Learning to Live into Love


This is part of The False Promise of Discipleship blog series from The Bonhoeffer Project. Read the blog that came right before this one by clicking here.

To learn to live into the next question, and to develop a movement of discipleship based on this question—that is the work ever-present before the church. It is the reason we cannot divorce “discipleship” from “mission,” as so often happens, as if they are two different things. The end point of a disciple-making movement, simply, is disciples who have reoriented their lives around loving and serving others. We have to learn to live into this third question, and we have to learn to make disciples who do the same.


Bill Hull and Brandon Cook, authors of this blog and eBook, will be teaching at this year’s Forum. Meet them and get more content like this in person at the 2017 National Disciple Making Forum.

This is one of the largest gatherings of disciple makers in North America with 65+ workshops, 15+ speakers, and 10+ tracks. Join us to learn practical ways to make disciples of Jesus this November 9-10 (Thursday-Friday). Register for the 2017 National Disciple Making Forum here.


The urgent work of the church is to rescue discipleship from the clutches of The Human Paradigm. Notice how seldom discipleship in the church is intentionally oriented around loving others. Most of what we call “discipleship” is not Jesus discipleship. Most discipleship programs, as such, fail because they’re still built on the assumption that “getting close to Jesus” is our goal, our X, and that we can get close to Jesus “if we just do these things.”

If your goal as a church leader is to get people into a discipleship program that’s founded on the question “How are you doing?,” you won’t get mature disciples unless you’re orienting them around loving and serving others. We need a radical reorientation to our approach to discipleship. We have to start with the ending, as it were, and design discipleship processes that start with “you are already close to Jesus” and end with loving others. And we have to design discipleship processes that compel people to reorient their lives around others now, not waiting until they’ve arrived at some “ready point.” That point will never come! We have to throw people into the deep end of the pool. After all, isn’t that what Jesus did when He said to His disciples, “You give the people something to eat?” He taught them that everything He did was about loving others. This is our work, too.

*Stay tuned by coming back to our blog for the next blog in this series, which will be coming soon!


This is an excerpt from the free eBook written Bill Hull and Brandon Cook of The Bonhoeffer Project. You can download the full eBook on their homepage here.

Bill Hull is a Co-Founder of The Bonhoeffer Project. Bill’s passion is to help the church return to its disciple making roots and he considers himself a discipleship evangelist. This God-given desire has manifested itself in 20 of pastoring and the authorship of many books. Two of his more important books, Jesus Christ Disciple Maker, and The Disciple Making Pastor, have both celebrated 20 years in print. Add his third in the popular trilogy, The Disciple Making Church, and you have a new paradigm for disciple making.

Brandon Cook is the lead pastor at Long Beach Christian Fellowship and a co-founder of The Bonhoeffer Project. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he studied at Wheaton College (IL), Jerusalem University College, Brandeis University, and The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. He worked as a professional storyteller before joining a transformational training organization and moving to SoCal in 2006, becoming a pastor three years later. Over the course of five years of pastoring, he became convinced that his work—and the work of the church—is to become fully committed to discipleship and making disciple-makers. The Bonhoeffer Project is for him a quest to live into the question “How are people transformed to live and love like Jesus?”

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