As a former pastor, Richard Christenson has had the opportunity to address numerous congregations and men’s ministry groups throughout the northwestern United States, and his observations from these experiences are alarming. He found that comprehensive discipleship training that addresses the spiritual formation and mission involvement requirement of Christ’s followers has been replaced by “felt needs” driven programming and religious education classes. The result is, local churches are becoming increasingly ingrown and are comprised of consumers, spectators, and Jesus fans rather than cross-carrying followers of Jesus Christ.
Richard Christenson believes this problem is the result of our incomplete presentation of the Gospel and our failure to provide comprehensive maturity, ministry, and mission training for church members. Christ’s discipleship deal comes with many temporal and eternal benefits, but there are also costs involved that need to be counted before making a commitment to become a follower of Christ.
In his new book, Christ’s Discipleship Deal, Christenson offers assistance for local church leaders in identifying and correcting concerns related to their presentation of the Gospel, spiritual formation of their members, and proactive participation in Christ’s redemptive mission.