073 – A Blueprint for a Jesus-focused Church

Audio version of Chapter 2 of my new book




Welcome to Season 2 of the Your Church Matters podcast.  In this episode (73), I am sharing a reading of Chapter 2 of my brand new book, Why “Bible Study” Doesn’t Work: The epic failure of evangelicalism’s favorite discipleship method — and how YOUR CHURCH can do something about it.


If you have not listened to the previous chapters, you may want to do that before listening to this one.

Introduction – Why “Bible Study” Doesn’t Work

Chapter One – Why should we study the Bible?




Chapter Overview

Jesus is building His church.  The foundation is the reality of Jesus Christ — His identity, purpose, completed work on the cross, and current activity in the world.  The load-bearing walls are:

The Great Commission – equipping disciples to live as those who walk in step with Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, demonstrating His character in both attitude and action.

The Great Commandment – loving God by choosing to give Him His rightful place at the center of your existence, so that He receives your complete allegiance and ultimate affection.  We are also to love our neighbors by seeking to be a neighbor to those who need it most.

A New Commandment – loving one another with Jesus-like love demonstrated in the way we live out our lives in community.



What do you need to know about the book?  (click on links)


Most recent reviews

Thomas Law (Five Stars) – Christianity has bought into the myth that if we can get people to bite into the fruit of knowledge they will reverence God and cleave to Jesus as their Savior and Lord. As a result, for decades we have interpreted the Great Commission as teaching them to understand instead of “teaching them to obey”. The outcome has been an anemic, weak, ineffective, and shrinking call on humanity to surrender to the claims of Christ and to become His follower.

Lewis has added his voice to a small, but growing, chorus of evangelical leaders calling for a refocus on how we implement discipleship. Rather than using it as a transference of knowledge they are calling on us to see it as a life on life transformation. The key question is not “what did you learn from the Scriptures?”, but “what changed as a result of reading and studying the Scriptures?”. He says, “In groups where every person’s mission to live out the Christ-life is approached with intentionality, where relationships of mutual accountability are nurtured, and where systems and processes of support are put into place, no one is just along for the ride.”

This book is a clear, concise, and simple presentation of a discipleship process which every person and every church can implement. Lewis cautions, “Change doesn’t happen overnight. It took a while for your group —or all the groups in your church —to arrive at the present state and it will take a while to get to the place where God wants you to be.” He goes on to explain the “Power of incremental change: We often fail to meet church goals because we try to get from point A to point Z instead of from A to B and then C. Small victories have a cumulative effect and create momentum.”

Lewis has done an excellent job of highlighting our past failures, calling attention to the results, detailing a process for change, and clearly showing us a way forward. My prayer is that every church leader will purchase this book, read its contents, and implement the called for changes in their church’s discipleship process. It is not too late. If we begin now lives will be changed and the world will be transformed.


Aaron Kenagy (Five Stars) – Excellent and quick read with timely insights for small group leaders, scripture study facilitators, and anyone who desires for their church family to get out of the rut of boring Bible Study classes. This is a great training manual for church leaders, disciple makers, and small group leaders who are looking for something more.


Debra Crawford (Five Stars) – Fabulous read! Dr Lewis puts some very practical and easily understood topics in this book that help me easily understand where I can improve my bible study skills. Reviewing a passage, he puts it from several different translations and I really enjoy learning what they mean and how to adapt this new learning in my walk with God and with my family.


G. Barnes (Five Stars) – Enjoyed reading this book. Make disciples! How? This book gives you clear ways to do just that. Easy to understand and many ideas to put into practice! I would recommend this book to all Bible Study teachers.


Amazon Customer (Five Stars) – I knew the title was a hook to entice readers. I was enticed but with the caveat that I know Gerry and knew that he had an “antidote” to what he would present as a challenge or shortfall in our approach to building disciples. That was exactly what I found as I read his book in two days.

This ought to be one of those “required” texts for all in ministry and especially for church planters. Just remember if you read it you are responsible for new awareness that God may lodge in your mind. Reader beware…but grab it quickly. The sooner you do, the sooner it can be a part of reshaping your ministry as well as your mind.


Current Best Seller Status

Updated June 29, 2016 at 11:05 a.m. Central Standard Time




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*Special thanks to Keith Cooper (Guitar Music)

*Special thanks to Nathan Woodward (Saxophone Music)

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