the myth of unique challenges

Image copyright: 3m3 / 123RF Stock Photo
Image copyright: 3m3 / 123RF Stock Photo
In the past few weeks, I have talked with disciple makers about urban mobility, post-Christian Europe and cross-cultural missions.

While each of these topics represent distinct challenges, they are not unique.

When we describe a challenge as unique, we are saying more about our experience and perspective than about the problem we are facing.

Here are three steps that will help you overcome the disciple making challenge you are facing today:

1. Define the problem in one word. The challenge of urban mobility is mobility; the challenge of post-Christian Europe is indifference; the challenge of cross-cultural missions is worldview. By defining your challenge in one word, you bring clarity to what was previously hidden by complexity.

2. Look for the biblical precedent. Jesus and the early disciples lived in a world that was more like ours than we often realize. Mobility? See Philip and the Ethiopian. Indifference? See Jesus and the Pharisees. Worldview? See Peter and Cornelius. We can gain perspective by looking at the examples of Jesus and his first disciples.

3. Refocus on disciple making skills and principles. Having gained clarity and perspective, ask God what disciple making skill this challenge requires and how to best apply it. If necessary, take one more step by going beyond skills to disciple making principles. Zoom out and then zoom back in.

Your turn:

  1. What disciple making challenges are you facing right now?
  2. What new insights and action steps do you have after following these three steps?
  3. What else do you do when you face a seemingly unique challenge?

Share your thoughts and make it a conversation!

2 thoughts on “the myth of unique challenges

  1. I particularly appreciate the one-word definitions of “the unique problem.” Thanks for dumbing down what we sometimes consider complex issues.


    1. Hi Jacque, and thanks for contributing to the conversation. Going for one word definitions of the problems I face has proven helpful to me.

      A curious question for everyone: what are some one word definitions of the challenges you are facing that you could share in this forum?


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