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Discipleship occurs when someone answers the call to learn from Jesus how to live his or her life—as though Jesus were living it. The end result is that the disciple becomes the kind of person who naturally does what Jesus did.
How the church understands salvation and the gospel is the key to recovering a biblical theology of discipleship. Our doctrines of grace and salvation, in some cases, actually prevent us from creating an expectation that we are to be disciples of Jesus. A person can profess to be a Christian and yet still live under the impression that they don’t need to actually follow Jesus. Being a follower is seen as an optional add-on, not a requirement. It is a choice, not a demand. Being a Christian today has no connection with the biblical idea that we are formed into the image of Christ.
In this ground-breaking new book, pastor and author Bill Hull shows why our existing models of evangelism and discipleship fail to actually produce followers of Jesus. He looks at the importance of recovering a robust view of the gospel and taking seriously the connection between conversion—answering the call to follow Jesus—and discipleship—living like the one we claim to follow.
About the Author
Bill Hull is a discipleship evangelist and the author of the bestselling discipleship classics, The Disciple-Making Pastor, and Jesus Christ, Disciplemaker. He served as a pastor for 20 years and now leads the Bonhoeffer Project. Bill regularly speaks and teaches on discipleship and also serves as an adjunct professor at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.
I’ve been reading and listening to Bill Hull for years. He’s been a discipleship coach in my life, and for countless others. I’m so thankful for him, his work, and his passion for discipleship. -- Ed Stetzer, www.edstetzer.com
Bill Hull is spot on. Disciples are not a special class of Christians. Bill has provided us with a challenging and thought-provoking examination of biblical conversion and discipleship. My bet is that you won’t agree with everything in these pages. (I didn’t.) But I guarantee you that your ministry and personal walk with Jesus will benefit greatly from wrestling with the wisdom and insights he provides. -- Larry Osborne, author and pastor, North Coast Church, Vista, CA
Bill Hull believes that in receiving Christ as Lord and Savior, we also receive his lifestyle of making disciples. The two commitments go together. Not the kind of book to read lounging in a rocking chair munching on chocolates. -- Robert E. Coleman, author, The Master Plan for Evangelism
I am convinced that one of the deepest flaws in discipleship derives from our lack of understanding of the significance of repentance as an intrinsic part of a living relationship with God. Bill, as the longtime activist for the disciple-making cause, makes an irrefutable case for the relationship of ongoing conversion to a life of discipleship. A well-written book on an important topic. -- Alan Hirsch, award-winning author; founder, Forge, 100Movements, and Future Travelers; www.alanhirsch.org
Bill Hull has been committed to discipleship for many years and has helped to shape many of the minds who consider discipleship the core mission of the church. I admire Bill so much because he is not just a theorist but a practitioner who does what he says others ought to do. He has given those committed to discipleship a new theological tool to promote something that has been left out of the church for some time. I know you will enjoy this book as much as I did. -- Jim Putman, senior pastor, Real Life Ministries; coauthor, Discipleshift
Bill Hull’s lifelong journey has given him one of the most important leadership roles in the discipleship movement of the last fifty years, and makes him uniquely qualified to guide the church to true biblical discipleship. This will be a hard read for some because Bill speaks directly and with no nonsense to those who have substituted elitist programs for biblical discipleship. Read, and heed, the clarion call of this book. -- Michael J. Wilkins, Distinguished Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Talbot School of Theology
Discipleship has turned into a buzzword that too many are throwing around without properly defining it. In such a sea of voices, we desperately need a navigational chart to get us back on a biblical course. In this book, Bill Hull provides the course correction we need. -- Robby Gallaty, senior pastor, Long Hollow Baptist Church
This book is a must for church leaders. It deals with the root issues, the upstream theological realities that are required to make a sustainable discipleship movement in your church and beyond. Read it, ponder it, and let it change your life and ministry. I heartily endorse Conversion and Discipleship. -- Dr. Bobby Harrington, director, Discipleship.org; board member Relational Discipleship Network; author and pastor
Bill Hull writes boldly about how Dallas Willard challenged him to think differently about one of the key pillars of evangelicalism, the meaning of the gospel, and the natural bond between conversation and discipleship (aka apprenticeship). For Jesus’ disciples, the good news was not that they could say a magic phrase and then go to heaven when they died; the good news was that they could enter into an apprenticeship with Jesus and begin living an eternal sort of life right then and there. Nothing has changed. That is still the good news. -- Gary W. Moon, PhD; executive director, Martin Institute and Dallas Willard Center,Westmont College