Written in 1978, The Lost Art of Disciple Making still functions as an excellent guide to aid the church in fulfillment of the Lord’s command to make disciples. The book is simple, practical and biblical and written by a man who has dedicated his life to making disciples.
The Lost Art lacks detailed philosophical and theological discussion concerning the ministry of the church in general, and discipleship making in particular and if the reader is looking for such he will need to turn elsewhere. But for a workable, insightful manual on developing mature followers of Christ, who in turn will train others to follow the Lord, this volume is hard to beat.
I would mention two areas in which the reader will want to use discernment. First, Eims offers many qualities, techniques and steps that are gleaned more from his experience in making disciples than drawn directly from Scripture. None of these would be anti-biblical but is a practical application Eims has developed from his understanding of Scripture. This means that some of his suggestions are just that and the reader, within biblical perimeters, is free to take or leave his suggestions.
Secondly, Eims is developing a particular style of discipleship ministry that has emerged from his Navigator background and training. As such, other biblical means of discipleship such as preaching, teaching, administering the Lord’s Supper and baptism are absent. Eims even suggests that teaching SundaySchool is not part of discipleship (pp. 84-85). Again a solid, balanced theology of the church and its role in discipling is absent in The Lost Art. Nevertheless, as a most helpful aid in discipling and training individuals to follow the Lord and develop other followers, this little book has much value.