INsourcing, by Randy Pope, is about making people into mature followers of Jesus Christ. Pope argues that many of the ecclesial models adopted by the church––he takes aim at the pastoral, attractional, and influential models of ministry––outsource discipleship to church programming and other impersonal, large-scale teachings and trainings.
In lieu of the aforementioned ecclesial models, Pope advocates Life on Life Missional Discipleship (LOLMD). At the heart of the LOLMD model of ministry are small groups which serve the discipleship process by providing a T.E.A.M. atmosphere:
- Truth: Small group members learn how to study the Bible. They study on their own and bring resulting questions or insights to the group.
- Equipping: Participants are given a plan, are shown how to follow it, and given assignments to apply what they have learned. Group members are then followed up with to ensure that the plan has been utilized and applied.
- Accountability: Asking hard questions and challenging bad behavior in an atmosphere bathed in grace.
- Mission: Participating in the ongoing work of Christ where group members live, work and play (i.e. return to a parish mindset).
- Supplication: Group members intercede for one another.
Pope balances his discussion of LOLMD model with practical advice and suggestions as to how the groups might look and operate.
All-in-all the book was okay. If you’ve attended conferences, read on the subject of discipleship and have kept a finger on the pulse of the missional church movement, none of what Pope has to share is all that new or earth-shattering. The book would be a good resource for someone new to the missional church conversation. Apart from its value as an introductory text, the book is rather uninspiring and will likely be a rehashing of familiar thoughts for veterans of the missional conversation.
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