10 skills to equip others

Our friends in India, who are seeing hundreds of thousands of new believers each year, have various training topics with which they equip people, the majority of whom are oral learners. Everyone is equipped, and those who are in any kind of leadership are trained not only in the concepts, but also in how to train others too.
We in the West have a lot of head knowledge, but are we equipped? Last Friday, I posted on this subject, asking people to comment. One person said this:
"I once took a Saturday morning to teach people how to share their testimony and was shocked at how many long-time Christians were incapable of telling a coherent story about how they came to Jesus and why. The main problem, I found, was that they too often confused giving their life to Jesus with becoming a member of the church…"
 Many who have come out of legacy churches have been used to letting those in full-time ministry "do the stuff" as John Wimber used to say, referring to ministering to others, especially to not-yet-believers.  In simple/organic church there are no longer specially trained people with "doing the stuff" as their job description; it is now up to all of us. Are we ready? Do we know what to do?
In that post I also asked people to give some ideas on the various skills that we need to equip people with here in the West. Here is a compilation of the results:
  1. How to proclaim the Gospel
  2. How to share your story with others
  3. How to lead someone to the Lord
  4. Interacting with God's word
  5. The need for accountability
  6. How to wait on God
  7. How to share your faith in a less friendly environment
  8. The centrality of Jesus
  9. Listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying
  10. The fruit of the Spirit

I have several more topics for the toolbox that I will share soon.

Toolbox

10 thoughts on “10 skills to equip others”

  1. Felicity, this is good. When I was a young doctrinal Presbyterian, I thought doctrine was everything and I wondered why Paul cluttered up the ends of his letters with stuff on behaviour. I thought I understood all the various doctrines in my doctrinal textbook, and I wondered what else I needed to learn.
    But then God alerted me to the fact that my doctrine didn’t really deal with the historical Jesus in his cultural environment, and that the book of Acts showed that the early christians had power and dynamism that I didn’t have, and the early church likewise had power, dynamism from the Spirit and a lack of organisation structure that the churches around me didn’t have, and I started to re-learn.
    The list here is a much better base for discipling than my old doctrinal textbook (though I think some of what I learned back than has stayed helpful).

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  2. Thank you Felicity. How true. I have been working fulltime with Evangelism Explosion. An very blessed, extremely practical and effective tool that the Lord has given to His church to equip others in personal witnessing. Every year EE equips over 200,000 christians worldwide and we estimate that over 5 million people are let by these equipped brothers and sisters to the Lord every year. I have found that the traditional churches often see the value and need of it, but are so overprogrammed that they simply have space in their agenda’s for this. I also found that simple and organic housechurches (here in the West) are much more open for this equipping and that their vision for personal witnessing is much stronger! So… let’s thank God that by restoring His church, He also is restoring the equipping of the saints.

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  3. Topic – “Living Corporately” might be a topic to consider. Frank Viola quotes Stephen Kaung in Reimagining Church.”… we are saved individually, but we are called corporately.” p68

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  4. UnkleE, it’s an interesting balance between doctrine and practical skills. It’s not that good doctrine in unimportant, but it doesn’t bring life on its own. My own suspicion is that if you get the practice right, good doctrine will follow. So, for example, if you teach someone how to lead another person to Christ, they will pick up the doctrine of salvation. And as they start putting it into practice and find their lives filled with new believers, they will want to be trained in the elements of how to disciple others and so on. You are right, that the early Christians seemed to have an emphasis on the power and dynamism of the Holy Spirit rather than on doctrine.
    I would rather have to correct doctrinal imbalances in a group of believers than try to deal with a lack of passion and power.
    As to written material, I’m sure it’s out there, but I’m thinking of using the next blog posts to create our own materials. With everyone’s input, I think we could get a useful resource.

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  5. Point 1, the big question…what IS the gospel?! As Buzz wrote on your earlier blog on Tools, salvation is found in different ways/speeds (of course thru Jesus Christ). Everything I believe now I search out for myself in scripture because like everyone else I have been taken on various false teaching sidetracks over the years and had painful wake up calls. I believe in being like the Bereans. My current favourite verse if 1 Cor 8:3 But whoever loves God is known by God
    I was thinking about this today after listening to someone ask God a question and receiving a good verse but not what I consider a GOSPEL (freeing) verse. I was asking God why? What’s there a time scale for how we learn things, an order. I thought about Jesus sharing mysteriously about the Kingdom and demonstrating its power, sharing the characteristics of its citizens with his disciples. Then in Acts the church took over the role….but with the intriguing info of the ‘apostle’s doctrine’…which was? (I have heard various teachings on this, I’m looking at it all in a new way). Followed by Paul, who opened up the absolutely, mindblowing (imo) revelations of the new creation. Did it always have to follow such an order?

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  6. Points 6 & 9 I believe should be founded on how scripture tells us to do these things not new age practices that have been ‘Christianised’ (Westernised Hinduism—I’m married to an ex Hindu). The only safe practice imo are those advocated and found in scripture otherwise I believe we can fall foul of one of God’s greatest hates, and repeated warnings…idolatry/idolatrous practices and doctrines of demons. Sadly I believe these have infiltrated the church and many are deceived. I believe many other spirits and even other Jesus have been released through the deceptions…truly a sign of the end of the age as Jesus taught.
    I so hope that we in simple church practice/thinking really do keep it simple and scriptural. We need to practice and listen scripturally…which needs seeking out. I’m not a fan of a lot of religious rules but we have to be ‘clean’ of practices of other gods imo, and seeking God with all our hearts.

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