Book Review: Insourcing by Randy Pope
Insourcing: bringing discipleship back to the local church
By Randy Pope
I found this book so helpful that I bought a copy and gave it to my friend to read.
Most churches have small / cell / home group bible studies, but “Are we excelling in making mature and equipped followers of Christ?” This is the question behind Randy Pope’s book on discipleship.
Pope begins by evaluating the current and previous prevailing models (pastoral, influential, attractional & missional) and looks at their strengths and weaknesses, and suggests a new (old) paradigm of what he has called ‘Life on life missional discipleship (LOLMD)’. What Pope is not doing, is arguing for a particular programme, rather, calling the church back to the original calling of making disciples who will be mature and equipped to go and make disciples.
“Somehow, we must learn to take the broad message of the gospel and the wide mission of the church and deliver it person-by-person until our people filled with it.”
Pope wants people to learn, rather than be taught, to be equipped, not just to know the truth. (“Equipping”, he says “is massaging the truth until it becomes understandable and usable”) He stresses that discipleship is not just informational and not just relational (a strength of small groups) but that it is action oriented as well, that it propels people to engage the community around them.
Throughout the book Pope gives us a fictional LOLMD group, to show how it might look (which I actually found quite moving at times), and the appendix has the outline of how the groups work at his church, though his stress is not for others to copy the programme, but to appropriate the principles.
I found that I was excited to keep reading the next chapter. It really encouraged me to think about this paradigm, and how it might impact the small groups I’m already a part of. I appreciated that it wasn’t a mega-church pastor telling us how to copy him, but a pastor with a heart for discipleship sharing his ideas and encouraging others to take up the challenge. It’s written in a ‘leadership book’ style, but I think that Pope subtly subverts the genre in the process.
I recommend this book to anyone thinking about how to engage in discipleship and equip others for mature service.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.