Over the years I have come to the realization that it is not about how much I know; it is about how much those we work with know. Nobody cares how much I know. I can communicate a lot of information, truth, principles, methodology, etc. but in the long haul, what makes a difference is what those being trained have retained and bought in to.
We all are impressed with ourselves and how much we know. We want others to know all that we know, and see things as we see them. But that seldom happens. At best, only morsels of what we think important is ever grasped and adopted by those we work with. Clarity and emphases on a few things is much more valuable in the long haul than a ton of information that leaves everyone impressed.
In the beginning of our training we used to try and cram as much information as possible into people's heads. The assumption was that they would somehow absorb enough to begin putting it into practice. Not so. Very little was actually retained and put into practice.
Today, we approach training much differently. Now, our approach is teaching only so much as can be literally memorized and repeated back in a few short steps.
Our training is built upon seven pillars; all represented by a letter of the Spanish word C.O.S.E.C.H.A. (harvest).
For example, what we want to "C"ommunicate in the first letter "C" (concientizar in Spanish) is that we are focused upon making 500,000 disciples in five years. In order to reach this goal all of us together must be about four things:
1) Everyone praying the Lord of the Harvest to send/mobilize laborers into the fields of harvest. Everyone he sends our way we train.
2) Every church plant at least one other church every year.
3) Every believer win/disiciple four others every year.
4) Repeat #1-3 until we reach 500,000.
It has to be that simple. If it is more complicated than the above we get tangled up in the details and derailed. Everyone has to know and understand the vision of 500,000 disciples. Everyone has to know how we are going to get there. Everyone has to clearly understand their personal role and task. Only then is the "C" module learned. Any more information only serves as static/noise. It might be pleasant, even exciting, but it doesn't help to add more than can be absorbed.
It is futile to move on to the "O" of COSECHA if the "C" isn't fully grasped.
One of my favorite adages is "less is more." Of course I don't practice it as much as I preach it! But nevertheless it is true. We get more when we emphasize less.
If those we are training can't reproduce what we are teaching, we have failed. We are a bag of hot air. It is not enough to inspire, wow, impress, motivate--they have to be able to DO what it is we have taught.
Repetition is essential in each step. If they can't repeat clearly in their own words what it is being taught, it will be nothing more than information overload. Too often we fall into the trap of delivering assigned material to a group of trainees. We seem to think that finishing the book is the objective. Wrong. Our goal must be that they are able to reproduce each step of the process. And do so in such a way that those they will train in the future can also do the same. (See Third Generation Thinking).
In summary. Making disciples who actually go out and make disciples of the nations boils down to the KISS principle--Keep It So Simple--that literally any believer can do it.
Neil Cole says it this way, "Simplicity is the key to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation. If the process is complex, it will break down early in the transference to the next generation of disciples. The more complex the process, the greater the giftedness needed to keep it going. The simpler the process, the more available it is to the broader Christian populace."