As a part of my passion in life I study discipleship. I look at the what and the how people are discipling. For some reason creating a disciple isn't as easy as I thought it was when I got into the discipleship business several years ago. Don't ask me why I thought it would be easy, it took Jesus three years of actively pouring into 12 peoples lives and one of them still betrayed Him.
I'm really starting to believe that the best way to illustrate the complexity of discipleship is to compare it to a domino reaction.
- It takes time to get every piece in place. There is no magic trick to laying them down, it has to be done one at a time.
- If we truly want to disciple someone we have to be close enough to reach them. In other words, if you aren't involved in someone's life it won't work.
- You may never see the whole picture. Most dominoes never see past the block behind them and the block in front of them.
- If you want to reach the block in front you have to be moved by the block behind you. In order to make disciples, you must submit yourself to be discipled.
My favorite part about this metaphor is that dominoes create movement. You can actually see the movement happening and that is where the awe enters into the picture. Watching one domino fall by itself is not impressive, actually it is quite sad. Watching a movement of dominoes stretch across the room is something to remember.
I think why it takes so long to make disciples is because true disciples are part of a movement. They learn by invitation, challenge, and imitation. There might be tools to do this more efficiently, but even the best tool still needs to be proven over time. Time is the one thing you can't replace, speed up, or slow down.
A domino will fall at exactly the time it is pushed.
My prayer is that we can get to a place where we stop having discipleship moments and start focusing on discipleship movements.