A lesson in “why discipling”


There was a Man who provided a service. He was very knowledgeable, very experienced and very connected. He advertised, for how else would anyone know he even existed? He advertised in the places people would look for his services. And one day he received a distressed call. Someone who needed help. Someone let down by another “expert”. Someone who was paying the cost for the expert not being the expert he said he was.

This Man went to see the person in distress. And immediately saw why there was distress. The expert was indeed no expert at all. And the person in distress was right to be distressed. This Man listened to a tale of woe he had heard many times. He advised as he had advised many times. He took photographs as he had many times. But this Man could not make the past different. He could only make the future different. And the person in distress was no longer distressed – he was now angry – the “expert” had been proved to be no expert at all – and to put right the wrong would cost more money. The Man had also heard that anger many times.

The person in ex-distress and now ex-anger thanked the Man, and then set about researching the Man’s credentials – and found them to be good everywhere he looked. The Man indeed seemed to be the expert he claimed. So the job was agreed, and the job was done. By other Men who were indeed skilled at their different jobs. Men who had a pride in doing their different jobs to a very high standard. They were indeed good Men in the image of the Man.

The end.


That is a true story. The firm is a real firm. The job was a real job. And the job (done second time around) was to a very high standard.


It struck me that “the firm” – each person – was as good as the Man (the boss): each person had a job – each person understood their own job – each person knew the jobs of others and how all the different jobs fitted together. And I learned that each was valued by the boss, and each was necessary to the boss (and each other). Each had the skills, experience, tools and right attitude to do “the job” properly. And the pride in doing a good job was not for my benefit , not for their boss – it just “was” in each.

And the boss was absent a lot of the time. And there were no calls to reassure or enquire. He simply popped in on two occasions over one week. On both occasions his visit was not to impress me, it was to talk to his crew. The entire job was done to the very high standard, to the agreed price (including some details not included in the quote (and not charged either), and to the agreed schedule. All was as promised. And those details along the way … each was agreed as it happened. And that left a great impression.

Each of the crew was entrusted with the authority to change/adapt/amend his own bit without reference to the boss. I think it was because each had the same pride in their bit, and – as importantly – of the whole. Each knew they were part of the whole – and each worked their bit to achieve the whole. That was how they did things – it was that simple for each of them.


And – without any of us talking about God or no-God, church or no-church … I was given a fantastic living and real lesson in why disciples and “why discipling”.


5 thoughts on “A lesson in “why discipling”

  1. Great illustration. I especially liked: “Each of the crew was entrusted with the authority to change/adapt/amend his own bit without reference to the boss.” Having the authority of our boss means, we know his character, are familiar with his plans, and therefore work with the integrity of being sent, rather than going our own way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Just me being curious and commented:

    Making disciples

    Is a phrase often used in church circles. Because wasn’t it the final earthly breath of Jesus:- Make disciples and preach all the time.

    I have found there to be a gap between the words and the reality 2000+ years later. The preaching thing seemed to get off the ground, but not the disciple thing so much. Perhaps because the preaching thing is actually quite easy. Take a few verses, wrap around some thoughts, splice in a little humour, hope the Holy Spirit comes along for the ride – and bingo! Job Done.

    But the disciple thing seems less popular. Who has three years to give to anything that has no conclusion or goal or measurable objective. We only have the whole of the New Testament to go from for that gig. Plus it is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more than an hour of preaching every now and then. Discipling seems to be for … ever!!!!

    My own experience is that is seen as a sacrifice too far. A good works that is not really doable. And even if it was – just who is going to organise and run something like that? So we carry on preaching the Great Commission and telling that we must all “make disciples” – whilst neatly avoiding the invitation to become one ourselves.

    Which seems a tad odd to me.

    “Wanna see how easy it really is, Paul?”

    Would that be possible, dear GSHJ?

    “Here’s a little “preaching” I prepared earlier … “


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