How do we make disciples?
This question should be at the center of everything that a church does. How do we live out the great commission that Jesus gave us? The strategy for many is to get people into the church building so that they can be taught. We want them in discipleship classes, Sunday schools, Sunday services, and sometimes Sunday night services. Before I go on, I should admit that there’s nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves. I am a full time pastor, and I teach some of these kinds of classes. The problem is that by themselves, they fall short. The heart of discipleship is teaching people to be like Jesus and doing this in a classroom alone means that we don’t have the chance to show people how to live. People hear us speaking, but don’t get to see us live it. That’s why life on life discipleship is important, and to do really be able to do that we have to be like Jesus all the time. Our lives need to be saturated with Jesus and his gospel.
Jeff Vanderstelt’s new book Saturate focuses on how we can live our everyday in a way that is saturated with Jesus. He writes about this because Jesus filled lives lead to changed communities. People shouldn’t only hear about Jesus, they need to see how his followers live in the world. Jeff asks, “Can you imagine every city, every neighborhood, every street, and every house saturated with Jesus’s presence through his people?” And later he writes, “This vision is Jesus saturation—every man, woman, and child in every place having a daily encounter with Jesus through words spoken and deeds done through his people.” The goal of Saturate is to show us how living as a follower of Jesus in our every day lives will open up the doors for everyday discipleship.
I think one of the most intimidating charges from Jesus is to go and make disciples. This sounds like a daunting task where we have to explain to people every detail of theology and tell them every reason why they should believe in Jesus. Instead, it should be a natural occurrence. As we live for Jesus though the work of the spirit, people should notice something different about us. He writes, “Live in such a way that it would demand a ‘Jesus explanation.’ In other words, you wouldn’t be able to explain what you do or why without needing to talk about Jesus.” Living a Jesus saturated life will naturally lead to Jesus being shared with your neighbors. You just can help it.
I know that Jeff and the people in his book aren’t perfect people, but they get what it means to be saturated. When they have a problem, when they seem different from the world, or when someone comes to them with a problem the answer is Jesus. Not Jesus in a cheesy way, but in a way that the Gospel of Jesus can change your every day life. In a way that Jesus and his ways are better and will lead to a more whole and healthy life. This is what’s at the heart of Saturate and even if that’s all there was in this book, it would be worth the read. However, there’s so much more to Jeff’s book, and you really need to take the time to dive into it. I would highly encourage you to pick up this book and explore what a Jesus saturated life looks like. It’s something that I try to describe here on my blog and something I hope to embody in my life. I pray that this is something that the church can really live out so we can embody this idea of Jesus saturation.
“He plans to saturate the earth with his glory through us, his church, making disciples of Jesus in the everyday stuff of life. Don’t be a spectator. Get in the game and watch him do great things through you!”
Find out more about this book at saturatetheworld.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crossway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”