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Review: The Essential Commandment by Greg Ogden

Looking for discipleship resources?  You may want to take a look at The Essential Commandment.  Published by IVP, it’s the latest by pastor and author Greg Ogden.  If you’re not familiar with Ogden, he’s also the author of Discipleship Essentials and Leadership Essentials.

The Essential Commandment is a thoughtful and practical examination of the Great Commandment.  Ogden introduces his premise by pointing out that when Jesus declared that “we are to love God with everything we’ve got and love our neighbors in the same way that we cherish ourselves…He actually thinks we can be like him. Jesus actually believes that it is possible for frail and deeply flawed human beings to focus our complete affection on God and others (p. 13).”

The Essential Commandment is presented in a workbook format that will make it ideal to use as a discipling tool.  If you’re working to build fully devoted Christ-followers, the topic itself–the Great Commandment–should prompt the kind of conversation and develop the language that can influence whole systems.

In addition to a thoughtful and thought-provoking set of topics, the book is also arranged in a way that will make it easy to use as a disciple-making tool.  Each of the 12 chapters includes

  • a core truth: serving “as the nugget around which each lesson is built”
  • a memory verse: allowing “God’s viewpoint on life to slowly become ours”
  • an inductive Bible study: guiding the “discovery of reality from the only perspective that counts…the Bible”
  • a reading on one aspect of the Great Commandment: providing a “contemporary discussion of the eternal core truth that will challenge our lifestyle and stimulate our thinking”

I’ve reviewed a number of titles over the last couple years that fit in the discipleship niche and I have to say, I can really see The Essential Commandment turning out to be a very popular choice.  It’s definitely one you’re going to want to add to your recommended list.