Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cultivating a life for God

I came across a great review of a book that I just read. I am going to copy his post here as it serves as a great review.

From Adam Feldman's blog

Book #6: Cultivating a Life for God: Multiplying Disciples Through Life Transformation Groups
Author: Neil Cole
Genre: Christian Practice
Rating (1-5): 4.3

This book reads just the way I want a non-fiction book to read: succinct/concise (only 122 pages!), purposed (I knew exactly what Cole was wanting to say to his audience) and inspiring (I am planning to try some of the principles he lays out). At the outset of my review of Cultivating a Life for God, I recommend this book to anyone remotely interested in discovering Jesus Christ, learning from Him and living for Him.

The book is about simply this: to make more and better disciples (1). Cole is not content with methods of "discipleship" or "evangelism" that do not pursue the goal of an integrated Christian spirituality. This book is an offering of one method that he stumbled upon (thank you, Cole, for your transparency) and continual practices to ensure his personal growth and the growth of those who are part of his congregation. That practice of making more and better disciples is simple: life transformation groups (LTG).

LTG discipleship is so profoundly simple that Cole requires seven chapters to build up to the moment when he introduces the concept over a mere 8 pages. His reasoning is that the reader must understand and agree with essential foundational concepts before running out and starting LTGs. Nonetheless, the LTG is a simple concept. From chapter 8: "The LTG accountability consists of three essential disciplines for personal spiritual growth--a steady diet of Scripture, confession of sin and prayer for others who need Christ" (63).

What I like most about the concept of the LTG is that it is simple and rapidly reproducible. LTGs focus on immersion in God's Word, rather than in expensive Bible study materials; dependence upon prayer, rather than upon personalities of leaders; and action, rather than merely talking about evangelism and sanctification. There are potential drawbacks to the LTG concept, but Cole spends an entire chapter addressing these drawbacks, offering a quasi-FAQ approach to troubleshooting them.


adam said...

hello. in answer to your question, we are currently exploring a modified "ltg" format. we recently discovered that cole doesn't experience the overwhelming exponential multiplication that he claims the ltg produces. it's more like addition. (think 2+2+2 as opposed to 2x2x2.) nonetheless, we like the simplicity of it and are pursuing ways to explore it in our church.

btw, thanks for including my name and linkage back to my post/blog. it really irritates me when people copy entire posts from other blogs onto their own blog and never give a heads-up of where it came from.

flowerlady said...

wow, you are being prolific. Kelly is really enjoying that book, too. He's on his second read through...