Missing the Moment in Discipleship

Monday Discussion

The educator John Dewey has done a lot of damage to the educational system of America, in my opinion, but in one thing he was absolutely right.  The best and most effective time to teach something is when the students sense the need and are ready to learn. 

He once told the story of a class dissecting frogs that had their room invaded by a very colorful bird.  The bird apparently lost its way and flew in through an open window and then, a few moments later, realized its error and flew back out.  The whole episode created a lot of excitement among the students who asked the teacher, “What kind of bird was that?’

Gruffly, the teacher rapped the desk and brought the class back to attention, saying, “Ornithology is next week.”1

That was a missed opportunity. 

Look for the teachable moments in your emerging leaders. Don’t be so tied to some curriculum or process that you miss the better moment to teach the life-changing principles that they need. A man’s motivation is a tenuous thing. Strike when the moment arrives. The curriculum can wait.

1Illustration compliments of McKenna, David L., Communicator’s Commentary: Mark, 73.

One thought on “Missing the Moment in Discipleship

  1. Amen! “He cooks best who uses hot stove!” (me…in old American Indian dialect) Amazing how easy to teach and how penetrable truth is when it is heated by the disciples present passion. Thanks.


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