LEARNING One of the difficulties of using books for discipleship is that we move too fast.

For growth to take place in our lives we have to process, in some form, the material we are considering over a period of time. I remember taking a course on how adults learn in graduate school. The statement was made that an adult had to encounter something 52 times before it became a part of them. That could be in writing, art, listening, reading or any combination of these. In addition it is said that it takes 4 to 6 weeks of consistent "doing" before an action becomes a habit. Discipleship (learning, being a student) during the time of Jesus would have been the standard way of life. Beginning about 6 years of age, by the time they were ten they new the Torah (first 5 books of our Bible) by heart. Their goal was not just to know the Torah but to live their lives according to it. If it was God’s word and “tasted like honey on the lips” it was something that should impact their whole life. Rob Bell, in Velvet Elvis, makes the point that it seems like everyone in Jesus’ time new the Scriptures. This is why. After the age of ten for those gifted they would continue to work with the Rabbi of the village. They would memorize the other books of the Old Testament, study the traditions, consider other Rabbi’s teachings, and, interestingly, study how to ask questions. We cannot nor should we duplicate exactly the methods used 2000 years ago but we need to learn that discipleship takes time. You will need to take time. You will be pursuing the most important relationship you will ever have and you will need to take time. The dilemma is that most readers will finish this book in less than 30 days, if it is any good. The needed changes that you will discover about yourself cannot take place in 30 days. In the FOR YOUR JOURNAL section of the last chapter I had you choose one thing to develop in your personality. If you are “normal” you will have discovered a long list of changes that need to be accomplished. How do we do this? How do we MOVE THE MOUNTAIN THAT WE ARE to become what God has for us? If you are really serious about becoming all God has for you, find someone who will pastor1/mentor2/coach3 you through this process. This should be someone you respect and can submit your life to, fully. You should expect to pursue this relationship rather than depend on them to pursue you. Take the initiative. If there is no one older and more mature you could do this with a friend. It will probably be more difficult and slower and each of you would have to be committed to the process. Do not try and do too many things at the same time. Your list of needed changes could be substantial. Work on one thing at a time or you will get discouraged. Work on it faithfully
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Pastoral care is a relationship with another person that allows that person into my whole life (personal, family, finances, church, spiritual, health) for guidance and accountable. 2 Mentoring is inviting some into my life who has specific skill that I need and is willing to share with me and help me acquire the same. 3 Coaching is coming alongside someone who sets the agenda and gives you the right to ask questions and encourage them in a certain job or task and challenges you to do better.

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until you and the person you are working with see a change. Once this change has begun you can start on another item, remembering not to forget the previous. I read in one place where a writer wanted to add a number of good habits to her life. She decided to commit to doing one each month rather than start the year out trying to do all of them. One is possible, but 12 are overwhelming. In some cases a single change in our lives will impact many areas of our lives. Generally, though, I think you will see a process of exploring and learning what that single change means. When I became a Christian many things changed. One of the interesting things, for me, was that my language changed. My use of certain words, over time, disappeared without me intentionally trying to change. At the same time my circle of friends changed. Again, this was not intentional. No decision or change that we make is done in a vacuum. Be prepared. Use your journal. Go back over your answers to the questions and re-read them on a regular basis. Add to your journal your successes and your failures. Don't get bogged down with the failures. They are learning experiences we need to embrace, to learn from and to move beyond. Pray. Pray for God's help as you allow him to make you into the leader that He wants you to be. Remember it will not be like someone else. You are unique and God's plan for you is unique. Our goal is to help you find and succeed in that plan for your life. Look for opportunities to apply what you are working on now. If you are trying to listen more, put yourself in situations where you are doing this. Be intentional. If you are going to a meeting where you, usually, do most of the talking, plan on doing more listening. If someone asks you why the change simply answer that you are trying to understand and do not focus on what you are trying to do in your life in your answer. If you are shy and withdrawn go to places where there are people and begin talking. It is almost always safe to ask about their lives. Obviously, the depth of questions has to do with the depth of the relationship. Want to be more of a servant--clean the bathroom. Again. Again. Do it until your heart is serving not just your hands. This process only you can do. No one can do it for you. It will take time and work and patience. If you are faithful and persistent you will impact God's kingdom. In your corner of His world you will make a difference. FOR YOUR JOURNAL • Write about some changes you tried to accomplish in the past but did not and why you think you failed.
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Why are you reading this book? Assuming you want to become the person God wants you to be, what steps are you going to take to allow this to happen? (Hint: It will not happen through osmosis!)

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