Where to get started
Ever since I was a small boy, we had jig-saw puzzles in our home. Initially the pieces I worked with were few and big. When I grew up they had smaller pieces and some puzzles even had more than 1000 pieces. I really enjoyed working on them, yet it helped so much to have a picture of the finished puzzle to work from. It was very hard not to have that picture. God’s Word is likewise in many ways a puzzle. So, I would like to pursue that comparison. In this context it is the mentor, catalyst, or discipler that needs to understand the overall picture of the Bible, so he or she can help the people that don’t have a picture to work from.
The first piece of the puzzle
If we start serving people who don’t know anything about the God of the Bible, then we need to start with the first piece of the puzzle. When puzzling as a boy, I always tried to start with the corner pieces and the edge pieces or an area of the puzzle that had lots of clear details that made it easy to find pieces that belonged together… in other words, I started with something that made sense to me or that I was familiar with. This translates in our work context to that we need to find out what we have in common with the people we are discipling. It demands that we build relationships, get to know the people, and learn to know about their worldview. As we learn, we can start putting pieces together and make a start. As soon as the people whom we’re serving can become a part of putting the puzzle together, we’ll do a lot better. After all, they need to be able to put the picture together from their perspective, since they are the ones that know their own culture and worldview. In this way, details can fall amazingly easy into place. Then it naturally progresses from things that the people know from their own worldview. Like in a puzzle, one keeps connecting a new piece to another piece that is already a part of the larger picture. Over time one will see the basic concept of the picture come together and the view will become clearer and clearer. Some details will only enhance the picture and in context of the Bible these are the things that help us to grow beyond the basic foundations of our faith. Only when the whole puzzle is completed or in other words the counsel of God is completed, only then is the picture complete. Still, like with a real picture, we continue to grow as we take it in and discover details that have escaped us for years. God’s Word in that context is so rich, that it will help us grow until the day that we meet face to face with Jesus in Heaven.