"How did Jesus go about transforming a raw, interesting, diverse group of men from non-awareness to developed disciples? Reading the gospels, I came across several, repeated actions.
- Teaching. Jesus had an agenda of significant themes that had to be discussed. Sometimes, he initiated. Other times, he took His cue from the disciples' conversations or behaviors.
- Talking. The goal of talking is to relate, to express, to get to know someone. To be transformed, we need both formal and informal talk. Requirements without relationship won't produce lasting disciples.
- Time. Jesus walked over 5000 miles with the disciples. He ate around 3800 meals with them. Do you think their relationships deepened after all that eating, walking, and talking? Some parts of discipleship are better caught than taught.
- Trouble. Jesus used negative situations and turned them into teachable moments. He warned His guys about pending dangers. He prepared them for difficulty. Jesus didn't train His friends to expect a sterilized, sanitized world of fluff and puff.
- Thinking. Jesus asked the best questions. He knew how to get to the "what" and "why" of an issue. His provocative questions helped prepare the disciples for their purpose. Jesus knew behaviors and thoughts are linked together.
- Time-Out. Jesus laughed. He went to parties. He attended weddings. He enjoyed being with his friends. There should be room in discipleship for just fun. Is it possible more transformation could happen over ice cream at Friendly's than at Bible study one week?
- Tasks. Jesus gave both simple and detailed assignments. He debriefed the disciples when they returned. What did they see? What did they learn?