Note: I was out of it for several days when I got back from M D Anderson. Not sure what was going on, but that is why this is late.
Equipping is similar, if not the same as training. From that perspective let’s consider what is required to equip or train.
Some context, I have been trained in aviation, both civilian and military. I have been trained in mountaineering, backpacking, rappelling, and rock climbing. I have been trained in theology and bible study. Further, except for civilian flight, I have trained others in each of those disciplines.
One of my mentors was the director of the Navigator (ministry not flight) training center at Michigan State University and subsequently at The University of Tennessee. We spent many hours talking about equipping, training people for ministry, from the perspective of what was required to do so and do it well. As I listened to him and thought through the previous experiences that I had up to that point in my journey, all that he shared was validated by all of the training that I had received up to that point and all that I had after that also fit into his paradigm.
This will require more than one post to cover. For these comments, I am using equipping and training interchangeably.
At a minimum training requires three things, instruction, observation, and critique. I am going through Everyday Evangelism training at our church currently, and that training includes these three elements.
The one being equipped must know both the subject matter and the processes that are used to apply the subject matter before they are able to attempt the task for which they are being equipped. The information can be presented through lecture, reading material, recordings, pictures, or physical demonstration.
If the equipping is well thought out all three learning styles, visual, aural, and kinesthetic (there are publications that claim more than three learning styles, in skimming these it seems to me that the other learning styles are either combinations of the three primary styles, or else subsets of one or more) will be represented in the equipping.
For example, if one is giving information about how to tie a figure eight knot, one can explain the knot, while showing a picture of how to tie a figure eight, while demonstrating the method, and giving those learning a rope to attempt to follow the instruction.
Which is a great segue to the second part of equipping, observation, which we will examine in the next post.