Welcome back to the Discipleship blog series. If you have not read the previous posts, you can find them here.
Last time we learned how the Three Thirds meeting format is a method of meeting that helps followers of Jesus help one another follow Jesus more faithfully.
In this post, we’ll learn a Training Cycle that helps disciples go from one to many and turns a mission into a movement.
Have you ever learned how to ride a bicycle? Have you ever helped someone else learn? If so, chances are you already know THE TRAINING CYCLE.
It’s as easy as MODEL, ASSIST, WATCH and LEAVE.
Think back - before you ever rode a bicycle, you probably saw someone else ride one first.
That’s MODELING. MODEL, ASSIST, WATCH and LEAVE.
Modeling is simply showing someone else an example of how it’s done. When a child first sees someone else riding a bike, they get the idea right away. Modeling is like that -- it doesn’t have to be done often, and usually it only needs to be done once.
Think back to that first bike ride. Did you want to just watch? Or were you excited to get on and give it a try? What if nobody ever gave you the chance?
Too much modeling can actually hurt the training process. MODELING is about showing someone just a little - and then giving them a try. So what happened on that first ride? Did they just give you the bicycle and walk away? Probably not.
When most people learn how to ride a bike, someone is right there for the first few pedals. Walking along side and keeping you on track.
That’s ASSISTING. MODEL, ASSIST, WATCH and LEAVE.
Assisting is allowing a learner to practice a skill but making sure the falls aren’t too hard. Assisting takes longer than Modeling. But not too long. It requires some hand-holding, some direction and some coaching, but it’s all about passing on the basics. It’s not about getting someone to perfect. It’s about getting them to pedal.
Can you imagine someone running alongside you as you started to pedal fast and gain some speed? They wouldn’t last long, and you’d never learn to keep your balance.
ASSISTING is about getting someone going and allowing them to steer a little on their own. And when they start to move, they’re actually modeling for next learner on the way. Even when no one else’s hands are on the bike, it doesn’t mean you’re all alone. Usually there’s someone keeping an eye out - but from a distance.
That’s WATCHING. MODEL, ASSIST, WATCH and LEAVE.
Watching is influencing a learner until they’re competent in their skill, all without having to step in and take control. In bike riding, someone can get up and going fairly quickly, but that doesn’t mean they know all the rules of the road.
Watching is about making sure someone’s going to be safe - even when no one’s around. Watching is about making sure not just that someone knows what to do, but also that they’ll do it - even when no one’s looking.
In this phase of the Training Cycle, the learner will grow and teach others how to grow... so they teach others how to grow... so they teach others how to grow.
Disciples who make disciples who make disciples who make disciples. All the way down to the third and fourth generation.
WATCHING is about making sure a learner matures and is not just willing but also able to help others.
Watching takes awhile. It may be ten times as long as Modeling and Assisting, combined. It may be longer.
But the wait is always worth it. Eventually -- the rider just rides the bike.
That’s what LEAVING is all about. MODEL, ASSIST, WATCH and LEAVE.
Leaving is like a graduation. A student becomes a teacher. A worker becomes a co-worker. A disciple becomes a friend. In bike riding, the one who teaches you to ride doesn’t go along for every ride you take. At times they may ride with you. At times you ride separately, or with others, or alone.
LEAVING is about giving one last gift to someone you love - the gift of freedom. Leaving is about equipping someone to go where you’ve already gone but also encouraging them to go where you haven’t gotten to yet.
MODEL, ASSIST, WATCH and LEAVE.
THE TRAINING CYCLE. From one to many. From a mission to a movement.