Disruptive Discipleship: The Power of Breaking Routine to Kickstart Your Faith, By Sam Van Eman alt

Disruptive Discipleship

The Power of Breaking Routine to Kickstart Your Faith

by Sam Van Eman

Disruptive Discipleship
  • Length: 228 pages
  • Published: August 08, 2017
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 9081
  • ISBN: 9780830890811

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Sometimes in the Christian life we get stuck. Something seems off, and we don't know why. We may not even notice it at first. But we feel like God is far from our daily lives, or we lose hope for the future, or we don't treat others in loving ways. What can we do?

Sam Van Eman has found that our spiritual lives need disruptive experiences, which can jolt and reorient us for greater spiritual maturity. Out-of-the-ordinary activities can challenge our assumptions and give us space to consider new perspectives. And when we intentionally choose to pursue designed experiences, we stretch our faith in new and unexpected ways.

Filled with concrete examples of how ordinary people are shaped by disruptive experiences, this book provides a path to deeper faith on purpose. Jesus disrupted his disciples with invitations to get out of their boats, leave their nets, and follow him. Have courage, and discover what those kinds of disruptions might look like for you.

"The world feels increasingly complex and filled with uncertainty, volatility, and ambiguity. A new type of adaptive, faithful leader is needed. Through great storytelling and practical examples, Sam Van Eman's Disruptive Discipleship shows us how we might welcome—and even pursue—the disruptions of life as a means to growing deeper in our faith, hope, and love."

Chris Cooke, executive director, PULSE

"At a time when so many of us are increasingly wandering in search of comfort, we secretly prefer to be stuck instead of doing the necessary hard work before us. With courageous wit and deeply personal insights, Sam Van Eman and his Disruptive Discipleship guided me through how to honestly identify my current path and forge a better way to lasting spiritual growth."

Ryan Keith, president, Forgotten Voices

"Everybody gets stuck or stalled in their walk with Christ. Not everybody has a clear idea of how to move beyond that place. Van Eman draws his reader into the kind of self-reflection that can assist in crafting a personalized experience of disruption designed to create movement. For the mentor and for the disciple of Christ looking 'to grow in faith on purpose,' this book provides a fresh approach to becoming more like Christ. Disruptive Discipleship stays away from prepackaged solutions and experiences and instead leans into process over productivity, but without getting stalled by inactivity. Van Eman goes beyond coaching the reader in merely designing experiences by helping us know how to practically engage with our disruptions to really make the growth we've gained stick."

Jana Sundene, associate professor, Trinity International University, coauthor of Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults

"In a culture where the extremes of chasing the next high or staying in our comfort zone tend to pervade, Sam Van Eman offers a brilliant alternative: purposeful risk-taking that produces spiritual maturity. Packed with wisdom, wit, and personal stories, this guidebook inspires real risk that leads to real faith. Sam invites us into the unknown, but he doesn't leave us there. His honest and hopeful voice calls us forward. If you're feeling stuck, lost, or simply want to challenge the status quo, the adventure of Disruptive Discipleship awaits!"

Erica Young Reitz, director, Senior EXIT, CCO, author of After College

"I've always viewed disruptions as the annoying experiences that rearrange my schedule and mess with my plans. Until now. Sam Van Eman disrupted my way of thinking, jolting me to see how disruptions actually move us toward spiritual maturity. With his trademark storytelling and wisdom, Sam leads us all down a path of purposeful growth. This hope-filled book helps us figure out where we're stuck, then offers practical approaches to move us into new seasons of growth."

Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of The Happiness Dare and Love Idol

"Disruptive Discipleship explores how to get unstuck and say yes to the good reality we were created for. We don't learn or grow just by getting new information. We have to risk experimenting with new practices, experiences, and challenges. Sam Van Eman is an enthusiastic, honest, and seasoned guide to this adventure."

Mark Scandrette, author of Free, Practicing the Way of Jesus, and Belonging and Becoming


Author Note
Introduction: We Can't Not Change

Part I: Growing Restless
1. Feeling Stuck
2. Exploring Options
3. Making a Plan

Part II: Growing Deeper
4. Stepping Out in Faith: Adventures in Trust
5. Rediscovering Hope: Tests of Endurance
6. Growing in Love: Experiments in Service

Part III: Growing Up
7. Translating Change
8. Navigating Valleys
9. Getting Unstuck Together

Epilogue: A Caution for Disciple Makers
Small Group Study Guide: Disruptive Discipleship with Others
Appendix A: What Jesus Knew About Experiential Education: A Bible Study
Appendix B: Design Templates for Disciple Makers
Additional Resources for Disciple Makers


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Sam Van Eman

Sam Van Eman is a resource specialist for the CCO’s Experiential Designs team, where he co-creates transformational experiences for college students, professionals, and organizations. He is the author of On Earth as It Is in Advertising? Moving from Commercial Hype to Gospel Hope.

As a public speaker and facilitator, Sam has taught (and played) in barns and boardrooms, canyons, classrooms, and auditoriums. His years on campus resulted in numerous Christian Service awards for his student leaders and a Greek Life brotherhood award named in his honor.

He has contributed to PRISM Magazine, the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, Christianity Today’s Faith in the Workplace, and was highlighted in the decade’s best at Catapult Magazine. He lives with his wife and daughters in central Pennsylvania.