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Jesus’ command is unmistakable - “Go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey all things that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19). There is no escaping the universal mandate that this charge has on all Christians.
“I know I should,” they say, “but I don’t know how.”
Imagine that a person’s heart is softened by the Holy Spirit to their responsibility to make disciples. They approach you to talk - “Ok, I’m ready to start making disciples,” they say. "Where do I begin?"
Or suppose someone is a new or young Christian and is seeking to grow. What do you do? Invite them back each week to hear the sermon – certainly. Place them in a small group or Bible study class – yes, again. But you know that more is needed.
What they need is an intentional relationship with a mature Christ-follower over the course of an extended period of time where they can learn and apply God’s Word.
Aspire: Developing and Deploying Disciples in the Church and for the Church, is meant to provide a tool to answer the “how” question of disciple-making. To do this it focuses on four vital areas of growth necessary for all Christ-followers:
· Know – A disciple would grow in his knowledge of God as revealed in God’s Word which culminates in the person and work of Jesus Christ;
· Be – A disciple would grow in applying the life-giving message of the gospel to their heart as they increasingly reflect the character of God;
· Do – A disciple would grow in obedience to the commands of Christ as they learn to respond to the wildly extravagant love of God;
· Love – A disciple would grow in their love for their families, the church, and those far from God.
A holistic growth plan must do more than simply download information, rather it should aim at producing people who “Love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love their neighbors as themselves (Matt 22:37; Lk 10:27).
The content is divided into three, twelve-week units in a workbook fashion that allows for the young Christian and a disciple-maker to journey through the content together.
Section 1 aims to provide a robust, gospel framework derived from God’s Word that moves through 12 chapters of God’s work from creation to consummation.
Section 2 focuses on the process of spiritual formation and growth that results from heartfelt worship and is demonstrated in practices such as prayer and Bible reading.
Section 3 pushes the disciple to live a life of mission by learning to declare and demonstrate the gospel to a watching world.
Tools alone will not produce disciples, but an intentional plan will make it easier for our churches to say “I know I should and now I can.”
“Every follower of Christ should be a disciple-maker because Jesus gave the Great Commission to every believer. Matt’s book gives a disciple-making roadmap to those who are ready to take up their Great Commission callings. Churches and individuals who put into practice what this book teaches will find their lives and their congregations dramatically transformed.”
Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board
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Matt Rogers lives in Greenville, SC and serves as the pastor of The Church at Cherrydale (www.tccherrydale.com). After planting the church in 2009, Matt led the church to merge with an existing church in the city in order to multiply disciples to God’s glory. Matt is a graduate of Furman University (BA in psychology), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MA in Counseling), and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv in pastoral ministry). Currently he is completing his PhD in Applied Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Matt writes for a number of evangelical organizations and speaks around the nation about the need for disciple-making and leadership development in the local church. This all pales in comparison to the joy Matt finds in being the husband of Sarah and the father of Corrie (7), Avery (5), and Hudson (4). Follow Matt on Twitter @mattrogers_ or his personal blog at www.equiptogrow.comReview:
"It is my sincere prayer that this book will be widely distributed and used for the building up of the Lord's Church and for the sending of an army of disciples among every tribe, tongue, people, and nation."
- Dr. Daniel Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Matt Rogers isn't someone who just talks about discipleship. He is a disciple-maker - a pastor who has thought carefully about how believers can grow from gospel roots and become servants and leaders in the church. Aspire is the result of his fruitful thinking and activity."
- Trevin Wax, Managing Editor of The Gospel Project and author of Gospel-Centered Teaching, Clear Winter Nights, and Counterfeit Gospels
"Matt Rogers' Aspire is a theologically-sound and missionally-savvy workbook for pastors to use when raising up young leaders in their churches. He helps pastors build a leadership pipeline in three semesters which center on the three concepts of gospel, ministry, and mission. Rogers is the perfect person to write the book - he has nearly 20 years of experience as a church planter and pastor and is a Ph.D. candidate at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Highly recommended."
- Dr. Bruce Ashford, Provost and Associate Professor of Theology and Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Aspire is just what the church has needed to equip it in theologically grounded, yet practical, ways to make disciples! Matt Rogers is not coming at this subject as a theorist, but he is a practitioner who has labored tirelessly in the context of the local church to live out the principles found on these pages. You will enjoy reading and then implementing what you discover in this book."
- Aaron Coe, Vice President for Mobilization and Marketing, North American Mission Board
"In Aspire, Matt Rogers has given the church a gift. Not merely a book that addresses the concept in theory, but a practical book that walks with us as we walk with others into a deeper relationship with Christ. If you care about making disciples through the local church, this book should be a welcomed addition to your library."
- Micah Fries, Vice President, Lifeway Research
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