If James Choung ever reads this, I'm going to be honest. Real Life was in a stack of books for me to read. I had to choose between it and another book. This one had short chapters which, for me, meant I would find good stopping points.
I had no idea, however, what I was getting into. I had no idea that I would stumble upon a book that organized my own thoughts into a system that felt natural as well as effective.
James is a part of InterVaristy and so he takes what he calls the Real Life Continuum, a well thought outs system for understanding discipleship and evangelism. The beauty of this technique, if it can be called that, is that it takes the conversations we should be having and helps us to focus on helping people move along each stage of developing a deep and impacting relationship with God.
In order to relay this system, James weaves us a tale of a guy with a job who is both mentor and mentee. The story format makes it interesting, effectively showing how the conversational technique can feel.
After wrapping up the story, James pulls back the curtains and answers a few lingering questions. He does not mean for this to become a technique that becomes labeling and limiting. In fact, he says quite the opposite. Though there is a progression, he admits not everybody goes through in the same order and some will go back and forth through certain stages.
Overall, this is a book that should be explored by leaders in ministry as a strategy that removes the tension between focusing on evangelism or discipleship. In this case, we can have both.
I received this book for free from my friends at Likewise Books, a division of IVP. I told them how much I loved them, so they sent me a couple of books. They didn't even ask me to review it. But this is what friends do.