Back in the day when I was playing baseball, training was an integral part of daily life. I wanted to run faster, hit further, and throw harder than anyone else, so I practiced regularly.
Regardless of what sport we may follow, our favorite team also has intense training and workout regiments, from spring training to off-season team activities to training camps. Why? Because they want to win games and championships! As fans, we, too, want to see them perform at the highest level. If that doesn’t happen, we sometimes start calling for the heads of the coaches, managers, or athletic directors. Call it passion, craziness, or somewhere in between, fans want to see an environment of winning and excellence around their favorite team.
When it comes to making disciples, why don’t we have higher expectations in our churches to create environments of life-changing transformation? Many churches leave that up to the church staff and portray that as the norm and not the exception. Paul reminds us in the Colossians 1:28-29, “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.”
I really like the way The Message
captures these two verses. Check this out: “We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.” To be mature is basic! That’s the norm, not the exception.
Pastor Jim Putman, a former wrestler and coach, led his staff at Real Life Ministries to build into his congregation of thousands a vision and biblical principle to make and equip disciples who go on to make disciples. This environment of training is a major part of what they do within their church, along with offering training opportunities to other pastors and church leaders.
Training isn't a bad word, and it is certainly not dead. Jim captured this championship strategy for doing ministry together in Real Life Discipleship
and Real Life Discipleship Training Manual
. Take a look at these on our web site. You will be hearing a lot more from me in days to come about training, training opportunities, locations, links, and other ways that you can connect, get out of the stands, off the sidelines, and into the game. I want to be basic!
See you downstream . . .