In the second of his blogs on Discipleship, Simon Harris suggests that to grow we need to be alongside others who have gone before us, blending practical experience with biblical teaching.
In order to learn something new we need more than theory. Every apprentice knows this. There needs to be imitation. We need the ability to watch, to experience, to learn by being alongside others so that we can begin to imitate, to copy those who have themselves learnt what we are seeking to learn.
That’s the model of discipleship that Jesus gave. To learn by being alongside someone else (“Come follow me”). It’s no different for us. It is apprenticeship. That’s why Jesus discipled 12. Only 12 could get close enough.
If you are going to grow in prayer, for example, you need good Biblical information BUT you also need to be alongside (close/personal) with someone who is a better pray-er than you. Praying regularly with someone whose prayer-life is richer than yours will, I am sure, increase your prayer life significantly more than reading another book on prayer or listening to another sermon on podcast.
Like learning to drive, becoming a plumber, a surgeon or a great pray-er theory will never be enough. Get close and practical with someone who is already doing it and you will begin to grow.
It’s the way of Jesus.
Who do you allow close enough to your life so they can really learn something from you?
Who are you learning from at the moment?
Ipswich in Prayer are to run the 24/7 Prayer Course from February 2020, which provides an opportunity to learn and discuss with others how prayer can be a central part of your life. Click here for more details.
Simon & Ceri Harris are part of the leadership at Burlington in Ipswich (https://burlington.church). Ceri also leads Accessible Prophecy in England & Wales (http://www.accessibleprophecy.com) and runs her own coaching business helping individuals, charities and companies with transition, core DNA, life and executive coaching Together Ceri & Simon are involved in supporting churches embracing with challenge of missional discipleship with Catalyse Change (https://catalysechange.org).
You can view Simon’s first blog in the series here