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on 13 June 2014
I could not put this book down! Wherever you may be on the path of faith, after reading this book you will want to progress into a deeper relationship with the Most Holy Trinity. The picture of the Church presented by the author is totally honest in the many failures of community and individual to be truly evangelised but is constantly tempered with hope and directions towards the turnaround necessary if we are to fulfil Christ's commands to go out and preach the Good News. It gives confidence that the most 'ordinary' Catholic can really be 'extraordinary' and accomplish the vocation of us all to share the Faith with others in whatever way our personal strengths lie. I wonder if the Holy Father has read this book! it mirrors so much of what he has been telling us we must do.
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on 29 March 2016
This is an excellent book in many respects that gives a good overview of some the challenges we face as Catholics, as well as an understanding of the evangelisation process. However the book could be a bit more practical in how we actually disciple people. Secondly, the book misses out that the reason that we have lost the focus of making intentional disciples in our parishes is we have lost our sense of our mission: Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.

Thirdly Pope Benedict XVI said " I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy". Authentic liturgy disciples people and forms them in the faith : Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi. Yet there is barely any mention of the liturgy in the book if any in forming intentional disciples.

Lastly I am not convinced regarding the implicit suggestions given on courses that help people in discipleship, I would question the orthodoxy of courses such as the Alpha Course.

The book is definitely worth reading and can benefit a lot of people, but the book is missing some essential elements.
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Although relating to the situation of the Catholic Church in the US I am sure there is a similar situation in the UK. So much of what is reported in the surveys rings true to me. I especially like the identification of a fundamental problem for Catholic parishes, which is that many (most) Cartholics have not really internalised their faith and as a result do not have a personal relationship with God in any meaningful sense. As a result parishes are shrinking and Catholics are leaving the Church.

This book not only identifies the problem but gives good advice for all who are 'actively' involved in parish life and shows ways to help 'ordinary' Catholics to really want to be followers of Jesus Christ, to be 'intentional disciples'.
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on 23 November 2015
I read this book in two sittings and was amazed to find my own story woven right through the text. It was strange (and painfully ironic) to find some sense of belonging again through its pages - other Catholics all over the world have clearly been making the same lonely journey.

Sherry Weddell packs a punch, but this is a story that urgently needs an audience. If her book had been written, read and acted upon 10 years ago in my local church, I would probably still be a Catholic. It gives me great hope for the Catholic Church and is essential reading for anyone who longs to see it grow and bear fruit.
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on 4 August 2015
While there is some truth in this book, the conclusions are suspect, and can force people into the Charismatic Movement.

I do see a lot of truth in the stages of intentional discipleship, and those have caused me to think about how I relate to people who are in the three different stages. However, I do urge caution, as this can be used as a Trojan a Horse to get you into the 'Called and Gifted Programme', and therefore the Charismatic Movement. This potentially can have damaging consequences on the Spirituality of the Catholic Church, as it forces people to believe that the Charismatic Movement is the only way to Pratice your faith. As my Bishiop said charisms are good in themselves, but they are not the be all and end all
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on 19 May 2017
really thought provoking. Very well written book
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on 11 June 2014
Decline in the Catholic church in the US is backed up here by clear statistics. It is also broken down into generations, which helps us to understand why is it happening.
This is dealt with by practical suggestions for helping parishes to reverse the trends.
An informative and positive book with ideas that could make a huge difference to the Church locally, nationally and internationally.
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on 1 August 2014
Inspiring book, I've yet to apply anything lots of data I know nearby parishes that are now preparing to use Sherry Weddells called and gifted programme, I will perhaps come back and add to the review when I've put everything into practise
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on 12 November 2015
Have been involved with Rite of Christian Initiation for over 20 years and recently prayer guiding and retreat work. Findings in this book ring true for the UK also. Useful material which can help to shape any initiatives that are planned in relation to the new Evagelisation. Well worth a read.
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This book aims to help Catholics to become more effective witnesses to their faith by inviting them into a deeper relationship with Jesus. The underlying assumption is that telling the curious about a personal relationship (or discipleship) is likely to lead to more positive results than (say) describing the institution or formal structure of the church. I found the book a compelling and thought-provoking read, partly because of the way in which it was being read: as part of a group that met weekly to reflect on the chapters which all had read since the previous meeting. That discipline helped me to step out of my comfort zone (I don't read many books on evangelization), and to articulate my impressions of the ideas presented here. The fruits of those ideas are still being discerned but, in the mean time, I'd rate this as a valuable and stimulating resource.
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