I’ve been thinking about discipleship and creatives lately. It may not be something you consider, but as a pastor to artists, I sometimes wonder how different people learn and grow in their Christian faith. I have a family full of creative people who each have their own way of looking at the world. As a husband and father I desire to be able to be a good teacher. Of course being the only male in a household of women creates its own communication challenges. But laying that challenge aside for now, I wonder how creatives learn best. My wife seems to learn by doing. So sitting in a class, listening to a lecture or reading a book needs to flow out of situations that help her learn. Even more, she seems to learn as a result of situations that she is currently involved in. Hypothetical discipleship situations or theory may interest me from an academic point of view, but that doesn’t cause her to learn.
I am part of a discipleship ministry called WDA or Worldwide Discipleship Association. (www.disciplebuilding.org) WDA has spent almost 40 years developing a method for discipleship. What I have learned in working both on campus and in the church, is that one size doesn’t fit all. Methods and structures are tools.
WDA uses something called an R-CAPS grid to help fit key discipleship principles to the place a person is at that moment.
By looking at each person starting with your Relationship (R. in RCAPS) you then teach Content and provide places for Accountability (C. & A. in RCAPS) which fits them.
When I approach discipleship with the relationship in mind I find that my teaching isn’t as formulaic or brittle. It can be fluid and flexible. I can think how I need to Pray and the Situations that may help the learning process. (P. S. in RCAPS)
To teach biblical truth with my family, like with other creative people, requires that I think creatively using R-CAPS to find points of interest and places to have teaching moments. I’m finding that discipleship can begin with any of the R-CAPS. I can teach beginning with prayer, talking about an issue in the news which is a good application or example of truth, and even beginning with a situation that then leads to a discussion about something I have been wanting them to learn.
I suggest that teaching creatives means you need to have a variety of starting points which, when connected to the other R-CAPS, help people learn. Once I would have followed a method closer to the way I learn. I focused on a bible passage or truth and then moved to accountability, prayer and even a situation. I next tried to begin with relationships moving logically along the RCAPS grid. As I have been learning to teach my family, I am growing to see that I need to forget a sequence and focus on the person.
Take time to watch WDA’s intro video for RCAPS (below) and learn how this discipleship tool can give you direction in your discipleship process. WDA has seen this tool used in churches and ministries around the world to help those who disciple others have a balanced approach to teaching. Remember that one method does not fit all, but content applied with prayer, used in creative situations based on your relationship with others can help your discipleship produce mature growing Christians.
Buddy Eades Serves as the Coordinator of Atlanta Arts Network. You can read more about this ministry at AtlantaArtsNetwork