One of the most important decision we have to make in our life is our decision to follow Christ, and after that decision is make I think the second most important decision we have to make is to which House of the Lord should i commit my life to because this can either break or help you to grow.
Christianity is like a marathon, and if you join the wrong program and did exercise meant for sprinter more often than not you will find yourself out of breath when the distance gets longer. In my time in Hope, i call this the 7 year itch. Most of my friends i knew in my 1st year in hope, left by the 7th year, those who stayed become either Pastor or just attending member. Most that left often have only 2 main reason - burnt out, personal issue ( BGR .. mainly)
I believe Hope vision was founded on good principles but often times in our enthusiasm our application becomes haphazard. One key area that sometimes confound me is that we teach our sheep that Christianity is a marathon not a race, but yet we train them like we are in a sprint.
We teach this in our lessons..
1-3 months - Train them to come regularly ( teach 18 lessons)
3-6 months - Baptise them, filled with Holy spirit, and teach them follow-up
6-9 mths - Regular follow upper and be involve in CG and help out
9-12 mths - CGL if possible
Our game plan was to in essence train them up to be leaders so that we can build the church up faster and win more souls...
The problem though is that how many will rise up to UL, CL or even SDL level ? What happen if this person's calling is not in leadership but in some other area of ministry ? So if they are suppose to reach to this level that fast would they have tired out ???
The problem though with this method is that we forego the one key fact Chracter building. Skills can be trained, we can teach people to be workers and be involve in church, one thing we cannot teach is chracter, this we have to allow the spirit to touch the person. That i think was the main problem, we rise leaders up because they were willing workers and submissive but we did not consider the character aspect. That is why all these allegations and improper behaviour by our previous leaders was brought to light and split the church
Well maybe i can give another idea.
I believe that christianity is a marathon therefore we should train like we are in a marathon, not like a sprint. Meaning we should create an atmosphere where people are given opportunity to serve, in ministry which they felt called. Eg. Worship ministry. A great paradox often exist, we want spiritual people to be up on stage, but in Hope, to be spiritual means also you must show by your committment to JDMM, SDMM, leading CG, and taking on department roles. So here is the paradox, if you work, 8-5 you come home... if you want to join music team : you have to shepherd, be shepherd, train your music, join meetings and be involve in other departments.
No wonder people get burned out.
I think one way is to understand our core, personally Shepherding is the main core, and we should work around this. Eg. I think as long as someone is a responsible shepherd, he should be allowed to develop in his calling either in Pastoral work, Worship, intercessory. We can also create cell around the ministry. Thus in essence, leadership training should be for those who are interested in this area of ministry.
I think the key is to allow people room to breath and explore, give a little push to the people under you, but ultimately allow God to help them. Its easier when the person wants to do it then they are compelled to do it.
Let us change for the better and provide a better ministry environment and greater balance in our holistic life.