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James Chia• Timely Word •

Discipleship – by example and by doing

By 26 August 2022No Comments

At a recent in-camp training (ICT), I had to cover the duties of my team I/C. This meant that I had to be in the hot seat and present our plans to the “higher-ups” during the table-top exercise. It was certainly stressful as I only had basic training for that role.

In the army (or any other organization for that matter), an individual is deemed adequate when they have completed a requisite course or training programme for that required role. For example a few months of basic military training (BMT) to become a soldier, or a shorter lecture-style three-week course to take up a staff appointment.

My Team I/C later shared with me that while the course was useful in preparing him for the role, it was the annual ICT which helped him understand and perform the role better. In other words, this is known as “learning by doing”. I also realized that I was able to rise up to the occasion because I had been observing such exercises and how other staff officers fulfilled their roles. In other words, this was “learning by example”.

These two catchphrases are certainly not new to us and you could probably relate to it as you have transited into a new situation or environment such as a new school year or a new job.

As (1) Christ’s disciples, and (2) disciple-makers, we should take note that no amount of formal,   structured “courses” and “training” can replicate the effectiveness of “learning by example” and “learning by doing”. In the olden days, apprenticeship (following, living with and learning from a master) was the only way to acquire a skill or craft.

Today, Bible “knowledge” (be it online or offline) is a lot more available and accessible than my time as a youth. The ability to sift through and discern what is right and sound is another topic altogether (and will take a few bulletin articles, sermons and courses).

So in our discipleship journey, we should continue to facilitate and grab opportunities for “learning by example” and “learning by doing” within the YCKC family. What this means is that as individuals, we should continue to model Christ in our lives, AND as a community, we should be Christ-models (or models of Christ) to each other, sharing our experiences, wisdom and passion for our Lord and Saviour.

By brother James Chia