We are all being discipled. Whether we’re aware of it or not, each one of us is being formed and transformed; disciples of someone or something, either by accident or by intention.

The kingdom of self conditions us to think that the world is all about our needs, our desires and our rights. The kingdom of consumerism pushes us to own, to have and to spend, creating envy within us and the assumption that we need more stuff to be happy. The kingdom of digital technology turns us into people of the screen as we become more fixated on the next buzz of our phone over listening for the voice of God or the needs of others.

Every moment of every day we are constantly being discipled and it’s time for followers of Jesus to wake from our slumber. The impact of society’s discipleship is strong and so we need to be proactive not reactive by developing intentional and sustainable rhythms that shape us more than the dominant cultural narratives around us.

That’s why I have written a book, to help followers of Jesus reflect on the things that contribute most to spiritual formation and developing resilience in faith. It’s called ‘Deep Roots of Resilient Disciples’ and offers a bunch of principles and practices that contribute to a life of lasting life.

For the past 15 years I’ve served in a variety of ministry roles – discipling young people, equipping emerging leaders, teaching the bible and serving the local church. I’m passionate about intentional discipleship, kingdom leadership and pioneering mission where every follower of Jesus is equipped and mobilised to serve God in every avenue of culture.

But I’ve also watched too many of those I’ve walked with and served alongside drop out of church and walk away from Christian faith altogether. Teenagers and twenty-somethings who started well, only to turn from Jesus in response to crisis or challenge, disappointment or doubt, fatigue or failure. This has troubled me, but also caused me to consider what really helps to develop faith for the long-haul.

And so, this book explores some of the key aspects that help develop resilience as disciples. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there may be others to add, but each of the eleven markers are seen in the life of Jesus Christ and offer postures and patterns for long-haul faith.

Some themes are personal, exploring the nature of apprenticeship to Jesus and reliance on the Holy Spirit. Some themes are corporate, addressing our relationship to the church and how we can contribute to building authentic Christian community.

Some issues are more hidden, exploring how we cultivate spiritual habits that will shape and sustain us. While there are more outward aspects touching on how we relate to and engage with the culture as followers of Jesus, how we share faith with others and how we become disciples who make disciples.

Some themes are weighty, such as understanding the cost of discipleship and exploring how we prepare for challenges that come our way. While aspects of the book are personal, as I share stories of discipleship in action and offer examples where suffering has produced fresh resilience in people’s faith.

Because there continue to be those who respond to Jesus call and face the erosion of cultural Christianity not with clenched fists but open hands; resilient disciples who develop a long-haul faith by building below the surface.

Deep Roots of Resilient Disciples offers a roadmap for this kind of intentional discipleship life. It will help you recover ancient paths in a modern world as you are taken on a journey through the life of Jesus through the lens of our contemporary culture. This book will enable you to discover key principles and practices that contribute to a life of lasting faith; one grounded in faithful discipleship but also pulsing with faith-fueled adventure.

And so, I want to invite you into this conversation and encourage you to order this book. It will be released on 30th June but is available now on pre-order here. This is a book that can be read alone or it’s a book that can be read with others, with questions at the end of each chapter to reflect on personally or discuss in groups. So please do order and read it, but also share it and use it as we seek to see resilient disciples formed in the words, the works and the way of Jesus.