Training has finally become a big focus of many churches, people are seeing the benefit of having Christians work in a church to gain practical experience whilst studying theology or doing some form of biblical studies. This truly is a great development, the benefits of which might only be seen in 20, 30 or 40 years. But this isn’t new either…
Churches have been training people for years whether they knew it or not. Every bible study teaches hermeneutics, every sermon teaching biblical theology, every conversation teaches apologetics… and the list goes on.
The more recent development is that there are plenty of books being published that seek to help people train others and to train themselves.
As Adrian Reynolds states in his book The Grid, training is not just important but it is actually a command.
Having spent time in training churches and most recently being part of a team setting up a training programme, I was delighted to receive a copy of this book to read. Training is something I am passionate about because the more people we train the more gospel workers can hit the harvest field that we call home.
This book is short and practical, it starts by saying how training is not just for those in ministry but it is part of everyday life for every Christian. Our being made more into the image of Christ daily through the work of the Holy Spirit is training… and it isn’t easy… but by the grace of God we love to learn each new day.
Reynolds starts of by looking at how we think about training, sometimes people start by created a programme and then eventually come to the vision. However, Reynolds rightly says that we need to start with the vision, begin at the end, and think through what you want the outcome of your training to be. Then do the painstaking task of honestly and humbly figuring out where you currently are. I say painfully because admitting that churches need to improve, thinking through strengths and weaknesses is not easy especially because often it can feel personal.
Once you’ve done that you’re ready to think about how to train people.
Reynolds has come up with a grid (hence the name of the book) to asses the training needs, but also the areas for development in both individuals and ministry teams.
I will say that there was nothing new in this book really, it is a good practical book and helpful maybe for those just starting to think about training. I’m not quite sure who the intended audience are.
This little series by the FIEC and 10ofThose is good and full of helpful short books, but if they are aimed at pastors then they should be longer and a bit more in-depth. But, if they are intended to encourage a church member to think about training in an easy and not daunting way, it hit the nail on the head.
Both the FIEC and 10ofThose do tremendous work to equip and encourage Christians across the UK, if you haven’t heard of them or used any of their resources you’re missing out.