This article about Google’s hiring practices got me thinking about the kind of education and training needed to be on a church staff team.

Before anyone gets upset this isn’t a post about how outdated some of the current seminary models really are. That’s fodder for a nice long book, not this short post format.

food pantry 030My question is really for those called not to be pastors, but those called to be missionaries. Those with special gifts and skills God has given for them to aggressively go out into the world and actively work on making and multiplying disciples on the mission field. We will always need pastors and those with the give to serve in this capacity in our churches. But today we also need missionaries living in communities, in the marketplace, on the soccer and baseball fields and stands to walk alongside those who are far from the steps of the local church.

What does that training look like?

  • Is it classroom and textbook focused on being able to handle difficult academic and theological arguments? Highly unlikely.
  • Is it more hands on, relational, practical training to help lead non-Christians to a community where they can experience the love and hope a relationship with Jesus Christ provides? Very likely.
  • If Google doesn’t need the previously sought after, highly successful, Ivy League academically trained people on their team; what can of training does your church staff need on your team now?

We are not all called to be pastors, but we should all consider ourselves as missionaries in light of the only mission Jesus left us with. What does training for that look like?

To find out, read the New Testament through the lens of this question: How did Jesus spend his limited time on earth? Who was he with, what did he do, and what did he say to us about sharing His mission?

Let me know what you come up with and how this might have changed the way you think about training your church staff teams. We welcome your comments below.

By Tracee J. Swank, Leader, Church Doctor Ministries

SEND North America Young Adults are 10 months away from becoming trained missionaries and helping you reach young adults in your church. Contact us to learn more.

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