Here is a question for you: Are you training or teaching your disciples?
You may be wondering, is there a difference?
There is a difference and despite the differences, they are both used powerfully by God to raise up disciples. Both are valuable and important, but we too often try to teach things that we should be training.
Teaching is the passing on and receiving of information to gain knowledge.
Training is the passing on and mastering of skills.
Again, both are important.
But consider the picture above. A man is helping a younger person become a bicycle mechanic.
There are many ways to become a bicycle mechanic. My wife once bought be a book called "Bicycle Maintenance" and it gave instructions on how to fix all sorts of problems that happen with a bicycle. There were even lots of pictures.
Reading a book is one way to learn about fixing my bicycle.
But I never really became a bicycle mechanic - I had a lot of knowledge, but I didn't master the skills. That is because fixing a bicycle is more about learning skills than it is about gaining a bunch of knowledge.
To become a competent bicycle mechanic, what I need to do is spend time with a bicycle mechanic - like the boy in the picture above.
I need to change hundreds of bicycle inner tubes. I need to adjust hundreds of bicycle break problems. I need to take a apart and put back together hundreds of bicycles.
Because the only way to get competent at fixing bikes is to fix lots of bikes.
Some aspects of being a bicycle mechanic are really just about knowledge.
But most of the work of a bicycle mechanic is a skill. And there is really only one way to get competent at a skill.
Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice.
And it is that way in almost every area of life.
Anything that you do well, you do it well because you have done it a lot. You have mastered a skill.
So now let's step back and look at how we make disciples. Much of what we know to do in order to obey Jesus are actually skills that we have learned. We don't just know about prayer, we have become better at prayer as we have prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed.
We don't just know about reading our Bibles. We are a lot better at reading God's word and interacting with it and learning from it now than when we first began.
And with both, there was probably someone who modeled for you what prayer is and how to read your Bible and walked with you until you figured it out.
What are the things that disciples of Jesus do?
I would encourage you to make a list of five to ten things that you wish every member of your church was doing regularly as a disciple of Jesus and then ask yourself, "Have I trained them to do that?"
I'll give you one example that I am working to train as many disciples as I can in. We all know that as disciples of Jesus we are commanded to tell others about the gospel.
One way to do that is to share our personal testimony. Paul did this frequently in the book of Acts. In the video below you will see what we use at Everywhere to Everywhere events to train people how to share their testimony. We write out our testimonies and then we practice and practice and practice and practice until we have it memorized.
We won't be confident to share what we are not competent to share.
Learn it. Apply it. Share it. Today.
We are a collection of practitioners and trainers seeking to multiply disciples and churches locally, nationally and globaly among every segment of society until there's no place left.