Wednesday, October 26, 2016

13 Strategies for Sharing the Gospel the next 75 Days

birthday, christmas, gift




75 days puts us somewhere close to January 10 which is probably post 'holiday season' for most everyone. I know posts like this come out this time of year, but what I hope to do is to give you some practical ideas for using this season to your advantage for sharing the gospel. Certainly, some of these strategies could and should be used at other times of the year, but this seems to be a good time to employ them as even the lost world appears more naturally inclined to giving and receiving. Let's use this to our advantage on being intentional for getting the message of Christ out there.

1. Buy some tracts (here and here are some suggestions).

2. Give out tracts on Halloween. Maybe you don't 'celebrate' Halloween, and I am totally fine with that. But also, you have a night where perhaps lots of people will be coming to you. Load 'em up with some candy and a gospel tract!

3. Buy someone's meal and leave them a card and a tract. You have to plan for this but it's just October, so set a little money back the next two months. In December pick out a person or a couple and anonymously buy their meal. Then ask the waitress to simply give them a card. In the card wish them a Merry Christmas and either include a tract or share the gospel yourself inside.

4. Leave a generous tip for your waitress or barber or the mailman or any other service industry and include a tract with it. DO NOT USE A TRACT IN LIEU OF A TIP. Seriously. Instead, be generous and include the tract. You can also include your contact or your church's contact information on the tract so they could follow up with you or you could (and should) make a point to follow-up with them.

5. Bake your neighbors some cookies, or make them a holiday gift basket, or buy them a holiday candle. Or if you live on a street with lots of neighbors make them all a little bag of cookies. This is a great way to meet them if you don't know them and a way to make contact with them if you've been out of touch for a while. Don't waste the opportunity! Either plan to talk with them about the gospel or give them a tract that includes your contact information on it.

6. Have a men's football gathering. Use a Saturday, or Monday Night, or Thursday Night to get together to watch the game. Let folks know that at halftime you plan to share a short devotional. Use this time to share the gospel!

7. Offer your services to rake leaves or set up Christmas decorations. You'd be surprised at how many elderly people cannot do these things on their own but don't know who to ask (or may be embarrassed to ask). Do you have an elderly neighbor you could help? Serve them as an opportunity to share the gospel. It might be a great way to build a lasting relationship just by offering to help them.

8. Take your family or church or small group caroling. And you guessed it - Bring some tracts!

9. Ask people if you can share with them what you believe about Christmas. This time of year affords many conversations where people say things like "I'm so ready for Christmas to be over!" Or bemoan the busyness and commercialism. When people say something like that, be intentional about asking if you can share about what you believe Christmas is. And then share the good news of God incarnate!

10. Use Thanksgiving to share the gospel with unsaved family members. Say "Hey, before we pray over the meal I just want to mention a word about Jesus..." Take 60 seconds to share the gospel.

11. Use the New Year. Be intentional about asking your coworkers, neighbors, friends, and family about how you can pray for them in 2017. And use that conversation as a launching point to talking about Christ.

12. Always carry the tracts with you the next two months. You can say "I'd like to give you this. It talks about the true meaning of Christmas." You can give one to your boss, your stylist, your hunting buddies, or the greeter at Walmart. Literally anyone you come into contact with! Again, if appropriate, leave your or your church's contact info on them.

13. Read the Bible with some people. You could ask coworkers or friends or family members if they'd like to go through the Christmas story this year. Get together with them over lunch once a week during December or another time. They may say no. But I guarantee you it won't happen if you don't ask! Wouldn't it be wonderful to read the Bible with those who need to know Jesus?


This is about being intentional. Be sure and follow up with people when possible. Also, don't just hand a tract and run! If possible, share yourself verbally and let the tract just be a tool they can look at later. This requires being versed in the gospel ourselves.

I love this time of year. But it's also a time of year when people are hurting and depressed. Let's be salt and light in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces, in our homes, in our circles of influence. Use this time of year intentionally for the glory of God. Remember, our good deeds are important, but don't forget that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. You can't just be a little 'nicer' this time of year, you must share the message of hope!

I'd love to hear any other ideas you may have...

Monday, October 24, 2016

Why I hope You Will Be Celebrating October 31

2 Jack O Lantern Illustration


Post tenebras lux.

It means 'After darkness, light' and it's hanging on the wall in my Study and features the pictures of John Knox, Jonathan Edwards, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, and John Calvin.

