Disciple Makers Tool Box

One of the great pleasures of my life was meeting Jack Dannemiller. I vividly remember our first meeting. It was one of my first few days as a pastor in Bay Village, Ohio—a crisp, bright, lovely late October day. Jack came by my office to welcome me to town and brought a few copies of Answers to Life’s Greatest Questions, a pamphlet he published under Living Dialogue Ministries’ imprint. Jack wanted to meet me and discuss the challenges facing youth in Cleveland and Fort Myers, Florida, where Jack lives part of each year. Our visit began a friendship of several years and a partnership in the Gospel in Cleveland and beyond. Answers to Life’s Greatest Questions and several Bible Studies he has published have been successfully translated into Spanish (and other languages) and used by mission partners in Mexico and other places. Others of his books have been useful in congregations in which Kathy and I have participated or have contacts.

Who is Jack Dannemiller?

The answer is, “Jack Dannemiller is a committed Christian layman.” Jack got his first degree from the Case Institute of Technology and then from the Case Western Weatherhead School of Business. His successful business career culminated in his work as the Chairman and CEO of a New York Stock Exchange Company. Currently, he is the Chairman of Living Dialogue Ministries. He has written several books and participated in the preparation of others. He is the Author of “Answers to Your Greatest Questions” and “Reasons for Faith: A Journey into Apologetics.” At an age when many men “slow down,” Jack finds time to be a father and grandfather and serve to cause of Christ in two different cities and beyond.

Jack has been honored by his Alma Mater, which describes Jack’s accomplishments as follows:

Jack Dannemiller’s adage for life and work has served him well: “Discovery is seeing what everyone else is seeing but thinking what no one else thinks.”

For his MBA thesis at what’s now Case Western Reserve University, Dannemiller created the Professional Selling Skills training program that’s been used in a range of industries for more than 50 years.

As chairman and CEO of Applied Industrial Technologies, he brought innovative practices to the Cleveland-based distributor of industrial, motion and control technologies that led to tripling the company’s product types and expanding its global reach. [1]

I did not know Jack during those exciting years of his business career—but I know folks who did, and they all love and admire the man as a wonderful human being. Jack is a guy worth listening to and learning from in many areas of life.

The Disciple Makers Tool Box

Jack’s latest effort is called “The Disciple Makers Tool Box: Instruction Manual: Your Guide to Becoming a Disciple Maker.” [2] This short little book of under 100 pages is precisely what it purports to be—a toolbox for people who wish to be or become disciple-makers. Each chapter contains short, practical, hands-on advice and help concerning how to make disciples for Jesus Christ. It deals with the most basic questions skeptics and secular folks have, the primary barriers to the faith they experience, and the fundamental tools one needs to share your faith with others and help others begin their walk of faith. For example, Jack provides several easily reproducible aids to disciple-making.

Jack answers basic questions not as a pastor or theologian but as a layperson who has a heart for God and wants to know more about how to share their faith. The book is deliberately written in an approachable style. It does not deal with complex issues in depth but instead gives simple, straightforward responses to the kinds of questions people have and the barriers to faith in Christ. The emphasis is on readability by the average person, yet the matters covered can be complex.

Here is a brief outline of the contents of The Disciple Makers Tool Box:

  • Disciple-making dialogue techniques
  • Discerning questions for dialogue
  • Questions and answers for dealing with seekers and skeptics
  • How to explain the real meaning of faith
  • Charts, Illustrations, and Handouts
  • A proven method for studying the Bible
  • Resource references for finding Evidence & Answers
  • A simple course outline on basic Christian Apologetics

Dialogue as a Skill for Disciple Makers

As some readers know, last year I published a book called “Crisis of Discipleship: Renewing the Art of Relational Disciple-Making.” Jack and I were each working on our books at the same time, and I profited greatly from his advice, comments, and wisdom. I had the opportunity to read his manuscript as it developed. He was already Chairman of Living Dialogue Ministries, and I had already been interested in dialogue in various human contexts, including Church leadership and disciple-making. [3] In Crisis of Discipleship, I went into more theoretical detail about why dialogue is important in reaching our culture. Disciple Makers Tool Box has the same emphasis, and dialogue remains a common theme in our work. All the books in the Living Dialogue series have as one goal providing ways for people to have meaningful and helpful conversations with believers and seekers alike.

This emphasis on dialogue is especially important in our divided society, where many people refuse to engage in a loving exchange with those with whom they disagree, especially where politics and religion are involved. One of the most important things Christians can learn to do is communicate effectively into the lives of people in our society. Jack’s emphasis on dialogue is important in this regard.


No book can be perfect, and no short book can cover everything a reviewer or critic might wish were covered in detail. Disciple Makers Tool Box has to be judged by what it is and set out to accomplish—and on that basis, it is a great success. I recommend pastors, small group leaders, disciple-makers, and others read this book and get copies to give away. As I mentioned near the beginning, Kathy and I have used Living Dialogue Ministry Bible studies and materials in small groups we have led, and some of our young mission partners in Mexico have shared the Spanish versions there. The results have been encouraging.

The books published by Living Dialogue Ministries are generally written for an evangelical audience. For readers and friends who would not fit in that category, I emphasize the practical nature of the materials. Because of the straightforward nature of the language, some may feel that the books are too simplistic for their congregation. I urge such readers to resist the temptation to feel this way and allow their congregations and groups to learn from Jack and Living Dialogue Ministries. You will not regret the decision. For those in evangelical congregations, the book will fit easily into the training curriculum for your congregation.

Copyright 2023, G. Christopher Scruggs, All Rights Reserved

[1] Case Western Reserve University Alumni Association at https://case.edu/alumni/alumni-awards/2022-dannemiller 9downloaded August 21, 2023).

[2] Jack Dannemiller, The Disciple Makers Tool Box: Instruction Manual: Your Guide to Becoming a Disciple Maker (Richmond, VA: Living Dialogue Ministries, 2023). This book and all the others in the Living Dialogue series are available through the ministry’s website at https://livingdialog.org/

[3] I cannot make this a complete review of Jack and his friends, but one of his colleagues, Irving Stubs, is essential. Irving has been a pastor and a consultant specializing in dialogue. He lives in Richmond, Virginia, in retirement and has been influential in encouraging dialogue in business and religion. Irving R. Stubbs is the author of Dialogue: A Way to Live Revised Edition (Richmond VA: Living Dialogue Ministries, 2020).