Saturday, December 25, 2010

How Did Jesus Train

When Jesus told His followers to "Go into all the world and make disciples He added ans important proviso: "Teaching them to do everything I taught you to do". WOW! That is a heavy assignment and I do not think most of the leaders I know even try to do that. In fact, few believe it is possible and even if it were would feel completely unable to accomplish it.

I minister to struggling Pastors and Christian leaders every week. Many are depressed, overwhelmed and frustrated. Few, if any, were prepared in seminary or Bible school for the daily, practical, real issues that confront them now as a Minister.

One Pastor told me he had never been taught how to do a baptism, a funeral, a wedding or any service. He had never seen anyone anoint a sick person with oil, comfort a widow, counsel and parent whose child had just been killed or led a church council, dealt with church conflict or advised a parent on discipline. All of which are the daily activities of all persons in ministry.

His entire seminary experience had focused on the teachers being "Talking Heads" who told him and his classmates how to be better "Talking Heads". No wonder seminaries are dying. With that kind of curriculum they need to die and be resurrected as schools that teach the way that Jesus did: through personal interaction, practice, feedback and making mistakes.

One of my ministerial friends told me a story about his first year in ministry that is bot tragic and funny. He joined the staff of a rather large church in the summer and shortly thereafter the Senior Minister left on vacation. The new man was supposed to baptize by immersion two adult converts in the local lake. The only thing that saved all of them from drowning was one of the converts who could swim well. (Perhaps this is a reason so many churches sprinkle now.)

As I think about the terribly inefficient and ineffective ways Christians try to operate I am struck by the fact that the church is indeed supernatural. Any organization not supported by the Holy Spirit would have died long ago with such training programs.

So, if a leaders has never been trained to DO THE STUFF how can he/she teach others to DO THE STUFF? Many Ministers stumble through and over time learn how to do the stuff but it usually takes a long time and a lot of pain. Why not do ti the way Jesus did and see what happens.

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