Writing this book has been a journey for me and my family, and one that has not been easy. However, in the process of the journey I have learned much about Jesus, more than I ever expected. I set out to write a book about “breaking the discipleship code,” about helping followers of Jesus find effective ways to bring others to Him. It was and still is my hope that people who read Breaking the Missional Code (which I co-authored with Ed Stetzer) would find this book a helpful companion in their ministries and their lives. I hope to challenge every reader to escape his or her comfort zone and explore the invigoration that comes with discipling others. In truth, I did not anticipate that I would break the discipleship code for myself, but about three-quarters into the writing of this book, God began to grip my heart in a new way, giving me fresh insight into discipleship.
I realized that through the years, I have acquired a lot of unnecessary religious baggage. Most of it I don’t even recognize in myself—it’s always more apparent to me on someone else. However, writing this book brought me face to face with the image in the mirror, and I’ve gained a whole new perspective about myself. For me, becoming a missional follower of Jesus means losing my religion: letting go of those “religious” things I do just because I think followers of Jesus are supposed to do them, because “that’s the way it’s always been.” But it’s not simply about letting go of religion. More importantly, I realized that I must connect with Jesus in a new way, a simpler way, the way the Apostles did by just examining His life. For me, I am going to be satisfied to live the rest of my life as a follower of Jesus and Jesus alone. I hope you will, too. It is my prayer that you will lose your religion and find the Jesus way.