Thursday, April 26, 2007

Discipleship | Competence

The symptoms of my being of ‘low mood’ at present include a significant loss of confidence in my ability to do things that I have done at a level of competence in the past. While this feels crap, I know that God works in all circumstances, whether good or bad, to bring good for those who love him.

There are four stages to being/making disciples (in any sphere – think about the stages of learning to drive a car, for example):
unconscious incompetence (you’ve just got your provisional licence…);
conscious incompetence (“I’m never going to pass my test…”);
conscious competence (you can drive/parallel park so long as you think about what you are doing);
unconscious competence (you drive/parallel park without thinking about driving/parking).
(This summarises the Lifeshapes Discipleship Square, based on Jesus’ dealings with his disciples in the Gospels.)

My friend Sharon describes it like this:
a stage defined by ‘self’ (one can imagine Jesus’ disciples feeling special at being chosen by him, perhaps even superior to those who weren’t);
a stage defined by ‘emptying’ of self;
a stage defined by ‘being filled’ by God;
and a stage defined by the ‘overflow’ of what has filled us touching others.

The thing is, it’s hard to teach someone else to do something that you do at a level of unconscious competence: “How do you do that?” “I just do.”
Sometimes, we need to be taken back to a stage where we have to work through conscious competence in order to better teach others what we have been taught.

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1 comment:

  1. Workplace politics? Urggh... I have been there and have at least 2 of the T-shirts.

    I appreciate your blog, some of your posts have especially helpful to me, like "meeting the resurected Jesus" poem which I printed off and shared with others. So I prayerfully hope that while in 'low moods' you are in a community where the strong carry the weak, so that when they are strong once again they can resume the task of carrying others, with the competence that comes through the strength of Christ. (through whom I can.......)