I feel one of our greatest contributions as missionaries to the fulfilling of the Great Commission in this generation is primarily in the area of training. Yes, we are all called to go, make disciples, baptize, and teach. However, if we invest ourselves in praying, modeling, teaching, training, and mentoring others to also engage in these tasks, we are more likely to see the results described by Christ, "...some 100, some 60, and some 30 times what was sown."
In my files I have a copy of What We Can Learn From The U.S. Marines by Curtis Sergeant. Several of these are instructive for those engaged in reaching people groups/nations, making disciples, and church planting movements...
The Marines are a highly effective fighting force who take great pride in the fact that the U.S. government will send a handful of Marines to do what it would call a battalion of other soldiers to do. They are known not only for effectiveness but also for their speed and versatility. There are many unique things about the Marine Corps as compared with the other branches of the U.S. military...
For the Marines, training is one of their highest values. They recognize that, as the training goes, so goes their performance. For the Marines, the purpose of all training is to help Marines achieve success in combat. Training is not something that is delegated. Every officer is personally responsible for the training of those under his command. In the Marines, training is continuous. To quote the Warfighting Manual, “You are either in contact, moving to contact, or training.” And again, “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.”
All Marines are trained in basic combat skills. This is true for every file clerk, every cook, every medic, every lawyer. Everyone in the U.S. Marine Corps is trained in basic combat skills. This has tremendous implications for us. Every business services manager, every English teacher, every short-term volunteer, everyone who is involved with the target people group should be trained in basic evangelism and discipleship and church-planting skills.
For the Marines...everyone is in training, period. From the loftiest general to the lowest enlisted man, everyone is in training. The Strategy Coordinator must be a continuous learner as well. It is a guarantee of failure if the SC ever stops learning and growing. A strategy coordinator is responsible for training those with whom he or she works, or for seeing that they get trained. Modeling and mentoring are therefore essential skills.
For the Marines, training is challenging and focuses on a central task. They don’t spend time training people for peripheral tasks or in peripheral issues...
Marines make extensive use of...actual combat stories that are instructive for communicating ethos, tactics, principles, or philosophies. In telling these stories they communicate more than facts; they communicate an attitude...Debriefing is especially important for an SC. Debriefing experiences with personnel increases the value to that person by crystallizing and cementing lessons learned and also helps to make those lessons and insights available to those who are doing the debriefing and, hopefully, to others. Debriefing is a valuable tool which should never be neglected.
The above is not just theory about what we think should be done. It is what we do.
To illustrate just how serious we are about training, this past weekend we were involved with multiple training opportunities:
Friday we had the opportunity to speak to a large crowd about what the N.T. teaches about the church and what the N.T. churches did when they gathered.
Saturday morning we attended a training conference for leaders. We too consider ourselves to be learners and try to take advantage of every opportunity to learn so that we might be better trainers and teachers.
After leaving that leadership training conference, I went to a local church to share with their leadership team our COSECHA church planting materials and answer their questions and encourage them to engage in multiple church planting.
Sunday I was invited to a celebration where 7 house churches had gathered who are all actively engaged in new church planting. I shared with them a synopsis of the 2-hr training conference I had given on Friday, spending a great deal of time in Q&A about various theological and practical matters regarding different people they were working with.
Today (Monday morning) we will be training 150+ pastors with our CAPACITAR PARA MULTIPLICAR materials in "how to start house churches" (ought to be interesting!)
Monday afternoon, we will be training 20-30 house church leaders in practical ministry matters, and ongoing theological education (TEE).
Tuesday evening we will begin a new round of church planting training with a group of GCCs (Great Commission Christians).
Wednesday evening we will be doing the same with another group of interested GCCs.
Thursday evening, we will be repeating the Tuesday/Wednesday trainings with yet a third group of new trainees from across the city.
Why am I sharing this? It is because training and mobilizing are two of the most important ways we can contribute to Kingdom efforts taking place in Ecuador. We have got to stop theorizing and talking about what needs to be done, and start doing it.
If only 10% of the 500+ people we engage with training this week actually start multiplying churches, we are talking about many souls and new churches being added to the Kingdom.
--*Source, "What We Can Learn From the U.S. Marines" by Curtis Sergeant