In 2003, myself and a colleague started developing a course that included two lots of five days separated by two to six months to allow participants to practice what they’d learned in part one. The first section was on evangelism (sharing about Jesus) and the second on discipleship (helping people to grow/mature in their following of Jesus).
However, despite having what we believed was a worthwhile course there was little interest from our colleagues. This was largely because neither of us were good at marketing/promotion of our own things (we were great at promoting others). But people kept asking me about how to disciple others.
When I started my own discipling journey in 1995, I wanted help how to do it. When I went to Christian bookstores, I found two kinds of books. Books that inspired me to do it but didn’t tell me how. Or books that claimed to be ‘discipleship materials’ but they were topical studies obviously designed for new Christians. The materials seemed to suggest that we only need discipling for six to eight weeks at the beginning of our Christian journey.
Jump ahead eleven years when no one is showing interest in our course, I decided to write the book that I wished I could have bought back in 1995. I never intended it for publication, it was simply for myself initially. I did think of having it as a document to share with people that were coming to me for help.
I can’t even remember how the idea of publication came up. I think I showed it to a literature person within my organization. They were the one who approached publishers. Since they were in the UK, I ended up with a British publisher.