It has been nearly a year since I received a complimentary copy of Don Detrick’s Growing Disciples Organically. My only regret is that it took me this long to actually read it (I quickly have fallen behind during the church planting process).
I so appreciated Detrick’s candid observations and colorful illustrations. He does not betray the trust of the reader by resulting to canned solutions or empty promises. Rather, he draws heavily from his experiences on a childhood farm, as well as, his ongoing commitment to a missional lifestyle.
The author proposes, “What if we had a vision for developing people who look like Jesus, instead of us? Would that make any difference? Maybe we need to take another look at Jesus. He didn’t dress like us, look like us, talk like us, or value the things we typically value. We are sure of those things, although there is no real physical description of Jesus in the New Testament. He had few possessions and reserved his harshest judgements for those who were more religious than relational. So perhaps that is the point we are missing. Jesus didn’t enter this world dressed in the twentieth-century trappings of a North American Christian. He didn’t hold mass crusades or start a megachurch. In fact he didn’t even attend worship services on Sunday. He was a hometown, homegrown boy – made in his Father’s image and doing his Father’s business within his own unique cultural milieu” (87).
Detrick ends the above chapter with a few contemplative questions. For example…
- If someone met Jesus in your hometown, what would he look like?
- How does our own culture affect our view of Jesus or the church? How does your answer [to the previous question] fit into the picture? (90).