So after months of looking, my family and I finally adopted a dog. We just happened to find her at a shelter while staying in Tahoe a couple of weekends ago. Pepper is about 8 months old and just like any puppy, is in need of training. So I’ve been getting up early and walking her, teaching her to sit and walk on a leash in addition to other things. The other morning, as I was walking her in the cool of early morning, I had a thought. Discipling people is a little bit like training a dog.
Recently I wrote a short piece on how discipleship requires effort on our part (which you can access here). This relates to that, but in a different way. My point there was that as disciples we must work. My point here is that as disciple makers we must also work.
As I was walking her that morning, I came to the realization that the work of training my dog is essentially boiled down to two things: knowing what to do and then doing it over and over again. I’ve had the experience of training a dog before and so I know the basics of what to do with her. The challenge however, is the consistent repetition of commands, correction, rewards and affection.
Generally speaking we assume that people are more sophisticated than dogs. With that said we admit that making people into disciples of Jesus is obviously more complex than teaching your dog to shake. Still, there remains a couple of striking similarities. Making disciples of people is also about knowing what to do and then doing it over and over again. Jesus provides us with both the information and example of what to do in this endeavor. Now, we just need to live these things out consistently with those God has placed before us!