I'm all for free candy, and I think it is certainly permissible for children to dress up and pretend (although I certainly don't advocate demonic costumes, even in jest!). However, it's not Halloween that I want to draw attention to this October.

Whatever you plan to do or not on the 31st, I hope you will also plan on remembering this important day for another reason:

After darkness, light.

It was on 10/31/1517 (499 years ago!) that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg (Germany). And while God was working in His people for centuries prior to this (think Hus, Wycliffe, etc) it is on this date that we remember the dawning of a new age in Christian history.

But really it wasn't a new age as much as a recovery of the old age. Or to put it more succinctly, the Protestant Reformation, which is credited as beginning 10/31/1517, was a recovery of biblical Christianity. Although it wasn't his original intent, Luther's nailing of his 95 theses was the mallet heard round the world. (Or at least the West)

As people began reading the Bible in its original language and also in their own language they began to see the dark corruption that Roman Catholicism had become during the middle ages (and while there have been moral reforms within Catholicism, we must sadly affirm that it is still largely antithetical to the gospel to this day). This form of 'Christianity' had built itself around working for one's own salvation and included much baggage invented by men that weighed people down instead of freeing them through Christ's gospel. Luther's theses documented the problems with the Roman Church (particularly with indulgences which are still around today). They were copied (thanks to the newly invented printing press) and spread like wildfire throughout the region. And while his hope was to reform Catholicism, Luther's work instead began a break with Rome that has, thankfully lasted almost 500 years.

The light of the gospel broke through the oppressive chains of man-made, merit-based religion and sparked the greatest revival in Christianity since perhaps Acts 2 (which might not technically classify as a revival since it was the very budding of Christianity!). This is not to imply that everyone between 400 - 1517 was lost. But it is to point out that much of what passed as Christianity in the middle ages was not light, but darkness.

Here is a brief summary of the 5 principles that were the foundation of the Reformation:

1. Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) -

It is the Bible, not tradition, that has the final authority for the Church. This doesn't mean that tradition is not important. But it does mean that where tradition and Scripture differ, Scripture wins. Scripture alone is our highest authority and is all sufficient.

Because of the Protestant Reformation, you can read the Bible in your own language! The work of men like William Tyndale, and others, at the cost of their own lives, translated the Bible into English (which was the foundation for the KJV in 1611). If nothing else, you should be reading your Bible this coming Monday and thanking God that you have a copy in your own language! Something the large majority of Christians in 1517 did not have.

2. Sola Gratia (Grace alone) -

Our salvation is by grace alone. We are saved not because there is something good in us, but in spite of the fact that there is something not good in us. Despite our evil hearts (Jeremiah 17:9) and love of sin (Romans 3:10-18) God saves sinners by His grace. It's not grace plus what you add to it as if your adding to God's work could merit you anything. It's grace alone. And this grace is enough! It is wholly sufficient to do with us what God has intended.

We deserve wave after wave of wrath but instead God has lavished on us grace upon grace. How marvelous!

3. Sola Fide (Faith alone) -

Salvation is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). The Roman Catholic church does believe in grace and faith but it believes these things must be mixed with our own works in order to secure salvation. But Sola Fide means that by faith in the person and work of Christ alone we are actually credited with His righteousness. In other words, by faith in Jesus God treats us like Him because at the cross He treated Jesus like us.

Salvation is by works. But it's by the works of Jesus! And by faith alone in Him, we get credtied with all the work that He has done.

4. Sola Christus (Christ alone) -

Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, in Christ alone. Faith in faith is futile. We aren't merely people of 'faith' but Christians are people of faith in Christ. Faith must have the proper object and that object is a person, namely Jesus the Son of God. Our faith cannot be in ordinances or sacraments. Our faith cannot be in our own good behavior or merit. Our faith can't even be in the 'Reformation'! Our faith must rest on Christ alone. This faith isn't the absence of reason. It's not a 'leap in the dark'. But it is an affirmation of the facts of the gospel as well as a resting of all that we are in Christ and trusting His work alone for our right standing with God. By faith, we are united with Christ and can be assured that all the blessings He secured in His life, death, and resurrection for His people, are ours.

