I love the acronym of MAWL for making disciples. I just sent an email to myself to remind myself about this same concept for work on Tuesday with my employees. Most failings train…I mean most trainings fail because they are not modeled, they are just taught. Most people teaching us to do things in the church are not doing them themselves. Actually most of our trainings aren’t about doing but about knowledge. Why is that? It is a lot easier to teach some people just to learn than what to do. If you want to teach people what to do it takes experience, failure, and time. Most of us don’t want to put in the time because in the process we might not look how we want to appear.
As I have observed in parenting in these last couple of years. My kids follow a lot more of what I do than what I say. Yes they listen to what I say but they copy and imitate what I do a lot more than I realize. A few weeks ago I was working in the nursery at church sitting in the comfortable rocking chair and I was telling my boys to go play with the kids. But they just sat there. I was getting kind of irritated that they just didn’t do that. I mean they didn’t have to sit through church, the least they could do is play with the kids 🙂 Later once I got over what I wanted I just went and started playing with kids in the nursery and just having fun playing ball, trains, puzzles. After a while of doing this I looked over and saw both of my boys playing with kids. I was so encouraged but really made me think back. Throughout the years my kids have been mirrors for myself. When my 7 year old daughter was 2 she would always grab books and sit on the couch and say I am reading my bible. She did that because that year in our life we got rid of TV and read our bible’s continually. Fast forward a few years and my girls started asking if they could play computer or be on the phone. Immediately an alarm went off and I recalibrated my phone and computer time until after they went to bed so I was fully present from them(I also minimized my time on them both). Many people in the church want for their own kids this vibrant faith but don’t want that same faith for themselves. They will do everything for their kids to get it but they won’t do it themselves. If we want to have brave kids for their faith we need parents to start laying that foundation of bravery. We don’t need to give them any more lectures we need to be showing them what it looks like by how we treat others and how we live. We need to be telling our kids stories of how God is working in our lives. God taught me this years back when my 2 boys moved in with us and didn’t believe in God. They were 7 & 8 and I wanted to share with them how Jesus affected my life. I shared how I prayed with customers, truck drivers, God-coincidences that happened, and feeling lead to talk to certain people. I’ll never forget one day I got out to help someone who was having car troubles and my one son said to my wife, ‘I bet God told him to do that.” We need to model this faith and that is the first step.
Curtis in the video talked about the first step was the child seeing someone do it. We need this in the church of Christians radically stepping out and taking the first step so others can follow. Some good friends of mine are doing that this summer. They are taking the first step toward going to Unreached People Groups. This is hopefully planting the seed of modeling in others.
This is a great challenge for today. I am going to get together with a couple of guys from my discipleship group and talk about how we could do more of this to get to 4 generations. This challenged me to Model and Assist so that the foundation is in place if I do leave. I once read that we should all be re-evaluating our life to the question “Where would I spend my time if I was leaving in 3 years and there was no one to replace me?” This question was directed mainly at pastors but we as the church need to be asking the question of that as we step into discipleship.
So let’s go MAWL some people. Let’s be intentional and reorient our lives around this.
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Thank you so much, Justin!
Wonderful post that helps me think about MAWL for disciple-making but also for making disciples of my children.
God bless you!