Bryce has been playing in a fall baseball league recently. Initially he was having trouble hitting the ball, so I scheduled a few batting lessons with a local coach.
During each lesson, the coach would explain ways I could practice with Bryce each day between lessons. Almost every day after school, Bryce and have been getting out in the yard and practicing.
If I could sum up our practice sessions in one word, it would be: repetition. Repetition is the key to improving at any sport. Golfers hit the same shot with the same club over and over. Quarterbacks throw the same route repeatedly to achieve perfect timing. And basketball players shoot free-throws for hours a day to achieve consistency.
For Bryce’s baseball swing, we have been working on keeping his weight back and turning properly. Mastering these basics is not as easy as it may sound –especially with all of the other details he is trying to remember (watch the ball, don’t step out, keep your knees bent, etc). Thinking about all of these things at the same time is impossible. At some point, certain parts of the swing must become routine. That’s where repetition becomes valuable. Repetition moves information to transformation.
In sports, we expect a player to spend hour upon hour, day upon day to master one aspect of their game. Why then, do we not expect the same in Christian discipleship?
It seems silly to think that a Christian could develop a strong prayer life from one mere lesson in a discipleship workbook. Likewise, can we really expect a person to competently share their faith after a short lesson on the ABC’s of the gospel? And yet many of us repeatedly treat discipleship in this manner. However, the approach falls short as discipleship is reduced to increased information with little or no transformation. DiscipleMakers would do well to learn this lesson from sports –information is great, but repetition is key.
If you want to hear me get excited, just show up to one of Bryce’s baseball games. I am overwhelmed with emotion when I see him hit the ball. In that moment, all of the hard work of practice has paid off.
Want to knock it out of the park as a disciple maker? Find ways to practice regularly with your disciple!