Monday, June 30, 2008

Excellent point from NNYM

Soooo much has happened since my last post that I should blog about, but I keep putting it off until I have time to write a "good" post about each thing. Unfortunately, that means that a lot of good stuff never gets blogged about. So today, I'm writing a short post about the most recent interesting thing that has crossed my mind.

You need to check out the most recent issue of Take5, the monthly "five minute" devotional from NNYM. It's called "Trying vs. Training," and basically points out that, like running marathons, being successful in ministry requires training, not just effort. I think it's an interesting point, because many times we do tend to think that "book learning won't help you much in this job" and "all the stuff you learn in school will never prepare you for what you'll face in ministry" and "you don't have to be educated to be a good minister." While all of those statements are partially true, I think the article is right too. Why should we expect to be effective in ministry without taking the time to learn vital skills and key information related to our task?

It also makes me think about how in many small churches most of the ministry is done by people with no training for their task. Sunday school teachers, youth workers, children's workers, and sometimes musicians serve regular roles of responsibility without ever having attended a class, seminar or single training session about what they do.

Then, when a church decides that they need to step up the quality of their ministries, often their first thought is that they need to hire paid staff, if only part time. But sometimes the small salaries they offer attract only untrained people. Perhaps for many small-budget churches, the better investment would be to spend the money on training for their volunteers rather than on paid staff.

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