Becoming a Devoted Follower of Christ
by Phil McKinney II
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Pub Date 12 Mar 2019 | Archive Date 11 Oct 2019
Abilene Christian University Press & Leafwood Publishers, Leafwood Publishers
Following Jesus is a lifelong journey of transformation.
“Follow me!” These two words changed the lives of twelve unlikely individuals in the first century, and they can change the course of your life as well. Many people claim to follow Jesus, but truly following him involves a commitment to transformational discipleship, not just nominal acceptance. Discipleship was the mission of Christ, and therefore, as disciples, it is our mission as well, both to be disciples and to make disciples.
Following as a disciple of Jesus begins with hearing his call and then desiring to grow in our relationship with him. However, we are too often satisfied with simply receiving God’s grace and neglect to give it back. We desire to gain all the privileges of a disciple minus the commitment to be one. As a result, we need to develop a consistent, coordinated, and intentional plan for greater spiritual growth and discipleship, focused on gaining an ever increasing ability to apply God’s Word to life. If you want more than sitting in pews and checking off church participation boxes, if you are ready to live the life Christ calls you to by following him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, this book is for you.
“Phil’s heart for discipleship is evident from the start. Challenging a ‘fast food’ approach to the Christian life, he outlines a methodology for becoming a committed disciple of Christ. This book provides a much-needed approach for strengthening God’s church for both mission and service, showing us what it takes to live as true representatives of God.”
— Rev. John Delancey, director of Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours and author of Devotional Treasures from the Holy Land
“D2 is one of the few books on discipleship I have seen that offers a clear path to knowing God in a more intimate way. Phil answers the practical questions of ‘Why?’ ‘What?’ and ‘How?’ in a manner accessible for everyone. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a longing to dive deeper in their faith.”
— Jackie Halstead, founder and CEO of the Selah Center for Spiritual Formation
“With the simple image of fast-food Christianity, Phil asks us to think about what we are truly converted to. We are all inevitably discipling someone to something, but what if what we are leading them to makes little difference? There is, as this book makes clear, a ‘more excellent way.’”
— Randy Harris, instructor, Department of Bible, Missions, and Ministry, Abilene Christian University, and author of Living Jesus
“When relegated to theory, spiritual formation becomes only an abstraction. McKinney’s volume refreshingly repudiates this notion by providing readers with rock-solid spiritual practices for the heart, soul, and mind. Both individuals and small groups will benefit from his explanation of discipleship, one that is accessible to all maturing disciples of Jesus.”
—David Wray, professor emeritus of Bible, Abilene Christian University
“This is a thorough and honest explanation of the challenges and great blessings of discipleship. McKinney dissects the cultural forces preventing us from following Jesus and offers a plan for getting in step with the Spirit. It’s a reminder of the simple, but high, hopes Jesus has for our discipleship. The church needs this book!”
— Houston Heflin, associate professor of ministry, Abilene Christian University, author of Pray Like You Breathe
“Ministers and Bible teachers speak a lot about being a disciple and call their listeners to various actions, but it often feels like a consumeristic, shallow attempt to increase membership and involvement. If we truly want to be followers of Christ, we must define discipleship and identify the real benefits of participating in the difficult journey of becoming a mature follower of Christ. This is why I love D2. It introduces us to a practical, well thought-out journey from nominal acceptance to maturity in Christ. I will be using this book to strengthen my teaching as well as my own personal journey of discipleship.”
— David Fraze, director of youth ministry, Lubbock Christian University, and author of Practical Wisdom for Youth Ministry
“If we take it seriously, Jesus’s provocative command to ‘make disciples’ will transform the Christian life and his church. Phil’s message rightly shifts our focus from a program-driven perspective of discipleship to one that is relational, involving the whole person and the whole church. Employing a wide range of resources, Phil offers a vibrant, biblical view of discipleship with plenty of on-the-ground application.”
— Phil Howard, professor of ministry leadership and spiritual formation, Toccoa Falls College
“Grounded in biblical narrative and personal experience, Phil’s insights are partnered with constructive and practical ways for Christians to develop a deeper, more authentic relationship with God. I highly recommend this book to Christians who want to engage more purposefully in their walk of faith.”
— Ben Pickett, discipleship minister at the Highland Church of Christ, Abilene, TX
“Thousands of books have been written on discipleship. Yet Phil writes with a fresh voice, sharing how discipleship works best when it is understood and practiced in community. Every eldership, ministry staff, and leadership team needs to dive into D2 and gain a better understanding of how to live out and teach discipleship in their immediate context.”
— Josh Ross, lead minister at Sycamore View Church in Memphis, TN, and author of Scarred Faith and Re\entry
“If you are serious about Christian spiritual formation being more than theory, roll up your sleeves and take the intentional message and guidance of D2 into your life. In this book, Phil demonstrates his passion for discipleship and his compassion for those who want to be transformed but have been trapped by ineffective methods. Not simply a how-to book, D2 will challenge you to become the person you are called to be.” — Daniel Stockstill, associate dean, College of Bible and Ministry, Harding University
“Phil McKinney offers readers the fruit of a congregation’s study and reflection on discipleship. Suitable for small groups and Bible classes, D2 outlines a curriculum for becoming disciples and disciple-makers. This timely book reflects the experience of McKinney’s long tenure with a vibrant church.”
— Carson Reed, vice president for church relations and executive director of the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry, Abilene Christian University
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 3 members
The argument is that the church is called to disciple, and generally speaking we've opted out of that and into an easy-going reductionism nowadays.
The author goes through explaining the qualities exhibited by someone in each stage of spiritual maturity.
It is a worthwhile quick read.