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.
missional church leadership , making disciples , competence , Discipleship Square