Why training is a matter of life and death

Recently, Pastor Daf spoke about our desire to employ an Associate Pastor to help us train the next generation of leaders in our church. Training can often be thought of as an aspiration - if we get everything else done we will give our extra time to training people. It strikes me that this is not how we think of training in other walks of life and it challenged me to think about my attitude in training the next generation of Children and Youth workers.

The week before Daf spoke I had been knocked off my bike. I was attended to by a member of the public. I distinctly remember her saying “I am a First Aider, I can help…. You are in shock and it is going to be OK.” She was just driving past in her car. Why did she stop?  I have not been able to ask her, but I think the answer would be because she had been trained and she knew what to do. Her training made a big difference to the happy ending to my story.

Her training made a big difference to the happy ending to my story.

Similarly, when the ambulance came, they knew what to do because they had been trained. They worked together to give excellent care. When I went to hospital they moved through a strict protocol laid down in multiple hours of training. This trained them to think of my injuries as the worst case they could be and then work to eliminate them. So I was put in a neck brace, checked for external bleeds and breaks, then scanned in a CT scanner, then x-rayed and finally stitched up and then discharged. It took me a while to realise that this order was intentional and everyone followed it without question because they had been trained.

I was the grateful recipient of this live saving training. I didn’t necessarily notice it at the time, it is only on reflection that I realise the 'machine' rolled into effect and everyone worked so well together because they had been trained. Sometime earlier, someone had committed to train my 'road saviours'. The ambulance staff weren’t just given a large van and told to go and pick people up, but they were taken through different stages of training and mentoring so that they can cope with any eventuality they find. The greater vision behind all this is to save lives. First Aiders, Paramedics and Casualty staff all connect with this greater vision knowing that the better the training the more chance they have of saving lives. How much more should we - who hold the word of eternal life - desire to be trained and then train others? 

I am the grateful recipient of training in gospel ministry. This has been going on since I was 12 and had my first experience of gospel ministry at a Holiday Bible club. I was not left on my own, I was put alongside an experienced leader to learn the ropes.

If we train people to save lives on the road, how much more should we be passionate about and committed to training people to save lives by ministering the gospel.