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Seven Stages for Making Followers of ChristBook Review

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Concentric Circles of Concern: Seven Stages for Making Disciples

Relationships are at the central forefront of Dr. Thompson's method to evangelism. "Associations with God and man I believe is the most important word in the English language, apart from nouns."[footnoteRef:2] Dr. Thompson makes the point that while some may will possibly mention that love is looked at being the most important, and love can merely move through these kinds of associations. The book goes on to stress the fact that love is supposed to be at the core of our relationship. Especially when it comes to God and in every other relationship that we have in life. This also involves our relationship that we have with ourselves. [2: W. Oscar Thompson, Jr. "Concentric Circles of Concern: Seven Stages for Making Disciples." 1-222. B&H Books; 2 Rev Sub-edition, 1999.]

In Concentric Circles of Concern, the authors brings in the seven circles of influence to show how important relationships are suppose to be. They take things a bit further and show that at the core of these seven circles is what is called the "self." However, Dr. Thompson makes the point that no one can ever really fully evangelize and then also be the best help especially if they do not develop mature Disciples of Christ until they are 100% with God. "A person can never lead another closer to the Lord than what they already are themselves. It just not going to happen"[footnoteRef:3] It is like the blind leading the blind. Dr. Thompson came up with this strategy by observing the New Testament. The author was able to discover evangelism that was effective by means of the use of relationships. Dr. Thompson was able to make the point that it was this idea of relationships that turned into the seven concentric circles of concern. Inside these circles include the self, family, friends, relatives, associates, neighbors and associates, and individuals we cross path with all the days of our lives. [3: ibid]

The author then goes on to point out the difference that is among relationships and correct relationships. "When the messed up relationship between you and the people in your concentric circles, then the Holy Spirit will not be able to flow as well. There will actually be chaos"[footnoteRef:4] Dr. Thompson quotes the Gospel of Matthew in order to back his highlight on the need of right relationships. "As a result, if you are giving your gift at the altar and when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."[footnoteRef:5] The author makes the point that people so much of the time often spend too much effort and concern on reaching person without going through the proper protocol. [4: ibid] [5: Mark 11:25]

Dr. Thompson suggests that men and women need to work through their concentric circles from the inside to out before moving on to something else. For instance, people need to first make sure that their relationship with God is right and a correct relationship with ourselves. From that point, he believes we need to expand outward to our relatives, our family, and through the seven concentric circles.

The author makes the point that we focus on reaching out to individual x, time and again hopping over the other circles, is for the reason that we have cracked relationships going on concentric circles and witnessing to those who know us best necessitates us to live a steady Christian standard of living. These people have to see Jesus in our lives first especially if they are going to believe He is able to change and save them in addition. In equally the vertical [footnoteRef:6], association with God and the straight association we have with other people, God has certain conditions for a relationship that is considered to be right in his eyes. The horizontal relationship that Christian people are supposed to have with God is right when we have submitted our life all the way to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Our vertical relationships depend on restoring our broken relationships with others. Only at that time will we be able to witness His love flow through us and into those He picks to love through us. Receiving the correct association with God, ourselves, and with others is the first stage in the author's seven stage technique for the making of a follower. The second part of Concentric Circles of Concern increases on the continuing six stages. [6: ibid]

The lingering steps of Dr. Thompson's line of attack to making of discipleships are measuring your relationships, the building of relationship bridges, work with God through Prayer, displaying God's love by aiding to run into the needs of others, developing established followers of Christ, and create once more. Each of Dr. Thompson's stage call for right relationships with everyone and the stages never truly come to an end. "The sequence of making followers doesn't end when a being converts to a Christian. For that individual, the cycle activates."[footnoteRef:7] As progressively more individuals from our concentric circles start rushing into to Christ, we increase to those we haven't touched yet and aid the ones we have to grow into developed supporters of Christ. [7: W. Oscar Thompson, Jr. "Concentric Circles of Concern: Seven Stages for Making Disciples." 1-222. B&H Books; 2 Rev Sub-edition, 1999.]

Evaluation

In Concentric Circles of Concern, Dr. Thompson, makes a point by putting strong emphasis on discipleship ministry. This book places a strong stress on making sure developing right relationships with God, self, and others is on time and accurate. Dr. Thompson's points out if they are fractured then everything else will be fractured as well. He also makes the point that if a person relationship is off with God than it will be off with everyone around them. Nevertheless little time is spent on the act of witnessing souls for Christ, this work matches other evangelistic approaches that are missing in discipleship ways and means. For instance, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, and other books that current a more thorough evangelistic method often lack a thorough discipleship method. Concentric Circles of Concern provides a complimentary discipleship method.

With the scientific developments of the twenty-first century, our society has turn out to be more dependent on impersonal electronic communication. What is more, the changes in our culture have shaped a shift in how we communicate. Concentric Circles of Concern provides a countless aide memoire that we were created as relational beings, personal to God, social to our self, and interactive to others. Dr. Thompson make use of a substantial helping of the book re-enforcing the obligation of correct associations. Bearing in mind correct relationships is at the essential of the concentric circle model, this is to be predictable.

Dr. Thompson take an over positive approach to relationship reconciliation. The narratives and stories paint all demonstrate some kind of a reconciliation. This can be seen as an over simplification of reconciling broken relationships. This could cause the reader to become discouraged when their relationships are not reconciled despite their best effort. Not all relationships will be restored. For instance, Dr. Thompson shares the story of a theological college student who turn out to be not speaking with his parents because of his call to shadow seminary education. The student's alienated father comes and visits the student in tears acknowledging that he was not right with God. He then requests his son to give him some help. Not merely does the father come to redemption, but the relationship is likewise reestablished.

Dr. Thompson does not deal with the negative side of relationship restoration. Not every

One of the relationships will be brought back to the way they were before and not all of the lost we pray and long to see redemption. However, there could possibly be times when our faith start putting at odds with friends or family for the clear-cut fact that we are followers of Christ. No effort on our part can aid in reestablishing a relationship with someone who is basically reluctant.

Relationship settlement involves joint restoration. The instances of restoration specified in the book seem to put forward that all one has to do to bring back an association is pray and make some kind of an effort in order to bring back a relationship. Restoration can be a long and heart twisting procedure. Concentric Circles of Concern, by Dr. W. Oscar Thompson, provides a strong foundation for discipleship ministry. The book places a strong emphasis on developing right relationships with God, self, and others. Though little time is spent on the act of evangelism, this work complements other evangelistic methods that are lacking in discipleship methods. For instance, Share Jesus without Fear, Evangelism Explosion, and other accounts that show a more makes no effort to speak to that reality.

Another miscalculation is that is lacks attention to detail in the area of serving others to become mature as followers of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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