The Best Single Chapters in Books on Making Disciples #1

I’ve read a lot chapters in books on Making Disciples.  In fact, over the years, I’ve probably read hundreds.  Those of you who know me, know that I’m hooked on the topic of Making Disciples.  I’ve even created and have been co-managing the Facebook Page “Making Disciples,” for several years now.  I’d invite you to like that page by Clicking Here.  Every once and a while I come across a chapter in one of those books that makes me go back and read it more than once.  Recently, I’ve come across one of those chapters.  Because this is the first post in what I hope will be an ongoing series, I don’t want to insinuate that this first post represents the “best of the best,” but it is the single best chapter on disciple making that I’ve read in some time.  It’s from the book “Gospel Centered Discipleship” by Jonathan Dodson.  This chapter is called “Part 1: Defining Discipleship.”    

These quotes were both refreshing and provocative:


“The attempt to clarify discipleship by separating it from evangelism actually muddies the waters.” 1

“The separation of evangelism from discipleship implies that “sharing the gospel” with non-Christians is an activity that is unnecessary with Christians. It intimates that the gospel doesn’t need to be shared with disciples. This dichotomy surfaces a false view of the gospel, namely that the gospel has the power to save but not to sanctify.” 2

“Christ-centered repentance and forgiveness is something to be heard and applied, not just once, but for the entirety of a disciple’s life.” 3

“The gospel isn’t just for evangelism, the initial making of disciples. It is also for discipleship, the continual making of disciples. Jesus’s view of discipleship is radically gospel centered. The gospel is for not-yet disciples and already disciples.” 4

“Jesus’s Commission is not mission centered but gospel centered.” 5

“Christians who internalize the gospel of grace more and more are compelled to spread the gospel more and more. The problem, however, is that very often the gospel we preach and teach is malnourished. In evangelism, the gospel is frequently reduced to a spiritual ticket to guarantee a reservation in heaven. This view of the gospel makes joining the mission of God or submitting to Jesus Christ as Lord optional. It teaches us that the gospel is all we need to cash in the ticket when death comes knocking at our door.” 6

“A disciple of Jesus, then, is someone who learns the gospel, relates in the gospel, and communicates the gospel. In short, disciples are gospel centered. 7

I found these quotes refreshing because they address a subject about which there is much confusion within the body of Christ.  Namely, the unhealthy and unbiblical separation of evangelism and discipleship.  They are provacative because Mr. Dodson boldly lays out definitions without hesitation, and these definitions are actionable.  A few questions:


What chapters from which books on Disciple Making should I include in this series?

Do you see a biblically warranted distinction between evangelism & discipleship?

What is your favorite “Gospel Presentation” in the Bible? 



For Related Posts, see:

7 God Directed Deviations in Disciple Making

7 More God Directed Deviations in Disciple Making


All references are from Dodson, Jonathan K. (2012-03-07). Gospel-Centered Discipleship (Re: Lit Books)  Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.  I read Kindle Editions (Ebooks) because I’m a missionary, along with my wife, in the Ecuadorian Andes Mountains Cloud Forest Region and “real” books are hard to get and hard to keep because they mold.  I’d be happy to review any chapter from any book on Making Disciples, Evangelism, The Gospel, or Mission and include them in this series.

1.  (Kindle Locations 360-361)

2.  (Kindle Locations 362-365)

3.  (Kindle Locations 459-460)

4.   (Kindle Locations 465-466)

5.  (Kindle Location 474)

6.  (Kindle Locations 484-487)

7.  (Kindle Locations 502-504)




0 thoughts on “The Best Single Chapters in Books on Making Disciples #1

  1. Claudia Labrador says:

    You’ve been saying these same things way before Dodson’ book came out. Maybe with more people speaking up about it, it will actually begin to be seen as a legitimate observation on the part of evangelism and discipleship not being separate with regards to Biblical principles.

  2. Laurie Norris says:

    When I read your articles Miguel, I see the journey. I sense (discern?) that you are not just preachin’ and teachin’. Neither have you merely withdrawn to the caves to pray and fast. I sense that your are walkin’ the walk, And, talkin’ the talk.
    That was the sort of thing that drew me to “The Way” or the “Good News” or whatever it is presented as. That is the sort of thing that helps me land my next footfall.

    There are folks who say “There is a great treasure over there”. How could you believe them?
    I would ask, “If there is a great treasure over there, what are you doing over here?”
    (Unless he was walking towards it)
    Or I would scoff and say “Wow, You have found a great way for ME to live?”
    (Unless he was living that way)
    Or say “I should be more unselfish? What, and fill your basket?
    (Unless he was more unselfish and filling baskets)
    The military separates the components of walking like this. Left Right Left Right Left Right
    We can inhale deeply, and we can just breathe. May God sustain you in your journey (and help me to keep up).

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