"If you are serious about discipleship," Harrington said, "you've got to go meet Ralph Moore." I had never heard of the man, but Bobby Harrington said he's the guy to meet. I was at a conference and Moore was there too. I googled him. Then I flipped through his books on a showroom table. They were kind of tucked behind the better known names. I put them back on the table.
His breakout session was simple. Ralph Moore is an easy going guy, almost more comfortable with small groups rather than standing on the stage. His methods seemed refreshingly honest and kind of confirming, yet pastors were walking out of the session. "It's too simple" they muttered. Anybody can do that. I need something more."
Then he said it. It went something to the effect: "I was worried I wasn't accurate when I shared that we'd planted just over 1,300 churches since 1971. But then with a little help, I've learned that we've actually surpassed 2,300 churches planted."
Now he had my attention.
I went straight from that session to the vendor table and bought Making Disciples: Developing LifeLong Followers of Jesus by Ralph Moore (Baker Books, 2012).
I'm not sure how to approach this post; but I can say it's not really a book review. If it were, it wouldn't be a good one. This is more of a recommendation. I highly recommend that every Christian read this book. Or at least the Christians that aren't making disciples who make disciples who make disciples.
Making Disciples probably won't teach you anything you don't already know or couldn't figure out on your own. It's simple. Really simple. But that's the problem. We often over-complicate everything. Moore cuts through all that and brings it back to the simple process of making disciples of Jesus through a series of stories, explanations, and easy-going illustrations. If nothing else, the book should encourage you to follow Jesus' command to make disciples.
"Disciplemaking" writes Moore, "is the intentional friendship with another person, with Jesus at it's core" (42). But this isn't a book about making friends and waiting for years before you share with them that you are a follower of Jesus. Moore is upfront about his faith and the Bible is central to everything. So is the tranformative work of the Holy Spirit. It sounds too simple, right? Because it is. But 2,300 church planted through the process of making one disciple at a time should encourage you to pick up this book and read it. What's holding you back?
I read this book in a day. I couldn't put it down. I found myself nodding and wondering how this would have gone over in seminary. I felt convicted about my friendships (or lack-there-of). I wanted to pick up long forgotten hobbies. I felt better about living my life, on the hunt for 'fishing pools' as Moore calls them. And I bought copies for the staff of the church I pastor.
It's a good book, really. And I encourage you to read it.
Follow this link to purchase Ralph Moore's book, Making Disciples: Developing LifeLong Followers of Jesus.
*I have no material connection to Ralph Moore or this book. I just really think it's worth the read.