Disciples are always made, not born

Disciples are always made, not born

What training correlates with success? According to the authors of The Making of an Expert, one thing emerges very clearly:

“All the superb performers…had practiced intensively, had studied with devoted teachers, and had been supported enthusiastically by their families throughout their developing years. Later research … revealed that the amount and quality of practice were key factors in the level of expertise people achieved. Consistently and overwhelmingly, the evidence showed that experts are always made, not born.” (Emphasis added)

So are disciples! They are always made, not born. We don’t stumble into growing as a Jesus’ learners. We follow others’ example and instruction. This is not something that happens on the backstroke but is the intense focus in a person’s life requiring sacrifice and perseverance.

The authors continue:
The journey to truly superior performance is neither for the faint of heart nor for the impatient. The development of genuine expertise requires struggle, sacrifice, and honest, often painful self-assessment. There are no shortcuts.
It will take you at least a decade to achieve expertise, and you will need to invest that time wisely, by engaging in “deliberate” practice – practice that focuses on tasks beyond your current level of competence and comfort.
(Emphasis added)

What about the amount and quality of practice? It is not just ‘knowing about‘ something. Information does not make disciples. Disciples make disciples. It will mean practicing together something poorly at first but trying again. And again. Progress is measured in decades.

You want to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ?

Who are your devoted teachers?
Who is enthusiastically supporting you in this quest?
Who is helping you to learn to coach yourself?
What is the amount and quality of your deliberate practice?

We can help with 40 days of Discipleship. It will give you a taste of something different that could change the course of your discipleship. Here is a brochure to invite someone to join you.This could be a helpful activity for Lent.

K. Anders Ericsson, Michael J. Prietula and Edward T. Cocely
The Making of an Expert July-August 2007 Harvard Business Review p.115- 121