Kingdom skills

Multiplication tools: practice

If you want to become proficient at a skill, the answer lies in practice.


Photo credit: Morrow Cove (Creative Commons)

Musicians rehearse, athletes practice, anyone who wants to become proficient at a skill puts in hours per day. They perform the same drill over and over again until it has become perfectly natural. I’m sure my patients were very grateful that I had spent hours practicing how to tie a surgical knot with one hand before I stitched any of them up. Malcolm Gladwell in his brilliant book, Outliers: The Story of Success, says that greatness in any skill requires enormous amounts of time, and applies what he calls, the 10,000 hour rule.

Now obviously, we aren’t talking super-complicated skills when it comes to making disciples. But why do we assume that just telling someone how to to something, whether it’s leading someone to the Lord, prophesying or listening to God, enables them to be proficient at it?

My good friend, Katie Driver, a coach, recently completed her degree. The secular university taught her the following statistics:

Adults retain     5% of what they hear in a lecture

                                10% of what they read

                                50% of what they see demonstrated

                                75% of what they practice

                                90% of what they teach

It’s much, much better if people practice their spiritual skills with someone else before they try to take it outside their church (whether that is simple/organic or legacy) context into the secular world. It then becomes something natural, a useful tool in their hands. They are equipped to minister (Ephesians 4:11, 12).

Suggested application: Pick one skill–telling your story

                                                                        making a disciple (leading someone to Christ)

                                                                        listening to the Lord

                                                                        praying for the sick

In your small group, have everyone practice that skill several times and challenge them to use it during the week, preferably with a not-yet-believer. I’ll have a story for you in the next post of how that has worked out for me in the last two weeks.

3 replies on “Multiplication tools: practice”

I agree! Some in our network of fellowships will be doing personal “pastoral” counseling to help our brothers & sisters in an indigenous church among the homeless.
Be in prayer. Another brother and I met with the homeless shelter director, and it looks like they will open their facilities to us so we have a place to meet one-on-one for ministry and counseling. The folks doing the pastoral counseling have been learning how to minister in this area as part of a class I’ve been teaching since last September. They took the time to learn and refine their skills, and we now have men and women ready and equipped to help those who are hurting.
I am excited! We are already doing this in the jail with the indigenous churches we’ve planted there, but now God is opening doors elsewhere – but in the context of indigenous churches we’re seeing started within the various and diverse “cultures” in our community.
It is this tie-in with planting indigenous churches – and now being able to send folks out (some of whom come from those indigenous churches) to deal with real issues like abuse, abandonment, addictions and the like – which I think is so neat!

Jim. this is a great story and exactly the sort of thing I’ve been talking about. I love the fact that the skills you’ve been working on are to be used outside the context of the church too. And God is using your faithfulness to see multiplication.

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