I Think I Have a Training Problem
Spending most of my career and ministry in education and training, I often hear “This person is not doing X. Please arrange some training for them.” After the training was delivered and generally well received, it was not uncommon that the person in question still wasn’t doing X. Obviously, training wasn’t the only issue.
In Analyzing Performance Problems, leading consultant on adult learning Robert Mager identified five reasons why we don’t do our own X. Examples abound: take out the trash, clean up your room, pay the bills on time, study the Bible, chew with your mouth closed, pray, etc. These five reasons are:
- We didn’t know we are to do X.
- There are systemic barriers to doing X.
- There is no accountability to reward doing X or consequence for not.
- We don’t know how to do X.
- We choose not to do X.
This blog is not about training; it’s about the local church being a sender of, from their own midst, men and women into the missionary enterprise. If a church isn’t currently a sending church, the five-way grid above is a useful tool to find out why.
- We didn’t know. The local church has been charged with the privilege of identifying and sending out missionaries. Acts 13 is the model.
- Systemic barriers exist. Barriers can exist in the form of laws, physical limitations, cultural taboos, and the like. It is unlikely that a physical or legal barrier exists, but there may be a cultural barrier to be identified and scaled.
- No accountability. There are biblical principles that define accountability in this arena. The principles of stewardship anddiscipleship indicate that the church leadership is to be aware of the talent the Lord has provided and develop it as best they can. The principle of obedience leads to prayerfully (Mt. 9:38) pursuing the charge defined in Acts 13 and other passages regarding sending out workers into the field of harvest of souls. The principle of blessing when the Lord shows His favor on a ministry that can point to “one of ours” that he has used greatly.
- Don’t know how. This is where training can be applied in the identification, equipping, and sending. Mission organizations like BMW have a multitude of resources available to assist a church is committed to being a sending church.
- Choose not to. There are manifestations of this reason: don’t have time; don’t the funds; don’t have anybody who is qualified. While one of these may be accurate for a season in the life of a church, if it turns out to be normative, there is a deeper reason for not being a sending church that needs to be ferreted out.
If you believe you have a training problem, please make sure that one of the other reasons for not doing X isn’t also at work. When these are taken care of any training that is provided is more likely to enable doing X.
We believe that any church can become a sending church based upon the Lord’s timing. If you would like to embark on what could be a journey of discovery to become a sending church, it would be our privilege to be your companion. Simply contact Paul Seger firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s your move.