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An Investment in Thriving: Why Training is Worth the Time

An Investment in Thriving: Why Training is Worth the Time

God’s call to serve Him isn’t just a call to do. It’s a call to become the people we need to be to reflect Him well in the situations in which He places us. To minister effectively, we must be equipped and transformed for the tasks before us. And that requires training.

Scripture is filled with examples of God preparing His people—often for years or even decades—before fulfilling His promises about how He will use them for His glory. Joseph was just 17 when the Lord revealed to him in a dream that he would one day rule over others, but 30 when he became second in command in Egypt. Likewise, David was anointed king while he was just a boy, but didn’t begin his reign until years later.

For Joseph, David and numerous other heroes of the faith, the time in between wasn’t a period of idle waiting. Instead, God used it to equip and shape them for the unique roles in which they would serve.

This idea was embedded in Jesus’ words when He called His first disciples: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 ESV) He commanded them not to immediately go out and serve but to follow Him so that He could transform and mold them into effective ambassadors for the gospel. The commission to make disciples among all nations didn’t come until about three years later—after the disciples had spent significant time being trained by Christ for the task ahead.

Training might seem like an unnecessary delay when you’re eager to reach the field. But skipping it means passing on the preparation that will enable you not only to arrive in a least-reached community but to serve there well for the long haul.

Set Up for Effectiveness

You wouldn’t consider becoming a surgeon without first going to medical school—nor would you want to go under the knife if you learned that the person wielding the scalpel hadn’t studied medicine. The idea that someone is capable of doing a job that requires specific skills and experience without first being trained for that role is laughable. In addition to the potential harm that an untrained physician could do, not being trained hurts the individual who isn’t equipped as it primes him or her for disaster.

Why should we think of cross-cultural ministry any differently? Making Christ known in a least-reached community is a task that involves unique skills and understanding. Without taking time to prepare, you not only sacrifice your potential for effective service, but you set yourself up for failure and discouragement.

If you skip training, you forgo the foundation of becoming who you need to be to fulfil the role to which God calls you. You might, for example, lack adequate understanding of the culture in which you serve, making you more likely to offend than to compellingly communicate the gospel.

Staying and Thriving

Many of the most common issues that prompt cross-cultural workers to leave the field, from inadequate skills to conflict with teammates, can be addressed through training. Solid preparation greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll not just arrive on the field but be able to minister for the long haul.

But training isn’t just about remaining. It’s also about flourishing in the roles God has prepared for you because you’ve invested in preparing for those opportunities. Training gives you a toolbox that helps you not merely stay but thrive.

Worth the Investment

Yes, training can be hard. It can take a long time, especially when you’re itching to head overseas. But it’s worth the cost because Jesus is worthy of our best. And it’s wise because the task before us requires that we prepare well.

Taking the time to be equipped is an act of worship and godly discipline for the sake of the gospel. It’s an investment in seeing God work through you in the future: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11 NIV) And that makes it worth it.

At Christar, we’re committed to equipping you for thriving life and ministry among the least-reached! We’ll come alongside you with a personal development plan that’s tailored to your unique experience, knowledge and desired area of service so that you can arrive on the field well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities God places before you. Learn more about how we train our workers.

We’d love to talk to you about how we can come alongside you on your journey to the field! Email [email protected] to connect with us.

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