Growing the Church Through Biblical Training

The Urgency to Train God's People

Our generation is being exposed to falsehood at an unprecedented level. The attacks are not only among the leaders who have access to books and lecturers that propagate falsehoods. The attacks have penetrated the lay people.

Individualized pieces of false information are screaming at us from every direction. We are not talking about ‘spam’ which we try to avoid but information that we welcome. Computers, MP3 players, wireless web access, cell phones and many other gadgets have allowed the individual to be thoroughly influenced by a multitude of sources. Special technology called ‘cookies’ and the like trace where you have been on the web and what you have ordered. They cause specially targeted ads to influence your purchases.

Either we train the individual Christian or lose him.

Perhaps in the past the church could excuse herself by not training up individuals. The pastor could teach his attentive people the necessary truths to protect herself. They learned to discern the few false voices that they heard. The church would not grow quickly, but it would grow when God’s Word was faithfully taught.

Our Changing World

Today the saints are being saturated with false messages. It would be helpful to have the many inputs to their hearts and minds turned off, but there is little chance of this. The situation is forcing us into a ‘train all’ mode. Either we train the individual saints more carefully or we lose them to the wolves in sheep clothing.

Specialized training is a luxury. In the past only some could gain that special knowledge to be a pastor. Only a few people had access to the Holy Scriptures.[2] Today in most places this is no longer a problem. We not only have God’s Word but streams of training materials just waiting to engage us to be fully used of the Lord all at a price most of us can afford.

The place and position of the pastor and elders should not change. God’s people still need to be protected by their servant leaders. This is God’s structure of protection. These very leaders, though, need to broaden their function of equipping the saints. They need to be vigilant in bringing God’s truth to their people. Note how the Lord Himself uses this method. He instructs sinners in His own way.

Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way
(Psalm 25:8).

The more effective personal training given to an individual, the stronger that Christian will be on the whole. This is the reason Jesus has so clearly told us to disciple God’s people. We are to train them all that Jesus commanded. This exhortation of course is nothing new but there is another equally important and perhaps hidden principle that we must grasp.

See what forces hold back training next.

Biblical Foundations for Freedom

by Paul J. Bucknell

[2] This connection to the scriptures is what made the scribes such a powerful force in the Jewish society.