Why most people get the ‘T’ in MTS wrong…

The Ministry Training Strategy (www.mts.com.au) is an awesome and much needed part of the Australian Christian landscape. But… most people think the ‘T’ in MTS is about being a Trainee… they think it’s the Ministry Trainee Strategy… and they’re wrong.

MTS is very keen on young men and women doing a two-year full-time hands-on word-ministry placement before further theological training and/or Pastoral Leadership roles. The MTS Movement wants to see thousands of people do these Traineeships. But MTS is not primarily about Trainees… the ‘T’ is MTS is really the Ministry Trainer Strategy.

MTS is about young men and women becoming Ministry Trainers – for the rest of their life.

Let me put this another way… if you were an MTSer and you’re not currently training (or recruiting) someone into full-time gospel-leadership… you’ve stopped being part of the Strategy, you’ve missed the point of MTS… that you’re never meant to leave, you’re never meant to stop calling others into full-time gospel-leadership. Your MTS involvement was never meant to end.

Are you a trainee who dropped out, or are you a trainer who’s still part of the strategy?


p.s. If you do want to get back on the Trainer “horse”, grab some keen Christians from your ministry and come along to the MTS Mission Minded Conference in Sept 11-13 2015.

Reblog: A good welcoming team welcomes, a great welcoming team…

… assists, coaches, supports and facilitates your regulars to welcome new people.

If Max brings Bob to church, you don’t just want Bob to get support as he joins. You also want to support Max and help him support Bob as he joins. If you only support Bob, Max learns that the “church” will do the welcoming. And next time he meets a new person, he’ll just assume that the “church” is looking after them. Not much scope for growth there.

If you support Max as he helps Bob to join church, not only will Bob join but you’ll also be teaching Max that welcoming is something that all Christians do. Some will do it better than others, but he’ll see that it’s worthwhile, hard, and he’ll be more keen to support others as they bring along new people too.

Do your professionals volunteer?

Do you ask the Pre-school teacher in your church to run your crèche? Or the full-time photographer to take photos for church? Or the web designer to make your church website? Or the architect in your congregation to design your church?

1. You don’t have to use them. They may not be the right person for the job you want done. Don’t commit to using them until you’re sure they can do what you have in mind.
If you do decide to ask them to volunteer and use those skills

2. Clarify whether its paid or unpaid. If you have no intention of paying them, be clear, upfront, honest. Give them an out.

3. If your not going to pay them, make sure your not “the client”. This is really hard, but so important.
You want to coach them to think of it as their own project, not “for church” or “for you”, but their own. A bit like if a photographer was talking photos of her family, or a designer was designing his own wedding invite, or a Pre-school teacher was looking after her cousins.

Why? Because its their church they are serving.

In the end you want them look at what they’ve done and be proud to put their name to it because the believe in the cause they did it for, not just because its another “job”.

A different definition of coaching

Another Manager-tools concept that’s been helpful… taking the idea of a sports coach, who kinda’ walks around and keeps pushing players forward. He’s not the guy who trains you in how to tackle or pass, there are trainers for that. The coach calls you aside and says, “Son, let’s talk about your game. What are you going to work on this year? Are you going for a first stringer position, or are you content in the 2nd grade team?”

It’s pretty american, but there’s something good there. It’s empowering people to make decisions, work out a plan, stick to it, and see through to the results.

I’ve tried something like this a few times. It’s gone well. I’ve asked guys what they think they would like to do. I’ve asked them how they think they’re going to make that happen. And as we’ve caught up, I’ve asked them where they’re up to. What stage are they at? What do they need to do next? Who do they need to call?

One guy even started calling me “coach”!