Ephesians 4:11-13—And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God's Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ's fullness.
I’m in a period of contemplation. What causes a nation to move from a God-fearing heritage to a position where millions of preborn infants are murdered, drugs are actively destroying healthy lives, the god of materialism has the biggest temples and truth is mugged daily by convenience and evil? Why is it that Christians today seem more anemic and helpless than at any other time I would submit in our nation’s brief history?
Could one answer be that we have substituted teaching for training? Consider the fact that we have plenty of Bible schools, seminaries, churches of every size and persuasion, informative radio, television and internet broadcasting, and more spiritual programs than anyone could count. But passing information is not the same thing as training and the proof is the spiritual condition of the nation. Soldiers don’t become proficient in their profession by sitting in classrooms or reading books, they go through basic and continuous training that prepares them for combat. The harder and more disciplined the exercise the more we respect the final product. Marine recruiters seldom have trouble filling their quotas because they have created an attractive warrior ethos The reason “semper fi” lasts for life, is quality transcends commonplace.
Why is it the military understands what God’s children seem to have lost? In the absence of a tight regimen, our busyness steals away time that should be spent fellowshipping with God and spiritual mentors. We prefer spiritual video games and junk food to working out and eating right. Our needs bypass God’s plan. Spiritual “consultants” coach pastors not to promote any kind of program or series for more than six weeks because that is the extent of most people’s willingness to commit. Trainers are becoming an endangered type. In my town, I can only think of one man who I know is actively engaged in training. We have become so good at finding fault in believers, that we justify the weaknesses of trainers as an excuse to ignore their prophetic voices.
Teachers are needed and yes, teaching is important! But if you loved your daughter, you wouldn’t teach her how to drive your car without training. God sent Jesus to earth to select and train twelve men. Training was a critical component to propagating the gospel. He knew that Torah-teaching rabbis weren’t changing the nation—let alone the world.
Effective training requires a heavy investment of time between two or more people. Accountability is established. Principles are modeled, taught, demonstrated, tested and validated when the learner is able to personally apply and then pass on to others for their successful application what was trained. If you are a gifted trainer, for God’s sake, keep at it and don’t let the Devil discourage you. If you need training, for God’s sake get engaged! Find a trainer and make yourself accountable. Quit making excuses. We are in a war and the spiritual survival of our nation is at stake.
Each of the twelve disciples abandoned his profession. Each lived a minimalist lifestyle, carrying few possessions and having no enduring sense of residential stability . . . In short, they had no life apart from what they were being trained to do.—George Barna in Growing True Disciples
©2008 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)