Book Review: What Jesus Started

Steve Addison’s book, What Jesus Started, was sent to me for review by IVP.

It is a book that repeats itself, and for once, that’s a good thing. There are books that repeat themselves because they need to fill up pages. Addison does so to reinforce the main points over and over, but using different applications to drive the point home. And this is an important point in mission and pastoring: you sometimes have to repeat yourself. A lot.

This is about discipleship and getting discipleship at such a basic level, we can quickly multiply believers into disciples and see a movement truly grow. This is not something where you sit around and ponder. This is about teaching and acting, then analyzing, then doing it all over again. Learn and grow.

Addison could literally sketch this out on the back of a napkin, and that is the point. The process is simple… just do it!


It all starts with “See.” See the end. Jesus could SEE what needed to be done. He knew the big picture. He was swept away with compassion for the lost.

You can’t stay at “See.” You have to “CONNECT.” Jesus had the ability to connect across just about every barrier anyone could imagine. He didn’t wait for people to come to him. He was out making connections.

From “connect” you move to “SHARE.” There needs to be proclamation. At some point I need to declare to other people the hope that is within me. I don’t force it on them, but my connection to them has given me the ability to speak into their lives at some point. When that moment happens, I must be ready to share the hope that resides within me.

“TRAIN” is the next step. The command of Jesus is to “teach them to obey” all that he commanded. Part of that command is to make disciples of others. We model our lives to others, then lay out the expectation that they follow that example. THIS may be the biggest sticking point we have in our culture today. Okay… SHARING may be a problem, too. Come to think of it, we’re not so good on that “seeing” thing, either… but I digress.

Obviously, we have problems. Expectations we need to set is a glaring example. We just don’t like expectations. Yet, Jesus had them.

“GATHER” is about coming together is worshiping communities. We gather together around worship, communion, prayer, love, teaching, service, etc. We raise the level of expectation by modeling the need to give, to pray, to work…

“MULTIPLY” is that last leg of the journey. We have our area we reach as a worshiping community, then we release people into new areas.

Addison takes each section of his book and simply repeats these steps in different contexts. He demonstrates this in the gospels, in Paul, the early Church, and examples today.

The simplicity of repetition may be overkill for some, but this is not a bad discipleship/leadership tool. This book is useful in mobilizing new believers into quicker action. We need to keep the basics in mind at all times!

Thanks to IVP for sending me the book. I am under no obligation to give it a positive review. (Legal statement done.)

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