One of the great things that I’ve seen in recent years is that churches are becoming more used to discipling people. Christian, of all ages and stages, need to continue their growth in their love for and devotion to Jesus. But have we gone far enough?
There are plenty of books out there on discipleship, there are plenty of books specifically on discipling women, but there aren’t many good, Biblical books on discipleship for men. Many churches are hiring women’s workers, which is wonderful and necessary as I mention here, but the discipleship of men in the church can sometimes be forgotten. The temptation is to think that because the Pastor and Elders are male, surely they are discipling the men. That should be the case, but sadly it isn’t always the case.
But in comes this book, The Way Forward; a roadmap of spiritual growth for men in the 21st Century. This book, I kid you not, is an absolute gem! I’ve had this book for a few months now and I can’t wait because in just a few days it’s available for purchase.
Here’s who Joe Barnard describes as the intended audience for this book…
“This book is for Christian men who know the gospel, who profess faith, who long for transformation, but who are frustrated by their lack of spiritual growth”
Reading that, don’t you want every Christian man you know to read this book? Not because they’re terrible, or because you think that they are lacking in maturity, but because every disciples has the potential for more growth, for more maturity and for the Spirit to do more transforming work in their life!
The book is split into three sections; the problem, the solution and the plan. You won’t find a cheat sheet, or an academic look at what it means to be a disciple. In these pages you’ll find a map that will help you get from A to B, you’ll find a map that will point you in the right direction for spiritual growth. There are no shortcuts, no how-to’s, and no information overload. In these pages you enter into a conversation with a disciple of Jesus, a husband, a father, a Pastor and a man who has experience in life.
Joe Barnard is a godly man with really helpful insights for the spiritual maturity of other men. I already plan on buying a few copies and starting to read them with a few guys from church. I personally wish that I had this book years ago!
How do men grow to become more spiritually mature?
- Catch a better vision of Glory
- Clarify a true perspective on Life
- Develop competence in the Fundamentals
- Band together with like-minded Men
- Strengthen the muscles that enable Self-Control
- Simplify Life
But Joe lives in the real world, he knows that we need attainable action steps that will help men get a sense of immediate momentum and direction. So, at the end of the book and building on everything he teaches in it, Joe gives eight actions that can direct a man who is hungering for spiritual growth.
If you’re involved in any form of ministry with men, I seriously recommend that you buy this book. If you have men in your life who you would love to encourage, buy this book. If you are a man who is stuck in the mud and need some help, if you need your eyes to be lifted to the glory of Christ and the wonder of the gospel, buy this book. Buy a copy here and why not buy two and meet up with another man and read it together.
Here is the website link to Joe’s ministry ‘Cross Training Ministries‘ check this out and you’ll find more great resources that will point men to grow in the Lord.
Joe Barnard is the Executive Director of Cross Training Ministries, a discipleship ministry in Southeast Louisiana that focuses on developing men into spiritual leaders. Before starting Cross Training Joe pastored a church in rural Scotland for 8 years. He is married and has four children.