Sunday, September 25, 2016

Book Review: Guardrails by Alan Briggs

Guardrails is a book to help inspire and encourage people to create and find the right type of discipleship program. It helps people to discern whether they are stuck on "The Spiritual Activity Track" (Busyness Without Transformation) or "The Process to Programs" (Transformation Yielding Activity). It also helps people to try to find and be accountable to other people for discipleship. It describes what makes a good discipleship group/program, such as agreeing to go to all meetings (except during times that can't be helped, like when going out of town). It also encourages leaders to make other leaders in the groups so they won't fall apart if the main leaders have to miss any meetings.  I think I could also see places in the book where there was some one-on-one discipleship experiences discussed.

One thing that really got my attention in this book was the part that described "The Cycle of Religious Enslavement", which shows a diagram about how when we are forced to try harder it puts us in a cycle that eventually causes us to give up and have other negative feelings. I am a person that likes to be guided step by step so when I am rushed through a process without even going through step one I get very frustrated. I think I have been held back because of some people trying to push me too hard spiritually.

One thing I really have struggled with in congregations is being an onlooker/outsider on the sidelines when people are off participating in classes, going on field trips and congregational trips, and participating in potlucks. A lot of it happened during a time in my life I could barely afford to buy anything extra (like even a pencil for myself or anybody else). I think God brought me through that time because I went through a period of time when I got caught up in a "Spiritual Activity Track" with a congregation in the past also (when there were people getting left out because they couldn't afford the classes, activities, and field trips). So, it's important to me to want to be at a congregation that includes everybody as much as they can: the poor, the middle class, and the rich alike, and that has been very hard for me to find.

I really liked most of the ideas in this book. If I am ever going to go through discipleship I hope to go through the kind that Jesus (Yeshua) would have put his disciples through in the ancient days, or the kind that his disciples put others through. I believe this book brings congregations not involved or not very involved in discipleship much closer to that model.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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