Is It You? Or Your Tools?!

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I love to bike!  But a year ago I started having a harder time, especially going uphill and wasn’t enjoying it as much.  Over time I biked less and less, assuming that since I turned 50 old age was finally taking its toll.

But this past week my husband bought me a new mountain bike.  As we headed out for our first ride I was racing uphill with no struggle at all!  With joy I realized, the problem wasn’t me being too old, but with my “old” bike!  

As I shared this, my husband smiled.  “Sounds like a great discipleship metaphor to me!  If what you’re doing isn’t working, the problem may not be you, but rather you don’t have the right tools.”  

And he’s so right!!!

Have you ever reached a place where what you’ve done before when discipling doesn’t seem to be working?

It can be so easy to conclude, “I can’t do this anymore.”  Been there, done this!

You see, when we switched from working with college students to 20s, I use to get so frustrated.  “They aren’t interested in what I have to offer.  They don’t want to learn.”  And I concluded, “I can’t do this!”

In truth, there’s a big difference from a wide eyed freshman, eager to take in whatever you want to tell her and a recent grad, who is ready to go out and conquer the world.

Thankfully my husband was asked to work with the Leader Development team and received extensive training in Keith Webb’s The Coach Model.  When he came back and offered training in this I was blown away at how it opened a whole new way of investing in women.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, I just needed new tools!

I was use to “telling,” more direct teaching.  And I found women in their 20s weren’t very open to that.  But as soon as I started asking questions…!!!

And you know those tools have even enriched the way I interact with freshmen! In truth, I wish I’d known how to do this when my son entered adolescence!  

When I cut back on biking, did I ever miss out!   And that almost happened with discipleship too!  I was so close to concluding that I simply couldn’t be of any benefit to women in their 20’s.  Am I ever thankful I discovered the problem wasn’t me, but the tools I was using!

Whether you’re biking or discipling, what a difference the right tools can make!


Have you ever been frustrated because what you’re doing when discipling doesn’t seem to be working? How did you respond?  What helped you?

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