5. Soli Deo Gloria (The Glory of God alone) -

The chief end of salvation is not actually about us. It is about the glory of God in His rescuing of unrighteous rebels for His own eternal glory. God has called us, saved us, and sanctifies us for the sake of His name. Salvation from beginning to end is about the glory of God. The above reformation principles don't mean that we live unholy lives, but rather because salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, we can rest assured that Believers' lives are going to be lived to the glory of God. We will be a people holy, set apart, and living for Jesus. And this won't be a 'holiness' as manifest in man-made rituals, but a holiness that is derived from a life changed by grace that is seeking to live for the glory of God in all that we do. Salvation is not about exalting man and what he has done, but about exalting God and all He has done by His grace and for His glory through the person and work of Christ the Son.



So, I hope you will be celebrating this coming Monday.


Take this opportunity to teach your children about the Reformation. Don't let secular history books gut the reformation to only be something about political maneuvering. It was much more than that! It was about God bringing light into darkness and rescuing people through the gospel for His own eternal glory. Something He is still doing today! The Reformation still matters as not only do we continue to reject the false teachings of Roman Catholicism, but also any false teaching that seeks to corrupt the gospel and take away from the glorious truth of God rescuing sinners by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for His glory alone. May we be committed to Scripture alone as our highest authority and people ever ready to defend the faith once delivered to the Saints.

Take time 10/31 to thank God for sending the light of the gospel to you and pray for your pastor(s) as they seek to uphold these principles for the glory of God.

Perhaps as you think of God's grace to you in the gospel, you will take the opportunity Monday to share the truth of the gospel with a neighbor, friend, family member, or coworker.

Perhaps also, you would like to take time this year to brush up on your history of the Reformation. Let me recommend a great little book just published in 2016: Rescuing the Gospel by Erwin Lutzer. Of course, there are many great books on this subject that you could read. And I understand that not everyone loves history. But this is an important part of our Christian past! And it's why I hope you will be celebrating October 31. Soli Deo Gloria.


10 Reasons to Intentionally Disciple Your Children

leisure, playground, recess

We wrapped up our sermon series on Discipleship  by discussing a crucial aspect of discipleship sometimes overlooked: Parenting. You can listen to the sermon in its entirety here, but what I hope to convince you of in this post is 10 reasons we must be intentionally discipling our children. 

  • Intentional as in thought out and focused. Not merely taking your children to church, but in addition to that, having focused times throughout the week to teach the truths of Scripture.

  • Discipling as in having the goal of rearing our children as the Lord's. That our focus, goal, and priority of raising our children is that we would see them come to follow Christ and to live with Him as their Savior and King. 

So, Ten Reasons to intentionally disciple our children:

1. God Commands it 

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).  This is a command. We could just stop here couldn’t we?

God commands us to raise our children up in the discipline and instruction of Him. Dads, you are the pastor of your home. Moms, if you are single or have a husband who is not a Believer, this responsibility falls on you. I don't mean to imply that a single parent home is easy, but this command applies even in that situation. 

We could look at other passages like Deuteronomy 6:4-7, Psalm 78:4, Joshua 24:15, Proverbs 22:6, 2 Timothy 3:15, and see that God's plan for children has always been that parents would be the primary disciple makers.

Church programs can certainly be helpful and beneficial. But they can't take the place of parenting. If a child spends 4 hours at church a week, that still pales in comparison to the amount of time they spend with their parents.

2. Christians throughout history have practiced it

As Christians, we have 2,000 years of Christian history to look to. Did everyone get everything right? No. But, there is still much to learn and we can hear the voices from Christian past call out to us and encourage us to do family worship.

We could go through a long list of names and quotes – Men like John Newton, who wrote the song Amazing Grace, like Jonathan Edwards, the greatest American Theologian in history, Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, have all advocated family worship and being intentional in the discipleship of our children

Almost 300 years ago George Whitefield had this to say: “visit our churches, and you may perhaps see something of the form of godliness still subsisting among us; but even that is scarcely to be met with in private houses.” So, he’s saying “look even in our churches godliness is but a form. But in the homes! Not even that is met in the homes!” Year by year it seems the standard of godliness is lowered by so called Christian culture. How fitting to see that as we look at this 2016 election cycle, we are simply reaping what we've sown! Let us take heed from those who've gone before us!

We are both prideful and foolish if we fail to listen to and learn from those who have gone on before us.

