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Review: Growing Disciples Organically, The Jesus Method of Spiritual Formation by Don Detrick

Title: Growing Disciples Organically, The Jesus Method of Spiritual Formation
Author: Don Detrick
Publisher: Deep River Books May 16, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction
Labels: Discipleship, Christian Living, Church Growth, Culture
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 192
Rating: 5 Stars

Summary:
"In my lifelong pursuit of becoming a more devoted disciple of Jesus, I have indeed recognized that my hunger to hear God's Word is proportionate to the depth of my relationship with him at any given time. This is but one of many life lessons that have informed me that discipleship is relational, it is cyclic, it is perpetual. In a word, it is organic."  From the foreword by Les Welk
Growing Disciples Organically, The Jesus Method of Spiritual Formation, was written by author Don Detrick, who as a youth grew up working on the family farm. He understands the fundamental knowledge of farming, the everyday relationship of farming, the hard work of farming, and that a farm is a living organic life. He uses key principles he learned from farming, and has applied them to discipling believer's, and the Church.
 
Don Detrick is in leadership at Northwest Ministry Network. He'd been a pastor for over 35 years, and taught at a seminary. He lives in the Seattle, Washington area, with his wife a newspaper columnist. They have three adult children, and three grandchildren. 

My Thoughts:
I found this book to be a refreshing approach, a simple and yet unique approach, to understanding discipleship, and our current Church.

Several issues and important questions are brought forth by the author in this meaty book. I'll tackle three of each. 
The first two issues are on change in the Church, and this is compared to the changes in farming over the 20th-21st centuries. 
One dominate issue is many younger people struggle in deciding where to attend church, will it be a mega-church or a smaller church, another alternative is a home-church, or maybe not going to church at all. This had been a question I had to answer earlier this year. After attending a mega-church for several months, I instead decided to join a smaller church. Many in the younger generation want a large mega-type church because of the availability of more entertainment, studies, guest speakers, larger band, media availability, and a bigger budget period. Some are turned off by mainstream traditional type churches. I chose a small family- type church, a church where people want to know me and they want a relationship with me, I'm not just filling space in an auditorium. I'd gotten to the point where I was put-off by being entertained, and felt I was wasting my time and God's time (so to speak). So, I joined a smaller church, where I'm plugged in and busy at work.

A second issue is discussed on page 4, "new wine skins" which is new generation methods, versus "old wine skins" which is older generation methods. Right now the Church is going through a transition. It's happened before. It will at some point in the future happen again. The older generation that likes things as they've been, are at enmity against those of the younger generation that wants change---which they consider progress and embrace joyfully. Change, is a word that the older a person gets the less they like. I'm in the middle. I can relate to both sides of this issue.

Don Detrick asks two important questions: 
1. "How do we envision the future of the Church?" page 21.
The author then explained that we must "meet the needs of this generation of people, and not isolate us or them." But I ask, how can change happen without a side feeling slighted? The author gave me a profound answer as a question.
2. " When our memories of the past are more exciting than our vision for the future, we have begun to die." page 21.
In addressing a third and last example, the author discussed the importance of organic spiritual formation.  The importance of learning about Jesus at home and in church. As we grow up we so often think other's need to look just like us. Don stated that when growing farm produce not all of it will look alike. Not all Christian's look alike. This leads to my last issue, judging people by how they look. 
Gosh, has there ever been a time in the churches history where this has NOT been a problem? 
I'm glad that Don brought this up, because we should never ever forget it, because it entangles us, it makes us judgmental, critical, arrogant, pitiable, and it hinders the Gospel.
Don Detrick gives a lesson for all of us, "don't judge people by their appearance, but by their fruit." page 106. This leads to a last question.

A third important question, 
"What if we had a vision for developing people who look like Jesus, instead of us?" 
I took 6 pages of notes from this book, I could have written a lengthy review quoting many gems of quotes and thought provoking questions, those I listed were only a few.
This is an excellent book, an insightful book. Don Detrick loves the Church, and most important he loves Jesus and has a heart for His Gospel.

Don Detrick Ministry site:
http://www.nwministry.com/about-us/our-team/don-detrick.html
His blog:
http://www.dondetrick.blogspot.com/
And another site:
http://www.dondetrick.com/

Thank you to Don Detrick, Bring it on Communications! and Deep River Books for my FREE review copy!
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Link for book @ publisher:
http://www.deepriverbooks.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Don+Detrick

Link for book @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Disciples-Organically-Spiritual-Formation/dp/1937756815/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369927265&sr=8-1&keywords=don+detrick
Paperback $13.48
Kindle $7.99

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