I really like the Resurgence blog. It always has great thoughts, including the one below on discipleship.
The primary context for training should also be the church in situ. I find it strange that this assertion should be so contentious when the weight of the biblical evidence is behind it. Timothy was trained in gospel ministry as he went about doing gospel ministry. Paul took him under his wing, mentored and tutored him, sent him off into various situations, and talked him through whatever problems he had to deal with. The task of training is equipping people to be better gospel ministers, and an apprenticeship model in situ is the vehicle best suited for that task.
I am thankful to be at a church who takes this concept seriously, both in reaching out and in pastoral training. I am the recipient of some fantastic discipleship from Kevin Peck, and my current role is the product of in situ training for the pastorate. It is a tremendous risk in the evangelical world for a church to not hire the formally trained, but to train those whom God calls from the body. Praise God for churches and pastors willing to invest in training up leaders.
This was brought home again for me at our staff meeting on Tuesday, which recast our vision to be disciple makers (2 Timothy 2:2) as a team. The thrust of Kevin’s talk was we do not have a “know how” problem, we have a “want to” problem. Discipleship simply isn’t that complicated, it is a question of our willingness to obey.
I pray that God would keep me faithful and obedient to entrusting the Gospel to faithful men who entrust it to others as well.