3. Grace compels it

In Christ, we are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Let me encourage you: Don’t let society dictate to you how you should raise your children and grandchildren. Don’t let society shape your thinking on what’s important in life. We are a new creation! All that we are has been affected by the gospel, including how we parent.

Let God’s grace compel you to put His principles to work in rearing kids.

4. There is a war on the family

You might be tempted to think this is new. No, it began in the Garden. The serpent took God’s order for the family and turned it on its head. And we continue to see this war rage throughout the Bible. Cain killing Abel, Joseph’s brothers attempting to kill him, Pharaoh ordering the death of male Hebrews, Herod killing children 2 and under, and on and on and on. There is a war on the family because God instituted the family and Satan hates God.

This war continues on today. The Obergefell decision. Abortion. Divorce. Pornography. Child Predators. Sex outside of marriage. All of this is part of the ongoing on the family. 

If I told you today that there was someone coming to break into your home, you'd do all you could to prevent it. The truth is, the Evil One is trying to break into your home. How are you protecting it? The reality is, no one is on the sidelines in this war. We are all engaged in this battle. How are you contributing? A lack of contribution is contribution toward the Enemy.

5. Your children need it

Prom Dresses, baseball, and college. All those things are great. But one day our children will stand before the throne of the God of the Universe. And they will give an account of their life. And we have the opportunity right now to instill in them the truths of God’s Word. They need it.

Their little hearts are so malleable. Press the truths of God on them! Let us strive them the gospel regularly, and intentionally! "Oh, but I don't want to sway my child one way or the other. I just want them to make their own choices." I promise you that if you don't intentionally seek to shape your child, the world will. "But I don't want to shelter my child." Well, sheltering your child, along with feeding and clothing him, is the sign of a good parent! No, I don't mean be a 'helicopter' parent. But I do mean take a focused and thoughtful approach to rearing your children in the Lord.

· This will manifest itself in daily conversations you have with your kids. Talk to them about the Bible, the gospel, God, sin, forgiveness.

· And it will manifest itself in intentional times of family devotions and prayer

Family worship is something we must recover in our homes. Resolve that at least 2-3 nights a week you will take 10-15 minutes with your children memorizing Scripture, talking about the Bible, singing songs of the faith, and explaining the gospel and its ramifications. 

6. You love your children

Read the type of person that Scripture calls blessed. Look at Psalm 1:1-3 for example. And so, because we love our children we instruct them in these truths. We want our children to live a blessed life don't we? We don’t just want them to escape hell. We want them to see life for what it was intended: To enjoy God and glorify Him forever! Because we love them we want them to live a life that matters.

7. Your soul needs it

It’s been said that our hearts are idol factories. Meaning, we are constantly reaching out to other things to worship. Whether it’s our self-esteem, or self-image, or even our children’s popularity, or money, or sports, or a certain size of clothes, or whatever.

You weren’t made to worship these things. You were made to worship the God who made you! You will find as you intentionally instruct your children in the ways of Christ that your own soul will find refreshment in the truths of Scripture.

As you teach you learn. As you teach your children to worship, you worship. As they grow, you grow. And your soul needs this.

8. The church needs it 

Psalm 127:3-4 says "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth."

I love this imagery. The bible says children are like arrows in the hands of a warrior. That’s a manly image. Arrows. In the hands of a warrior.

So, in a sense, God has given the church this mighty weapon in children, whom we can rear and then shoot out at the forces of darkness and press them back as the Kingdom of God advances.

The local church should have a big picture focus on this. We can ever strive to equip and encourage parents in this. You remember Braveheart? Or any movie that depicts a battle scene like that. Here come the archers first and they just let loose a barrage of arrows. Wave after wave after wave! So, get your arrows ready. Get them ready to be of use to the church. Don’t let your children actually be tools in the hand of the Enemy. The church needs us to pour into our children now so that when they come of age, they can serve, and love, and assist in winning souls to Jesus, instead of needing to be won.

Do not bow to cultural expectations for rearing your children. The Bible Belt can be the toughest place to raise a Chrisitan child sometimes only because what passes as 'Christian' is too often contrary to Scripture. Do not be a parent that wants your child to have worldly success at the expense of a total commitment to following Christ in all areas. 

In Southern Baptist life, many adults have their names on a church roll but don't actually attend or at based attend occasionally. Do all in your power to not let your children grow up with that sort of commitment or mentality. Many professing Southern Baptists don't actually love the church and we know that any person who doesn't love the church doesn't love Christ and is, therefore, unregenerate. Don't settle for this in rearing your children.

