4 Chair Discipling – Dann Spader

Dann Spader, 4 Chair Discipling: What Jesus Calls Us to Do (Chicago: Moody Press, 2014), 154 pp.

In the summer of 1991, I was introduced to Dann Spader and Sonlife Ministries. Spader’s philosophy of ministry would have a profound impact on my life and ministry that extends to this day. His most recent book, 4 Chair Discipling: What Jesus Calls Us To Do explores Jesus’s pattern for disciple-making and is a summary of what I learned almost thirty years ago in my introduction to Sonlife.

The four chairs represent four seasons in a person’s life. Each chair includes a challenge and an ultimate aim. Acknowledging these seasons help disciple makers reach out to the needs of people and respond to them appropriately.

Chair one represents an unconverted person. The challenge is “Come and see” (John 1:39). The ultimate aim is to see this person turn from his sin and trust Christ for his salvation.

Chair two represents a new believer. The challenge is “Follow me” (John 1:43). Such a person learns the basics of the Christian life in the second chair.

Chair three represents a worker, a growing believer. The challenge is “Follow me and fish for people” (Matt. 4:19). This person learns about ministry opportunities and is equipped to minister to the needs of other people.

Chair four represents a disciple-maker. The challenge is “Go and bear fruit” (John 15:16). The respective chairs combine to form a philosophical framework for disciple-making that includes the categories of win (chair 1), build (chair 2), equip (chair 3), and multiply (chair 4). The author notes, “The growth from Chair 1 to Chair 4 is God’s great design for disciples of Jesus. This development can only be accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Spader’s philosophy of ministry has been great boon to my ministry and has provided a biblical framework for disciple-making. 4 Chair Disciplining is a worthy explanation of the philosophy that made Sonlife so successful and breathed life into the heart of countless youth ministries around the world.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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