Enlist and Train workers is the third step of Flake’s Formula. I believe that enlisting workers is one of the hardest jobs that a Sunday School Director faces. Enlistment must be done properly, personally, and prayerfully. As I was making this point this week at Sunday School University*, one of the conferees suggested that instead of Enlisting and Training workers…we should be training and enlisting workers.
He certainly has a point. Paul clearly states that the job of pastors and leaders is to equip the saints for the work of ministry. Maybe one of the reasons enlistment is so hard is because we are shirking our religious duty as pastors and leaders to equip the saints. If every Christian has received a gift, shouldn’t they be trained and enlisted to utilize these gifts.
At Ridgecrest, Ed Stetzer declared that “one of the greatest challenges facing the church today is that it is normal that most people do nothing”. He went on to say that “it is a sin that 20% of the people do 80% of the work.” To over come this challenge, it probably will not be enough to just enlist and then train. We are going to have to help people identify their spiritual gifts, train them to use their gifts, and then enlist them to do the work.
When I took my first spiritual gift inventory, my three highest gifts were administration, teaching and exhortation. I knew that I was an administrator and I accepted that I was an encourager, but a teacher. I guarantee that if you talked to church members in my first three churches that I served, they would not brag about my teaching or speaking abilities. But over the last 14 years, God has opened doors for me to serve as a conference leader, Sunday School teacher and lately, he is opening doors for me to preach. Today because someone saw the potential in me and trained me, I can accept that I have a teaching gift as well. Administration is still my highest but teaching is also a dominant gift. Thanks Tim Holcomb for believing in a young minister of education and training me to use my teaching gifts.
Let’s continue to enlist and train teachers but let’s not forget we should also be training people to be leaders in the church.
*Sunday School Univeristy is the theme for training offered for Sunday School Leaders in Tennessee…for a complete list of upcoming locations, go to www.equipingu.org.