Training Well Matters: Part 1 ~ Sound Theology
We’re starting a new blog series on training.
Have you been trained well? I mean, are you really equipped to navigate the waters of the ministry before you? Are you trained well enough so that you can train others?
I have a confession. When I started working in the church as a paid youthworker, I had no training. Sure, I’d spent time with young people and knew that I loved working with them, but I had no formal training. My first year was trial and error. And I admit, there were times when things didn’t go so well (like when I did a lock-in with 29 middle schoolers and just my wife and I and they trashed the church). I’ll spare you the details of my other failures.
However, once I learned that there was training available, I jumped on the chance to gather some skills so I could more effectively lead young people in their faith journey. I’m very grateful for the people that trained and mentored me so that I could be a more effective leader.
Fast forward almost 30 years and it still holds true. All leaders need to be trained well. I now lead our Certificate in Children, Youth & Family Training and I’ve learned a thing or two. Sometimes the hard way. In this series I’d like to share 4 elements of training (there are others) that I believe are very important to quality training experiences.
Part 1 – Sound Theology
In my work with training children, youth and family leaders I focus on these five theological foundations:
- Eyes – Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” ~ Luke 10:42
It must have been an amazing moment when Jesus opened the eyes of the blind beggar on the roadside. Imagine seeing things for the first time. Imagine suddenly having your eyes opened to what is around you. We often are “blinded” and fail to see what is going on around us. What’s going on in the lives of the people in your community? Are you opening your eyes to what is happening in your community so that you can align your ministries to speak to the needs of those around you?
- Ears – “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” ~ Psalm 46:10
Are you taking the time to be still? Are you listening to the cries of the people in the church pews, homes, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods? It is in the ebb and flow of daily life that we must stop, be still and be keenly listening to what people are saying about their lives. When we listen, we gain insight into where our ministries and life meet.
- Mind – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~ Romans 12:2
Did you know that God gave you a mind to use for deep discernment? Our minds are the hard drive that controls all we do and the decisions we make. God wants to renew our minds so that we collaborate with others to discern what is the best course of action in our ministry. Take time, discern, think, be still, and let God renew your mind.
- Heart – “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.” ~ John 15:9
At the heart of the Gospel is love. We can’t deny it. Yet I’m amazed at how many faith communities sacrifice the central message of love for plans, strategies, programs and buildings. If love is not at the center of all we do, just as it is the lifeblood of human beings, the church is nothing but a “noisy gong or clanging symbol.”
- Hands – “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.”~ Matthew 19:14-15
Where do the hands of Jesus need to be laid on the people of your community? Is there someone not being welcomed? Does someone need healing? What are the places of pain that you see daily? Maybe someone needs God’s hand to send them on a mission. The Gospel is full of action in the world and the church is called to be the hands of God wherever we are.
Hopefully these five theological themes will help you be reminded that all ministry is about God’s mission for the world.
Join me next week for the second installment of “Training Well Matters” as I explore why it’s important to know your current ministry landscape. If you are looking for more training, I’d love to have a conversation. Give me a shout.