Yesterday, J. D. Payne noted that theological education is both a blessing and a curse: largely because while the classroom is an important component of training, it is only one component–but we have made it the whole thing.
There’s a lot of truth to what he says in the article, and it’s well worth reading. So, what’s the best way to learn and teach?
Payne says, “We reproduce what we know; we know what has been modeled before us.”
This is true both for the knowledge and for the way it is taught.
For example, let’s say I want to learn to draw. (I’d like to–my drawings stink.) I could pick up a book on drawing, and this would give me theory. A lot of discipleship and theological classes are taught like books on art–they give you a big description of the theory, with lots of examinations of the Bible, and introspective reflection about the original languages, words, meanings, and the like. You come away at worst impressed with your teacher’s knowledge and at best with some notes on paper and at very best some new ideas in your head.
But how would you reproduce it? Well, you might go through the notes with someone else, teaching it as you have been taught. Will that teach you to draw? (or to disciple?) And will it enable you to teach someone else to disciple?
Rather than going through some academic description of what a disciple is, perhaps the better way to teach it is to disciple someone – or to draw with them. Consider the following videos (both short). What can you learn about discipling from these?


Can we make discipling and teaching discipleship more like this: where you show it being done, and then dive deeply into the individual reasons?