This article was written by Bob Fielding, consultant for chaplaincy and national/international missions consultant on the ABSC Missions Team.
When I started as a 16-year-old McDonald’s crew member they did not hand me a spatula and tell me to figure out how to cook Quarter Pounders®. First, I had to watch training films. There were training modules for everything: how to cook burgers, fries, clean equipment, everything! Once I watched the training, the next step was being paired with an experienced crew grill guy to watch him work. Then, he watched and coached me, then I did it myself. There was a lot to learn!
The Word of God has a lot to say about training. It speaks of the saints being equipped for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12), believers being trained by God’s discipline (Hebrews 12:11), training children (Proverbs 22:6), of those trained for singing (1 Chronicles 25:7) and much more.
When it comes to serving the Lord and people all around you– have you availed yourself of the training offered by your state convention? We on the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Missions Team spend a LOT of energy planning, preparing for and executing events. Some of these events are geared directly towards training. Some of them are ministry events, but they have a training component. Here are some examples, but there is no way I can go over everything the ABSC does in the way of training. This is not intended to be a commercial. I am encouraging you to consider improving your service to the Lord and folks around you through taking training.
Critical Incident Stress Management training (CISM) – we offer this once a year. There are always two classes offered – one that is a pre-requisite for folks to become Disaster Relief Chaplains called “Emotional and Spiritual Care in Disasters” and another called “Assisting Individuals in Crisis.” The basic teaching is the same for both – you leave with a framework and practical skills that will help you give emotional first aid to someone in crisis. ANYONE who ministers to folks who are in crisis should consider this training. If you are interested in Disaster Relief chaplaincy, talk to Randy Garrett. If you serve with police, fire, EMS, or as a pastor, healthcare worker, or anyone that deals with folks that could find themselves in a crisis, call me and I will tell you more.
One Day Mission Trip/Block Parties – my co-worker, Clint Ritchie, leads this. If you go to One Day, you’ll have the opportunity to be trained in prayer walking, evangelism, and more. Come to One Day then take what you learn back home. He also offers block party training in various locations around the state every year. This is GREAT training.
Church Planting – our church planting team TRAINS church planters. Are you being called to plant a church? Call Vince Blubaugh and his team. They are the BEST in the nation, in my opinion!
There are tons of training events for students. The Church Health team has Super Summer (students learn more about the Bible, how to share their faith, and how to fall more in love with Jesus) and music events (PraiseWorks and JoyWorks). They also train members for Sunday School, VBS, and how to keep children safe in our churches and much more. The Collegiate Team hosts Lead>Defend every spring where students are trained to know and defend their faith. They train college students to reach their campuses. My co-worker Travis McCormick leads a great missions weekend experience called Connect, which trains students how to be on mission every day of their lives.
Disaster Relief – there are at least four major training dates scheduled each year. Learn to run a chainsaw the right way. Learn to be on a feeding unit team. Learn how to use your hobby has a ham radio operator to bless others. Learn how to share the Gospel while on the field. A well-trained corps of Arkansas Baptists have ministered to hundreds of thousands over the years and led LOTS of folks to Jesus.
I’ve just scratched the surface. See our website at www.absc.org and find training in your area of interest!