A Culture of Training

trainingOne of the least quoted and least understood things that Jesus said is this, “he who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Lk 6:40)  The context of the passage is Jesus making it clear that people should avoid bad teachers, such as the Pharisees, and embrace and become like a good teacher – himself.

One of the things that I am determined to develop when we plant our church is a culture of training.  At our church I want to ensure that every person who serves in any sort of leadership role will be properly trained for that role.  They will get ongoing feedback and support.  They will get the developmental opportunities.  They will get all that they need to realise their full potential.

Part of the desire that I have to implement this comes from my own experience.  I have done 3 and half years of bible college, I have worked on a church staff, I have been on a church eldership, I have sat in church services, small group meetings and various church programs for about 25 years.  I’ve seen plenty, I’ve done plenty and I’ve been taught plenty.  What it has brought home to me is that the most effective way to train someone is to mentor them through ongoing ministry supervision, feedback and teaching.   I had that for the period 1993 to 1996 inclusive from my youth pastor Tim Hawkins.  What Tim put into me in terms of relationship, supervision and feedback far exceeds all the lectures that I went to at bible college.

Take preaching, for example.  I actually went to 2 different bible colleges so I took homiletics twice (homiletics is the academic name for preaching).  Yet 90% of what I know about preaching comes from how Tim trained me.  Over those years he gave me feedback and on the job training that moulded me into the preacher that I am today.  I know about the different kinds of sermon not so much because a lecturer explained them to me but because Tim trained me.  He modelled preaching to me, he reviewed by draft messages, he worked on the things that I needed to improve.  He encouraged me, gave me a boost when I needed it and defended me when others criticised.  And he did it for several years in a row.

That sort of mentoring is powerful.  What a pity it is so rare.

Think about it – when Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost who do you think he preached like?  Who had he been watching for the previous 3 years?  Who had sent him out to preach?  Training is what Jesus did.  Jesus trained his 12 disciples.  He had mixed success – which I think that we can agree was due to the quality of the disciples and not the training.  But training his closest followers was the main focus of his ministry.

By the grace of God Catherine and I will fully train the people that God puts around us.  Can’t wait.

John

3 Comments to “A Culture of Training”

  1. I emphatically support this post John and I know Northern Lights is in great hands!

  2. A wonderful commitment – to minister like Jesus did! And believe me it has rewards (and pain) like nothing else, but carries a deep sense of peace, following Jesus so methodically and faithfully.
    Be blessed as you bless.

  3. can’t wait to see all the good fruit that comes from you both. I’m sure you’ll replicate your hearts for empowerment and freedom in the UK

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