Is Your Modeling Reproducible?

Follow my example  

In your mission work, have you ever run into a problem in which the people you serve do not put into practice what you had hoped for? The apostle Paul certainly hoped his disciples and apprentices would put into practice what he modeled for them.

Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do (Phil. 3:17, NIV).

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1, NIV).

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you (Phil. 4:9, NIV).

Keep to the script: whatever you learned and received and heard and saw in me—do it—and the God of peace will walk with you (Phil. 4:9, The Voice).

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others (2 Tim. 2:2, NIV).

Modeling for reproducibility 

One reason that there might be a gap between what missionaries model and what people put into practice is the lack of reproducibility through and through. People cannot readily put into practice what they have learned, received, heard, and seen if it isn’t reproducible. The effectiveness of modeling is in direct proportion to the disciples’ and churches’ ability to reproduce what we model without dependence on us. 

Ready to add reproducibility to your modeling?

Five principles to help:

  1. You pass on a genetic blueprint by modeling. 
  2. The effectiveness of modeling is directly proportional to its reproducibility. 
  3. Consider reproducibility over the long term (will disciples be able to pass it on to other disciples at least 4 generations). 
  4. Consider reproducibility in terms of “typical” persons (representative of the average person in that cultural group). 
  5. Ensure the who, what, how, when, where, and why of ministry is reproducbile in the local context.1

How to use these five principles of reproducibility  

First, if you have an existing mission effort underway, evaluate the effort using the five principles. Then, make adjustments where you see modeling and reproducibility breaking down. Second, if you are just getting started, use these five principles to build in reproducibility. Third, consider facilitating local disciples, leaders, and churches to use these principles to ensure their modeling is effective for their who, what, how, when, and why.

If you desire more tips and tools for your mission work, check out our 3 online trainings:

  • We Are Not The Hero
  • Day 1 affects Day 100
  • Not With Ink Online Training: Oral-friendly, Worldview Intentional Bible Storying Circles

1  Johnson, Jean. We Are Not the Hero: A Missionary’s Guide to Sharing Christ, Not a Culture of Dependency (pp. 77-78). Deep River Books. Kindle Edition. 

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