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5 biblical concepts for missionary team member

All FPC Mission team members are encouraged to do training during their ministry and to take one day a month for this guided by a mentor. How does the training take place and on what foundations is it established? Philippe Brobecker explains the 5 biblical concepts of training.

I greatly appreciate the fact that, before undertaking a new activity or developing something new, we seek first to know the biblical principles which pertain to the subject. This is one of the strong values ​​of the FPC Mission.

Each of our activities is defined by a “policy document”: at the beginning of each of these documents there is one or more paragraphs describing the biblical principles which apply to the field of activity concerned. Only then are the practicalities discussed. Our understanding of professional development is thus based on five biblical concepts.

5 concepts foundational to the training offered by the FPC Mission

1. Training, fulfillment of the missionary mandate

Let’s take the words of Roland Frauli in his article in the FPCInfos from the beginning of 2014:

It is difficult to envisage the mission without a training effort! The mandate that the Lord gave to his disciples specifies: “teach them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28.18-20). This mandate takes on its full meaning in the context of God’s desire to build his Church (Matthew 16:18). This is indeed what the apostles did, according to Luke’s record in Acts, by evangelizing, but also by discipling and leadership development (Acts 14.21-23, 20.13-38).

Training is therefore part of planting and strengthening churches. Training is done “for”, “in” and “by” the Church.

2. Training, Christian in its content and in its methods

All components of training, not only content but also concepts and methods, should be rooted in Scripture. It is primarily the New Testament that provides models for the content and progression of training.

3. Training, according to a “non-formal” pedagogy

Scripture helps define certain pedagogical principles. Training was embedded in the ministry, combining flexibility and intentionality, in a “non-formal” way. It is thus intentional, defined and measurable, while being flexible and adaptable for everyone.

Jesus’ way of teaching, by asking questions and listening to his interlocutors, demonstrates the need to ​​properly evaluate the effectiveness of the training and defining the means of achieving it. The goal is for everyone to better learn, think, live, and serve according to what God teaches in Scripture.

Training is continuous: a believer is in training throughout his life and progresses harmoniously in specific areas.

It is said of Timothy that his progress was visible (1 Timothy 4.15) and that he proved himself (Philippians 2.2, 2 Timothy 2.15): evaluations and assessment of achievements were part of his training.

4. Training, of the whole person

Scripture encourages the development of the whole person. Throughout his epistles to Timothy and Titus, Paul instructs them in three areas: knowledge, skill, and character. Several biblical examples – Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, Jesus and his disciples, and Paul and Timothy – show the importance of the role model: mentoring  or tutoring makes possible progress in the practice of skills and in character development.

5. Training, aiming at multiplication

The name Tim4, the internal training organization of the FPC Mission, is taken from 2 Timothy 2.2:

“What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful people who are able to teach it also to others.” (S21)

Tim refers to Timothy, a prominent example of a person in training according to the New Testament. 4 designates the four generations (“Paul”, “Timothy”, the “faithful people”, “others”). Paul had in mind to disciple not only Timothy, but also to put in place a whole process of multiplication, not just to one, but to several generations. Training helps equip leaders to disciple and train other leaders. Multiplication is not just a concept, but also a whole philosophy of ministry.

Training and team members of the FPC Mission

Being part of the missionary team means being in continuous training. We closely follow the training of each member of the missionary team, whether he/she is full-time or not. We believe that training should be continuous, because when there is no more training, there is no more growth. We encourage each missionary to set aside one day each month for personal development.

Currently, twelve members of the missionary team are taking the Beoming a Leader training. One missionary is involved in a bachelor’s degree course, and three others in a master’s course. Many are taking specialized training in a specific area.

All those who are involved in substantial training are matched up with a mentor, with whom they meet about once a month. This allows them to solidify their knowledge, practice skills, and advance in the development of their character and Christian life.

Philippe Brobecker, team member of the FPC Mission and TIM4 manager

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