W. Austin Gardner
Goals in training men for the ministry
We want to equip the student in every area of ministry possible. They should be taught all about the Lord's Supper, its meaning, purpose, and how to lead one. They should have lead in the Lord's Supper before arriving on the mission field where they will potentially train hundreds.
The same can be said about baptism. What does it mean? Why do we baptize the way we do and the ones we baptize? They should know all that the Bible says about baptism.
They should fully understand what the Bible says about the church. Why are we local church? Why do we believe all ministries be done from and through the local church?
They should learn how to prepare Sunday School teachers and other workers. I like to have teachers and workers meeting each week at the churches that I pastor. I want to teach them how to teach, do ministry, walk with God, etc.
They should participate in teaching and working in every ministry level from the nursery through to the nursing home. They should be taught to win souls and be regularly seeing people come to Jesus.
Before they graduate from their training, they should have preached or taught at least 100 times. There should be a way to teach them to preach, correct lousy preaching, and confirm that they are becoming experienced preachers.
They should learn how to prepare Bible messages or sermons. They need to know how to be effective preachers and teachers of God's written word. Training should be much more than telling them that they will know if they are called, or God will give them a message. Messages should be born out of the Scriptures, not emotion or whatever is happening in their lives.
Each student should see God use them to get several families saved, baptized, and in church. If they can't do ministry here, what makes us think that they can do it there. They need to practice with their spiritual weapons and prove them before leaving for deputation.
They need to grow and strengthen their relationship with God. They need to know how to walk with God, which will be much more than having a devotional time. It will become their lifestyle. They need to be taught to pray. They need to learn to read the Bible effectively.
Each student needs to learn all he can about marriage. How to teach from the Word of God on marriage should be a priority. They need to be able to counsel couples on how to have a faithful home and spiritual marriage.
They will soon be on the field and need to learn how to handle many different situations like divorce, beaten wives and children, sexually abused children, homosexuality, and other problems common among those who recently become saved.
Do they know how to handle church discipline? Do they know how to lead a mission's conference, revival meeting, evangelistic meeting? Do they know how to take care of guest speakers?
There is so much to learn and so little time to learn it. So the time must be wisely invested.