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.