Yes, we know that it is the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit that regenerates hearts. But do all in your power to set your children an example of what a true Believer really is and then teach them intentionally the truths of God's Word. Teach them that the church isn't an add on to our week but what we schedule our week around. Show them tangible examples of generosity, grace, and sharing the gospel.

Our children need to be on this side of the mission carrying the banner of Christ to places still unreached instead of on the other side of the mission needing to be reached…

9. The world needs it

As Christian parents, we should be light to this world (cf. Matt. 5:16). Rearing your children with the primary goal of God’s glory isn’t common. The world needs to see that you’re different. When your children’s friends come over they need to see you engage in this behavior. Let your friends see you engage in this behavior.

The world needs to see that you don’t have a Sunday faith only but you desire to worship God with every aspect of your life. They need to see a recovery of biblical Christianity, and that is going to begin in the home. 

Yup. You will definitely have a high chance here of being looked at as 'weird' or 'counter-cultural.' But that's exactly what the gospel is to the world isn't it? Foolishness. I'm not saying strive to be weird by any means. I don't think that's a spiritual gift! But the world needs to see what it's like for parents who love Christ supremely. More than your kids’ popularity. More than gymnastics. More than sports. You’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good and this has changed everything about you….

No, the world won't be saved through your Christian parenting. But your Christian parenting does give testimony to the gospel and how Christ saves to the uttermost.

10. We have no excuses

What I am talking about is being intentional in pouring God’s truth into our children.

Setting time aside a few nights a week to read the Bible together. To pray together. To ask questions. To sing. To talk about God’s Truth. To have a big picture view of raising your kids to the glory of God by intentionally proclaiming God’s Word to them. To talk of God's truth "when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise" (Deut. 6:7).

I think the 2 biggest excuses for people are these:

        1. I don’t have time

It is certainly true that we are all busy. But, this is a priority isn’t it? It’s ok to give up other things, in order to do this thing. Unplug the satellite if necessary. Cancel your child's basketball season if that's what it takes. This is important enough to make time for.

        2. I don’t know how

Just start with this: Open up the bible and read it with your kids, and pray, and then maybe sing a simple song that is age appropriate. God has equipped you in this! You can do this! 

Will you?


Let me close with this: There are no perfect parents. We've all failed, and we've all fallen short. Our salvation isn't based on our parenting skills but on the finished work of Christ. Jesus bore the wrath of God on our behalf, including the wrath that we deserve for our failures as parents. So, God accepts us in Christ! We don't parent so that God will love us. God has already proven His love for us in the finished work of His Son. So, the gospel has freed us to bring our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Yes, we fall short, but we are free now to strive for holiness in our families in such a way that God is pleased and that our families, churches, and communities will be affected positively for our good and His glory. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

How We Do Family Worship



I wrote the following almost 7 years ago. Our little family has grown since then but much of what we do is still the same:

This blog is not about ‘why’ we do family worship in our home, but how. I hope that everyone reading this understands the biblical foundation for family worship found in Scripture. As mentioned in previous blogs, Deut. 6:5-7 clearly states that parents are responsible for teaching their children about the Lord and His commands.

First of all, I want to say that we do not have the perfect model; nor are we perfect in our current framework of family worship. There are still things that we’d like to imporve on, but what we’ve started is a foundation for family worship in the home that we plan on lasting the rest of our lives.

We do our worship in the evenings right after supper. This usually happens about 4-5 days out of the week, but sometimes can be only a few if we have to be gone several nights. I want to take a side note here and say that families need to get back to eating supper together. Make it goal in the near future to eat together at least 3 nights out of the week for starters. I know families are busier and busier but the dinner table is a place we can laugh, cry, and bond together as a family. Some of us don’t understand the value of family dinners because we didn’t grow up eating supper as a family. If this describes you, I highly recomend that you start encouraging your family to eat supper together on a regular basis. The time shared is truly invaluable! This doesn’t mean you have to do family worship right after supper… This just happens to be the best time for us because we are all together (and we aren’t what you would call “morning people”!). Also, even if you don’t do family worship after dinner, still make it a priority to cut out some of the extracurricular activities that are preventing your family from eating supper together.

