Do you know what ducklings have to do with disciple making? Have you ever seen a group of ducklings out for a walk? Ducklings actually illustrate an important principle about disciple making. If you want to see God’s family grow far and grow in faithfulness, then think of disciple-making like ducklings - become a follower and a leader at exactly the same time.

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No matter where you are in the world, it always looks the same. A Mother Duck leads and her ducklings follow - one by one - all in a row. The Mother Duck leads. The little ducks follow. But if you look even closer, you’ll see something else is happening, too.

Each little duckling is actually playing two roles - at exactly the same time:

  1. Each little duckling is a FOLLOWER, because it’s following the Mother Duck or another
    duckling that’s walking right in front of it.
  2. And, at exactly the same time, each little duckling is a LEADER, because it’s leading the duckling (or ducklings) that’s walking right behind it.

So is the duckling a FOLLOWER or a LEADER? It’s both.

And that’s why ducks “out for a walk” have everything to do with making disciples. God wants His family to grow far - and so He expects every follower to be a leader, every believer to be a sharer, and every disciple to be a disciple maker - at exactly the same time.

One of the traps we fall into, as disciples and disciple-makers, is the false belief that we have to know everything, or even just a lot of things, before we share anything. But that’s not how discipleship works.

Disciples are like ducklings. To be a leader, they don’t have to know everything. They just have to be one step ahead. God wants His family to grow in faithfulness - and so He expects every leader to be a follower, every sharer to be a believer, and every disciple-maker to be a disciple - at exactly the same time, too.

Another trap we fall into, as disciples and disciple-makers, is the false belief that someone, somewhere knows everything and if we just find and follow them, then we’re set. But that’s not how discipleship works, either.

In God’s Kingdom, there’s only one “Mother Duck” that all of us follow -- and that’s Jesus Christ.

No missionary. No pastor. No seminary professor. Only Jesus deserves the full measure of our faith. The rest of us are “in process.”

There will always be someone closer to Jesus that we can follow. And there will always be someone further away that we can lead. But no matter our position, our eyes - and our hearts - should always be fully fixed on Jesus.

In the Bible, Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament and started many of the first churches, didn’t just write - “Follow me.” He wrote, “Follow me, as I follow Christ.” Paul knew what ducklings everywhere know and what every disciple should know, too - every leader in God’s Kingdom has to be a follower - and all of us follow Jesus.

In the Bible, Paul also wrote: “What you have heard from me… share with faithful men, who will be able to teach others, too.”

Paul knew what ducklings everywhere know and what every disciple should know, too. Every follower in God’s Kingdom has to be a leader - and all of us should lead like Jesus, laying down our lives for others.

If you want to see God’s family grow far and grow in faithfulness, then think of disciple-making like ducklings - become a follower and a leader at exactly the same time.

Ask Yourself

  1. What is one area of discipleship (reading/understanding the Bible, praying, sharing God's Story, etc.) that you want to learn more about? Who is someone that could help you learn?
  2. What is one area of discipleship that you feel you could share with others? Who is someone that you could share with?

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