Potato Chip Discipling (part 4)
In the previous three posts (found at 1, 2, and 3) we have explored how lessons learned managing potato chip production plants have served me well in the area of disciple-making. Today we will conclude with some final principals of discipleship learned from years of management.
As a manufacturing manager, it was imperative that I make sure that those in my organization understand and utilize a number of tools in order to be successful. Tools like the ability to problem-solve and bring real focus to a technical problem. The ability to utilize statistical analysis to monitor a process and control quality of output is another necessary tool. In a similar way, it is vital that we impart the tools needed in order for the disciple to be successful in following Christ. Equipping the disciple with these tools, known as spiritual disciplines, is my seventh concept. The ability to study God’s Word, understand what it says, what it means, and how to apply it to life is a critical skill for a disciple. We want to teach our disciple to be a self-feeder. The spiritual discipline of prayer, and even journaling one’s communication with God, is invaluable. We must share the spiritual benefits of fasting, meditation, worship, serving, study, simplicity, and giving.
Early in my career as I was coaching young managers, I often encouraged them to do things the way that I would do them. When helping them to work through a given situation or to deal with a difficult employee, I would describe for them how I would handle it. I had more than my share of failure with that method. I needed and later learned to coach my mangers to find a style and approach that fit their personality and skill set. Similarly in discipleship, I must be careful to mold them in Christ’s image, not mine. The eighth discipleship concept is to facilitate the disciple’s development in terms of his or her unique journey and personal style in Christ’s image, as opposed to “cloning” my spiritual style.
Since seven is the perfect number and I am already plus one, it is probably time to wrap this up. The final point that I want to make is that the real key to success in both management-development and in disciple-making is to believe in the person and see in them the potential for who God has made them to be. It is my role to challenge them to be better, point them to Jesus, and dream with them about their future. I want to encourage them to become disciple-making disciples. I want to have spiritual grandchildren just like I have managers across P&G today that have been coached and developed by those I invested in over my 33-year career. Paul gives a challenge to Timothy, as well as to you and me, in 2 Timothy 2:2: “Entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” My prayer for you and for me is that we will be such faithful men.
by Mike Mulvaney, Community Pastor::Fellowship Bible Church of NWA
email him email@example.com
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