Why Training Matters
Formal Training Matters
You do not need a degree from a formal seminary to be used by God… let me just start with that, because I know ill get a lot of messages telling me that I am wrong for putting God in a box, I am not, BUT we do need to be wise in the way we seek training and that is what I am going to be touching on today!
If you are called into vocational ministry, and disregard formal training then you are not taking Gods call to ministry in your life seriously, and have the potential of doing harm to Christianity.
Formal training does not necessarily mean seminary, it could mean training through your local church, through a missions organization, or through seeking a degree. More Christians are called into vocational ministry than we think, its just that many people close that door and refuse to allow the Spirit to work in that way. If you are brave enough to answer the calling to vocational ministry then you should be prepared to spend a season of your life being trained and prepared for the job in which God has called you too.
I currently work at Starbucks, I have been a partner there for about 4 years now. Lets say I was walking into Starbucks for the first time, about to work my first shift ever, I walk in to the back room ready and excited. My boss asks me to clock in and I do so. He then escorts me to the bar area, looks at me smiles, and says good luck, the drinks are lined up, and there is clearly a line of anxious white girls waiting for their pink drinks and frappuccino’s. I would have probably screamed, and quit then and there. Do you see the problem with what just happened? There is a reason Starbucks does not do this to there employees, I mean first of all they would not have any employees, we would quickly get overwhelmed with the amount of work and quit. The bigger reason is that Starbucks wants and needs their employees to make the right drinks and do the right things for their company to be successful. So they put each new employee through a training program that familiarizes them with the Starbucks language, the drinks, the environment, what is expected of each employee, and so much more. It is unwise for Starbucks not to train their employees, and so they do.
Lets build a quick parallel to vocational ministry. (I LOVE PARALLELS)
Does it seem logical then to jump into a job without training? There is a reason there are so many seminaries, internships, church programs, and ministries that are committed to training people for the vocational ministry that they are called into. If I was hired on to be a lead pastor at a church and I was void of training, I would be extremely overwhelmed to now be the spiritual turbine for that church and its members, and I will be held accountable for each soul in that room on judgment day. Due to my lack of training I would drive that church into the ground. This is not just true for pastors, but also for cross cultural long term missionaries. It would be unwise for me to right now fly to china and start preaching the gospel… I would not know their language, their culture, or their laws.
The IMB has a 2-year training program for every missionary who wants to go long term cross cultural, why? It is to train each person up in the culture, the language, and the laws.
Training is an essential part to any vocational job, and it is so much more important when souls are on the line, do you not think that we should take the calling to ministry seriously?
Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men
Romans 14:12 – So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
2nd Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
Like I said earlier this is not taking Gods calling into our own hands, it is taking Gods calling and being wise doing all we can do to handle it with care and responsibility. Surrendering to Christ’s will does not mean getting rid of all responsibility, it requires us to act with responsibility and to move with wisdom. Training is a wise move, and I want to encourage everyone who feels led into vocational ministry to take a serious look at how much training you have, and if God is leading you into more. I know that when I step into vocational ministry I want to be as prepared as possible, having taken every step, ensuring that I am equipped with the right training so that I can walk in discernment for the entirety of the time I am in ministry.