Contagious Disciple Making: Book Review and Giveaway


How do you effectively minister to someone from a different culture or background than yours? Why are so many Americans apathetic towards the Christian faith? These are just a couple of the questions which are addressed in David L. Watson and Paul D. Watson’s book, Contagious Disciple Making: Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery.

Each month here on the blog, I will be reviewing a book or film. Over the past few weeks, I had the pleasure of diving into this challenging and engaging read. I have never read anything like Contagious Disciple Making. It dared me to reevaluate my life as a follower of Christ, to move ahead boldly in my journey with Him, and to earnestly think about what it means to be a disciple.

The book opens with a heartfelt prayer from David begging to be released from his call to plant churches around the world. Six men he worked with had been martyred. Every day, his prayer was the same.

But instead of freeing him from his life’s purpose, God showed David and his son Paul a different way. Rather than focus on building churches, they would emphasize making disciples. After all, isn’t this the command God gave in the Great Commission?

God did not say, “Go and build churches.” He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19 NIV)

David and Paul examine some of the common mistakes which have prevented the growth of the church in the past. The book is divided into two parts, and in Part 1 they talk about the mindset a disciple maker must have to be successful in creating new disciples. One of the frequent oversights of those in the ministry field, especially cross-cultural ministry, is that people enforce the stipulations of their own doctrine or brand of Christianity.

Over the course of several years of research and prayer, the authors discovered that the most effective way to make disciples is to stick with the Gospel alone. Do not dilute it with your own practices of worship, your own rules for training leadership, or any other criteria you learned from your denomination or culture.

When we add our own methods and practices to the Gospel in a culture which may not share our views, we weaken the message of Christ. Once people proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, they can cultivate their own society’s way of gathering, worshiping, and growing in ways that are obedient to scripture.

In Part 2, the authors talk about the practices of effective disciple makers. Such practices include mobilizing prayer and engaging lost people through personal evangelism, serving the community, and using local businesses. Once again, the Gospel is used as the center for all teaching. For example, people don’t know how to pray unless they are taught, so the Lord’s prayer provides an excellent blueprint.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to explore God’s call for his or her life and be challenged in the faith. If you are comfortable with a lukewarm version of Christianity and do not desire a change, then this book may not be for you.

Either way, read it. It will change your life.


I am giving away a copy of Contagious Disciple Making as a gift to one lovely reader. To enter the drawing, simply comment below. You can be entered a second time by sharing either on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Simply let me know in your comment that you shared this post. I will randomly choose a winner and announce who it is here on the blog on Tuesday, March 17.


*Linking up with Kelly Balarie & Friends, Meredith Bernard, and Holley Gerth to encourage and be encouraged. Come join us.


27 thoughts on “Contagious Disciple Making: Book Review and Giveaway

  1. A thought provoking article. I do sense that God is leading the church I attend in this way of discipleship. I would certainly like to read more as I most certainly agree so far with what I have read from your article.


  2. Sounds like an excellent book, Abby. Have you read the book Radical? That is one I think you would enjoy. Have a great week!


  3. Hi Abby! I think this is such a great topic to cover. A few weeks ago our church merged with another church. We talk about fellowship and how our desire to make disciplines, help in the community and share our testimony. I think this would be a great share for our new blended family. I will share this Facebook as well.


  4. Thanks for the great review Abby. I glad you pointed out the way David and Paul found best in making disciples is by sticking to the Gospel instead of religious doctrine. I have found in my own quest by following the Gospel as is has led me to a deeper awareness of God’s word.


  5. This book sounds really amazing! It is so true that church building often overshadows the actual discipling of people. Thank you for sharing this review! Blessings Abby! 🙂


  6. I need to read this book!! Those first two questions already have me hooked – How do you effectively minister to someone from a different culture or background than yours? Why are so many Americans apathetic towards the Christian faith? – This topic is so key to spreading the gospel. In 2011 I attended a Preaching Summit and I spoke with a Nigerian Pastor who told me that because of the apathy he was witnessing here in America he was already working on a plan to not only welcome more missionaries into Nigeria but to send Nigerian missionaries here. My heart’s desire is to connect with others across cultures. After all heaven will be filled with people from every tribe, nation and language. I am sharing this on Twitter and Facebook because this is so crucial!! Grace and Peace to you Abby!!


  7. Some times we just over-complicate what Jesus made very simple… Make disciples. that is teach, train and build up others… often the best approach is just one at a time!


  8. This looks a book I need to read! I’ve often been frustrated by the felt need to churches to evangelize their religion rather than the gospel. I Stumbled, +1’d and tweeted :).


  9. This sounds like a very intriguing and encouraging book! So glad that we are neighbors out and about the world wide web today!


  10. I love the thought of sticking to the gospel alone. This is where the power is. This is where real change happens – as the grace of Jesus’ blood is poured out on us. Thank you for honing in on this Abby. Love you dear friend. You know where I am cheering from – ha!


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