Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Insourcing




Randy Pope, the founder and pastor of Perimeter Church in Atlanta, has written an eye-opening manual called Insourcing. Based on his 45 years of making disciples, Insourcing presents a case for what the author refers to as the Life-On-Life Discipleship Model (LOLMD).

For too long the church has outsourced discipleship to parachurch organizations, and it is time to begin to insource once again.

While this is not the first book on discipleship I have read, it is the first one that includes a composite of what could take place in a discipleship group setting. With admittedly smooth results and quick answers to prayer, these composite sketches give a glimpse into what the reader can hope for; beyond just reading the how-to, these composites show that each disciple is a real person with real needs.

These stories are broken up and scattered among the other parts of the book, which include Pope’s advice and teaching on discipleship. The author makes the case that discipleship happens best in small groups with a leader using some type of curriculum. He also reminds the reader that this is not a race; if we were looking at the tortoise and the hare, disciple-making looks more like the tortoise.

The author closes with four appendices to give the reader (presumably pastors or church leaders) some tools that can help them get started.

My only concern at all was a remark made by Mr. Pope in support of Alcoholics Anonymous when he referred to their famous refrain, “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” He went on to say that Christians could adopt a similar slogan because he says, “The truth is, ‘Once a sinner, always a sinner (p.59).’”

That actually isn’t the truth. The Bible refers to the unsaved as sinners and the saved as saints; the Bible never refers to a believer as a sinner. We still sin, but we are not labeled as sinners. Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 makes the case that “drunkards” are no longer drunkards if they have been washed by the blood of Christ.  

That aside, this was a very good book that I read in less than two days. I highlighted many sentences and will be referring back to them for further study in my own personal life. I highly recommend this book to any church leader and encourage them to honestly evaluate their church’s discipleship. I would also encourage any Christian to read the book and ask themselves who they are investing in. 

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