I got to meet Mike Breen a few weeks ago and hear his heart on discipleship.  As a pastor in England, he moved his church into a discipling movement that caused many to take note.  He has served as a teacher, speaker, and consultant in recent years.

I enjoyed hearing his heart and methodology regarding discipleship in the book, Building a Discipling Culture.

Favorite Quotes

  1. If you make disciples, you always get the church.  But if you make a church, you rarely get disciples (11).
  2. Jesus created a highly inviting but highly challenging culture for his disciples to function and grow within (18).
  3. There seem to be three different ways that we learn, but unequivocally, we learn best when there is a dynamic interplay between all three at one time: 1) Classroom/Lecture passing on of information, 2) Apprenticeship, 3) Immersion (21).
  4. Only when we achieve a base level of competence in using information and imitation can innovation flourish (42).
  5. Learn to be disciples by becoming life-long learners of Jesus (51).
  6. There is no risk in doing God’s will (61).
  7. Jesus lived out his life in three relationships: Up – with his Father; In – with his chosen followers; Out – with the hurting world around him (67).
  8. If you stop all productive activity in your life, you are pulling away from your God-designed calling (89).
  9. Our priority as leaders should be to live out a transformed life in front of those we seek to lead (99).
  10. As the disciples grow and change through each stage, so his leadership style adjusts accordingly (110).
  11. For the next generation, the journey of faith in community will not be about doing church but about being the Church (113).
  12. Life is a process of learning to walk with God, learning to relate and communicate with God (132).
  13. Church health and growth is all about life – the body of Christ being an organism rather than an organization (141).
  14. The destiny of the Church is directly tied to how passionate she remains to her mission (153).
  15. Huddle leaders act as the primary disciplers of the members of the group, not as facilitators.  They are giving their lives as something worth imitating, giving their members access to all parts of their lives (172).

Book Overview

There is a discipleship crisis in the Western church. Many Christians may come to a worship service, join a small group or even tithe, but few have the kind of transformed lives we read about in Scripture. If we made disciples like Jesus made them, we wouldn’t have a problem finding leaders or seeing new people come to faith. Building a Discipling Culture is the product of 25+ years of hands-on discipleship practice — developed in a post-Christian context, tackling how to make the types of missional disciples Jesus spoke of.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.