Putman, David. Breaking the Discipleship Code. Becoming a missional follower of Jesus. B&H Publishing Group. 2008
D.P.- pastor of Mountain Lake Church, Atlanta, Georgia. Co-founder of Church Planters. Com.
David’s focus in this book is being a missional follower of Jesus; hence the subtitle is more accurate than the title in describing the thesis of this book. The adjective ‘missional’ is used as a synonym for being Christ-like. For a church to become missional its people must be missional. A missional church will have a glocal (global and local) focus. This requires an application of a special discipleship, to live like Jesus, love like Jesus and leave behind what Jesus left behind.
If we want to follow Jesus we must first know him. We must discover how he lived and follow his model. “He modeled in every way that to really experience life, we have to give it away to others.” (18) We will be compelled to live like Jesus when we love like he did. Demonstrations of such love will be unusual, probably impractical, e.g. the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume. The third thing we need to emulate about Jesus is what he left behind as he prepared his disciples for their future ministry. We
must invest our lives in the lives of others. This happens in relationships not programs.
For many (most) people searching is an important part of becoming followers of Jesus. Augustine explains the motivation for such a search. “My heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” Searching people need to connect with people who are “living and loving like Jesus”. (57) For this to happen we must be missional. We are experiencing a far-reaching spiritual awakening but it is not limited to Christianity. Christianity is criticized because of its exclusiveness. We need to make the church a safe place for people who are investigating Christianity. “It is impossible for us to be the church God had in mind if we do not offer authentic, loving, warm environments where people belong in healthy community.” (71) Such a community must include both believers and unbelievers. Becoming like Jesus is a journey in a relationship. The Bible is a great guide in this journey. It includes being a friend of sinners
Being a ‘missional follower’ affects all areas of a person’s life. The areas discussed include politics, the environment, military involvement, city living, living in suffering, student life, living in a religious world, and even life in the home. In all these areas the challenge is to “live like Jesus, love like Jesus, and leave what Jesus left behind”. (224) This is breaking the discipleship code.