Beyond Discipleship To Relationship: Developing Intimacy With The Lord, by Barbara A.F. Brehon
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/WestBow Press in exchange for an honest review.]
There are times when someone wants to read a straightforward book that presents a straightforward case for the importance of improving discipleship to the point where someone is able to build a strong relationship with God and with other believers. When one is in the mood for a simple book written by someone who is pretty relentlessly open with their points and perspectives, and who has a practical aim and a clear desire to present before the world the results of instruction and research, this is the sort of book that hits the spot. This is not a demanding book, and its extreme simplicity and directness can make it sound more than a little bit preachy at times, but this is an author who lacks the guile to be anything more than straightforward, and when one is talking about how to best equip people to teach others, that is not a bad thing. After all, given that this book does not take long to read and one does not have to be concerned about hidden meanings, this is a book I appreciated reading even where I found it to be misguided in its interpretations on evangelism and the nature of God.
The contents of this book, as might be expected, are extremely straightforward. The book is divided into larger sections of individual discipleship and spiritual mentoring and leadership. The first part is further subdivided into sections on broken pieces, connecting with Christ, and helping us escape the threat of ourselves, and the importance of building relationships, including some biblical comments on the Great Commission. The second part includes a lot of discussion on how to mentor disciples using a triad form where a disciple learns from a teacher with a facilitator to help the process along, and also includes a lot of references to various courses taught by the author and feedback on how people managed to respond to the courses taught. The end result is a book that offers a practical look at how someone tries to encourage others to build a relationship with God , a matter many people write books on.
What kind of people would most appreciate this book? Readers who are looking for some practical guidance in how to help equip others for ministries will find a good deal to appreciate here. Likewise, those who are looking for results of education efforts, and are interested in reading short and straightforward accounts of how someone can, through self-knowledge and a relationship with God, avoid being caught up in the ambitions of other people and can serve as they understand God to be leading them. This book, written by someone who claims to be a minister, is nonetheless remarkable in the way that it encourages readers to turn down offices they are not suited for, although the motives for this can vary considerably. This is not a book that people will agree with entirely, but those who appreciate the fact that the author does not disguise or hide any aspect of what she is writing about ought to appeal to those looking for blunt honesty in books.
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