are “not a factor for cranking out healthy Christians, [they are] a laboratory for reproducing leaders” (p. 150). What Pope has in mind are groups that have a greater degree of intentionality, commitment, and mission than traditional church small groups. In outlining this process, I think Pope has rightly identified a hole in most church ministries and proposed a reasonable (and apparently well-tested) solution.
Freshness: Plus+ It took a while to be convinced that this book was any different from other “small group” books I’ve read. By the end I was convinced that it really is different but the quality of the ideas – and their applicability – is something for which the jury is still out. This is true for one simple reason: This is a practical book and I haven’t put it into practice (yet). This is a book meant to be done, not just read.
Recommendation: There is a rather niche audience who will be interested in this book: Pastors, or other ministry leaders. If that’s you, I recommend you give it a read and spend some time thinking about its content and applicability for your ministry. Other lay leaders may also find this book helpful, especially those engaged in small group or discipleship ministries.
This is the kind of book for which an immediate review is probably inadequate. In one years time, I could say this book is a perfect 10, or a mediocre 5 that just didn’t work in my context. I’ll say this, though, there’s potential here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255