"...an inspiring read from beginning to end." -Midwest Book Review
Includes discussion questions at the end of each chapter!
Foreword by Derwin Gray, founding pastor of Transformation Church and former NFL player.
What if asking Jesus into our hearts is not the heart of the gospel?
In By the Way, pastor and author Derek Vreeland reframes everything we've been told about Christianity and what it means to follow Jesus. Discipleship isn't an add-on. Jesus didn't say, Go into all the world and get people saved or Get people to ask me into their hearts. Jesus said, Go therefore and make disciples. Reclaiming discipleship as the heart of the Christian faith means seeing anew the gospel, the cross, the resurrection, transformation, and the community of faith. We learn the ways of Jesus by practicing them, Vreeland says, and in By the Way, he introduces us to the ways of Jesus.
Discipleship means joining God's joyful mission of reconciliation on earth, not just saving souls for the afterlife. Following Jesus is more like taking a long walk in the woods than sitting in a classroom. Living by the Way takes practice—and that's the point.
Derek Vreeland is the discipleship pastor at Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, where he leads small groups and discipleship ministries and serves on the pastoral leadership team along with Brian and Peri Zahnd. Vreeland is a regular contributor at Missio Alliance, and his work has been published by Outreach. The author of several books, Vreeland has degrees from Missouri Western State University, Oral Roberts University, and Asbury Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Jenni, have three sons.
“Robust, accessible, rich, and contextual, Derek Vreeland’s By the Way paints a vision for the Christian life, the Jesus way. This is a book every pastor should want their congregation to read.”
~Tara Beth Leach, author of Emboldened and senior pastor of PazNaz
“Like a splash of water to the face, By the Way awakens us to the realities of discipleship offered via the way of the cross, the kingdom, the resurrection, and of course the life and reign of Jesus. After reading it, we walk away not with a new to-do list but with a new way of life in his presence. Winsome, story-filled, theologically sound. In writing this book, Vreeland is pastoring us to a deeper Christian life.”
~David E. Fitch, author of The Church of Us vs. Them and Faithful Presence
“For too long, approaches to discipleship have been focused on a set of affirmations or a body of information rather than a pattern of living. Derek Vreeland sets out here to change that. With clarity and accessibility, Vreeland lays out a map of the many contours of the Jesus way, complete with practices and reflections."
~Glenn Packiam, associate senior pastor of New Life Church and author of Blessed Broken Given
“For far too long, many in the church have equated faith as a one-time decision we make rather than an ongoing way we take. This fundamental misreading of Jesus’ invitation to salvation has resulted in stunted growth, anemic witness, and a profound lack of God’s life flowing through our lives. This is why we need to listen to Derek Vreeland. By the Way offers us a fresh vision of what it means to say yes to Jesus’ way, which immerses us in truth and invigorates us with life.”
~Rich Villodas, lead pastor of New Life Fellowship Church
“I know this book will grip your heart. You are going to fall deeper in love with Jesus, his church, his mission for his church, and people who have yet to taste and see that the Lord is so good. . . . Through the pages of this book, Derek Vreeland is going to help you reimagine what it means to follow Jesus.”
~Derwin L. Gray, lead pastor of Transformation Church and author of Limitless Life, from foreword
“This book is a breath of fresh air! Following Jesus is indeed a loving way of life. We do not follow Jesus in our minds alone or by having ‘right’ doctrine alone. That is modern-day gnosticism. It would behoove those of us serious about living out the gospel to pay attention and to learn—or perhaps relearn—from Derek Vreeland.”
~Marlena Graves, author of A Beautiful Disaster
“In By the Way, Derek Vreeland correctly observes that ‘modern American evangelicals have made salvation something altogether different from discipleship.’ It’s this flawed understanding of salvation that explains why so much of Christianity appears anemic and deeply compromised. Salvation sold cheap, as a ticket to heaven, bears little resemblance to what Jesus and the apostles proclaimed as a robust way of life. By the Way is an important and timely book: a book written by an experienced pastor seeking to close the embarrassing gap between what is glibly called ‘salvation’ and the way of discipleship to which Jesus actually calls us. By the Way will help many people discover the way that leads to life.”
~Brian Zahnd, lead pastor of Word of Life Church and author of Postcards from Babylon