Let’s Talk About F.A.T. Christians

F.A.T. Christians:

This acronym was popular a few years ago. It means: Faithful, Available, Teachable. We were told to find the FAT people in the church to appoint to offices or tasks. I do not know the origin of the acronym or how others used it but, in my ministry, I expanded it this way:

Faithful: The person will do what he says he/she will do.
Available: The person has the time and resources to do what he/she will do.
Teachable: The person will follow through with instructions on what and how to it.

If the person is not Faithful, they will not do what they promise to do.
If they are not Available, no matter how sincere they are, they can not do what they say they will do.
If they are not Teachable, they will be stubborn, and refuse to follow instructions and hence cause problems.

 

 

 

The “Word for the Day” from Merriam-Webster Today, September 4, 2020, is:

 

docile

adjective | DAH-sul

  1.  easily taught
  2.  easily led or Managed : tractable

The follow-up comment is of note:

Did You Know?

Docile students can make teaching a lot easier. Nowadays, calling students "docile" indicates they aren't trouble-makers; however, there's more than just good behavior connecting docility to teachability. The original meaning of docile is more to the point: "readily absorbing something taught." "The docile mind may soon thy precepts know," rendered Ben Jonson, for example, in a 17th-century translation of the Roman poet Horace. Docile comes from Latin docēre, which means "to teach." Other descendants of docēre include doctrine (which can mean "something that is taught"), document (an early meaning of which was "instruction"), and doctor and docent (both of which can refer to college teachers).

 

As noted above, the term docile, often has the negative connotation of passive. There are too many passive Christians today. Paul refers to those who are ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim 3:7). This does not describe the F.A.T. Christian. The evolution of language is interesting. The underlying principle is one who is eager to learn, willing to be lead by the truth, and ready to put the truth into practice in the body fellowship. This insight into the origin of the term, docile, is consistent with John Milton Gregory’s The Seven Laws of Teaching. His second Law is:

LAW 2) A LEARNER is one who ATTENDS with interest to the lesson.

This corresponds to the sixth law of teaching:

LAW 6) LEARNING is THINKING into one's own UNDERSTANDING a new idea or truth or working into HABIT a new art or skill.

 

We need more docile students today.


Are you a Docile and F.A.T. Christian?

 

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15)