How Do Ducks Learn to Fly?

My kids were watching a show on tv and one of the characters told a joke and since I’m a sucker for a good punch line, I tuned in.

How does a duck learn to fly?…

He just “wings” it!

Get it?

Like many things in my children’s lives, it made me think.  How do you teach a duck to fly?  How does a mother duck teach her little duckling to fly?

I know what you’re thinking.  Ducks Brad?  Seriously?  Hang with me a moment.

Have you ever thought why a duck has to learn to fly?  Other than being something that pretty much all birds do, it is critical part of what a duck is.  If you live near any populations of ducks, you know firsthand that ducks are migratory birds, meaning that they move from region to region throughout the year for different phases of their life cycle.  If they don’t migrate, which involves flying, they would die, or fail to reproduce.  Flying is an essential aspect of ducks continuing to be ducks.

You know the phrase, “If it quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck…(you can finish it).”  Well, the same can be said in reverse, if it doesn’t fly, it’s not a duck, or at least it won’t be for long.

Ducks have an interesting approach to teach their young to fly.  It’s kind of like a guess and test method.  There is some modeling, some pushing them out of a nest, and some debrief.  They don’t take flying classes, go through long orientations, and get certified in flight.  It’s part of who they are to learn to fly.

How do we teach new believers to fly (and by fly, I mean share the gospel)?  What we generally do is load them up with a bunch of information that we think they’ll need to share the gospel and mature in Christ.  What we rarely do is model for them a lifestyle of evangelism and discipleship.  When we do this, we suppress part of our DNA.  An essential, and life-sustaining part of what it means to be a Jesus-follower is making other Jesus followers.  When we fail to model and teach discipleship, we keep new believers from ever being ducks…or disciples.  I’m confused now.

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