Ordinary Discipleship: How God Wires Us for the Adventure of Transformation by Jessie Cruickshank
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I struggled with the book; however, I believe that was primarily because of the differences between my own experiences and interpretations sources against what was presented in the book, that it was difficult to connect to the material. Perhaps to most significance would be the decision to hand discipleship and disciple-making to Dr Campbell’s Hero’s Journey myth; of which I am actually a huge fan, but my understanding of what it is and how it is used seem to be at odds with how the author uses it. It would have worked better for me to simply acknowledge an inspiration before changing the name (eg. Disciple’s Journey) and steps involved (instead of just the latter). An example of a smaller irritant would be the brief discussion about iron “folding" and creating something from the inside out. While I am pretty sure the author meant steel, that type of oversight is distracting for somebody with a material science background. Despite my issues and reservations, the material as presented is generally solid.
This is meant to be consumed as a physical book; layout is a huge part of the presentation with calls-outs and lists liberally distributed throughout the book. In addition, each chapter provides a space for journaling at the end. There are nine (9) chapters with the first introducing the journey steps and the last restating them in review. The intervening chapters are each dedicated to a specific step on the journey. Each chapter opens with a Bible verse, a personal experience, a discussion with call outs for “Personal Reflections” and “Disciplemaker Pro Tips” before ending with discussion questions and journal space/inventory. In addition, the author uses bulleted list to great effect in summarizing many of the concepts covered (making it a very practical guide for discipleship). Overall this gives the whole book a very polished and professional feel (there will also be some additional artifacts available on the associated website, that is currently focused on marketing).
1. Experience the Journey
2. An Ordinary Person
3. Answers the Call
4. Teams with Others
5. Learns New Things
6. Feels the Struggle
7. Experiences Revelation
8. Lives Changed
9. Discerns the Season
I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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My Ratings Explained ...
- [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
- [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
- [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
- [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
- [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.