Dick Woodward’s ministry partner, businessman Dois Rosser, asked Dick to write a how-to manual for:
- Leading a secular person to Christ,
- Discipling someone who has come to faith, and
- Turning every day you spend in the marketplace into an adventure with Christ.
After reading the final product, I’m certain Dois would agree that he got more than he hoped for.
Marketplace Disciples succeeds beyond the ‘marketplace’ where most of us earn a paycheck. In a greater sense it succeeds in the marketplace of ideas, where there is no shortage of ideas about how to live your life. Atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, religious ideologies, post-modernism, apathy, self-centeredness—you name it.
But here is the big idea: Until Jesus Christ is everything in your life, He really isn’t anything in your life. Dick learned this basic truth from his mother. It doesn’t take long to figure out that Dick takes discipleship very seriously. The difference between Dick and someone like David Platt is that, like the apostle Paul, Dick bears the marks of Jesus on his body.
Dick can’t type. He can’t move his fingers. Or sit up in bed, or scratch his nose. If his head slides off his pillow someone else has to prop him back up. You get the picture—it takes enormous energy and determination to produce even a small amount of text, let alone this 324-page book, using speech recognition software. His voice-control skills are quite impressive. I wouldn’t want to be Dick’s editor—he is a strict grammarian and a meticulous writer.
So why should you read Marketplace Disciples? Dick has 50 years of discipleship experience. The man knows what he is talking about, what works, why it works, and most importantly why it matters. He has walked with a lot of people, and has clearly earned his credentials. Even Ravi Zacharias has been deeply moved by Dick’s ministry.
But if I were to get to the heart of the matter, the best reason is that Dick is one of the most joy-filled people I know. You would be hard pressed to find anyone with a brighter outlook, or anyone who could offer more encouragement to those needing a kind word. Continue reading