Vocational Training


In my past, I was a full-time, vocational instructor for Advanced Industrial Electronics. I received students that had completed their foundational courses in Electronics.

I’ll never forget the first class I taught. I drew a simple electronic schematic on the blackboard. I walked the class through the operation of the circuit. Then I “disconnect” one component and asked my students to tell me what would happen. None of them had a clue. They had learned, but they had not “done.”

The purpose of teaching is to enable people to know, to learn, a particular subject. To train people is to enable people to do, to act upon what they have learned. Jesus told his Apostles, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:17) Jesus provided academic teaching and vocational training.

It’s not enough for us to study God’s Word, to attend Sunday school and church, even men’s prayer breakfasts or women’s retreats. Learning is essential, but without vocational training, there is limited value. This is not a case for either/or. Rather, the need is for both.

God’s heart is for His children to “do,” according to His will. Rejoice with those who teach God’s Word and rejoice with those that are vocational instructors who train God’s people to know how to do what He has said.

Photo by David Siglin on Unsplash

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This New Life

Teaching This New Life

While preparing to go on the mission field, a pastor told me that I should practice explaining my calling. He said I needed to have a 30-second answer, a 1-minute reply, and a 5-minute response. That’s not difficult, but it sure paid off.

I did practice that. Then, one Sunday, while simply visiting a church overflowing with people, the pastor called my wife and me down to the front. He asked me to tell the church my calling. I was prepared and provided the 1-minute version, and then the whole church prayed for us.

Being prepared is a good thing, just read Acts 5:18-20 (NIV): They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”

This passage challenges me. If I had been with these apostles, what would I say? God’s command here is to “tell the people all about this new life.” I think that’s a difficult assignment.

All About This New Life

How do we tell the people all about this new life? We learn from Acts 5:21, “At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.

At first light, as soon as they could, they were in the temple courts, teaching just as Jesus did on countless occasions. Preaching is essential, but teaching is how you build new Christians into capable Christians.

Local churches need Sunday school teachers that know the Bible, that don’t mistakenly teach heresies, and are “rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)

Oh, before I close, have you come up with a lesson plan in case God asks you to go to your church and “tell the people all about this new life?” I’m still thinking.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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