Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Training for mission

Maurice McCracken made a really interesting post today, about the nature of apprenticeship schemes and how they perhaps reflect an underlying problem in our middle-class churches today.

The post got me thinking about training Christians to be witnesses where they are. A lot of the training that I see in the church today seems to be aimed for middle-class Christians to reach out to their middle class friends. Here's my reply to Maurice's post, thinking about the need for more training for working class Christians to meet their working class friends:

"Interesting! Certainly might prove helpful when I think about what to do in a couple of years when I am probably thinking about some sort of apprenticeship/relay or whatever when I'm free to in a couple of years.

Your post also made me think about the gaping hole in these training type schemes, that I haven't really seen filled? I think it is generally assumed that middle-class, recently educated graduates will fill these. However, if we (the church) are wanting to effectively train a generation for reaching the world, perhaps there needs to be more in place to train working-class people without a university education? We live in a country at least half full with working class people, and churches with working class Christians who need to be trained and equipped to be missionaries in their context. Do we have enough in place to help them to be effective witnesses in their situations?

Perhaps there is, and it would be great if you could point me to it. The gospel is relevant, true and accessible for people from all backgrounds, but perhaps training needs to be geared to reaching specific groups who might need a different approach? Coming from a home church with way over half of the Christians working-class, and in a neighbourhood and town predominantly working class, I haven't really come across anything that meets that group? Particularly nothing as well developed and widespread as apprenticeships/reley type things.

Again, do point me to it if I'm just missing it.

Very interesting post, thanks!


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