Ok so, right after dinner we’ll clean off the table and then I’ll read a passage of Scripture. We were reading through Bradyn’s Children’s Bible, but we haven’t been the last several weeks. If you have smaller children a children’s illustrated Bible really does come in handy! Lately, I’ve just been reading passages of Scripture that God has laid on my heart. I try to balance Old Testament and New Testament readings. Honestly, a reading plan would be better, and we are going to try and work on that in the future!

After I read the Bible I’ll aske a couple of simple questions. Bradyn’s only 2 and Caleb is 4 months, so I know they aren’t technically “learning” but it does help build a foundation for how we will do things in the future. Occasionally, Steph and I will discuss things from the reading on an adult level with each other. After the reading and questions, we’ll sing. We have an older Baptist Hymnal, but don’t use it every time. I have a guitar, but we don’t use it every time either. For about a year we’ve been really wearing out Jesus Loves Me! But it is important to sing different songs and I would encourage you to get a hymnal or other song book to help you sing with your family.

The last thing we do after 1-2 (sometimes 3-5!) songs is pray. We don’t just pray a generic “bless our family” prayer. Instead we try to pray according to the passage of Scripture that we just read. For example, 2 Peter 1:21 was in our reading the other night, and we thanked God for His inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.

This whole process takes about 10-15 minutes! I think so many people don’t do family worship because they are worried about time frame… In the future we may plan on taking longer as we introduce more “involved” questions and even Catechism(similar to the Westminster Catechism) but still the whole thing doesn’t have to last longer than 15-20 minutes at the most. Obviously don’t be looking at the clock ready to shut it down if kids are asking questions, but also don’t feel you have to give up your whole evening either.

So that’s basically it… The whole process of the Nelson Family Worship time. My challenge to you is to just start. Even if you can only plan on doing it 1 day every week right now, that’s fine. Just begin. If your kids are older it may take some getting used to, but still we must adhere to the biblical model of family discipleship. Maybe you don’t have kids yet or they’ve already left home. In that case I would still challenge you to have a similar form of worship time in your home. If you dont’ have kids yet, this is a great way to lay a foundation for one of the ways you will help raise godly children. Think about this:

If we can’t worship in the home, how can we worship during church services?

***

There's more I could add but after 7 years we basically keep the same format! We have memorized many bible verses, and the Apostles Creed. We've sang lots of songs. We've read through Pilgrim's Progress during one season. We've used other helps like The Ology, The Biggest Story, and The Jesus Story Book Bible. We've had some great conversations, some laughs, and even frustrations. We aren't perfect and there have been many nights I've wondered "is this worth it?" But I assure you it is! And I encourage you that if you still have kids at home start this TODAY!

It is our duty and privilege to be the primary disciple makers of our children. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

15 Books on Discipleship


blur, blurred, book

Over the years I've read several books on discipleship. I thought I would just jot down a few that have been the most helpful. They all deal with at least some aspect of discipleship.

And here's a quick disclaimer: I may not necessarily agree with everything in each book. In fact, I know I don't agree with everything in every book listed below (except #15!). But, there is still enough value in each book that I would recommend it to you.

Hope this list is helpful! Also, they are NOT listed in any particular order.

1. The Reformed Pastor by Ricard Baxter (a must read for every pastor!)

2. and 3. Radical Together and Follow Me by David Platt

4. and 5. Apparent Privilege and reThink by Steve Wright (particularly helpful for parenting and the truth that parents are the primary disciple makers of their children)

6. One to One Bible Reading by David Helm

7. Gospel-Centered Discipleship by Jonathan K. Dodson

8. Community by Brad House (I 100% do not agree with the way the person who wrote the foreword handled his church planting situation. And I am not aware that he has since been restored biblically. So, I hesitate adding this one. Also, I don't agree always with the language of 'contextualization.' With that being said, there is still some helpful truth in this work when it comes to small groups).

9. Discipling by Mark Dever

10. Evangelism by J. Mack Stiles

11. Growing up by Robby Gallaty

12. Instruments in the Redeemers Hands by Paul David Tripp

13. and 14 The Trellis and the Vine and The Vine Project by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne (although both were great and helpful, I think you could get the most out of just reading The Vine Project).

15. The Bible - No, I didn't put that just to be cute or because I felt like I had to! But, the Bible is our sufficient means of making disciples. It's not just what we use to make disciples but it also instructs us how! So, don't leave it out of your list of discipleship books!