by Rob Campbell
In my post last week, I wrote about a circular versus a linear equipping track for a cell church. A few in this blog community wanted me to comment more on this idea. So, here we go.
Last week, I wrote: “When you provide to your (potential) leaders a circular training experience, then you are joining them in their real life journey. You are coming alongside them in a practical, reasonable and workable manner. You are acknowledging that they have a life that may not always mesh with the calendar of the church.”
A circular equipping track is not step by step (or linear). For example, one key ingredient in my church family’s equipping track is the Encounter weekend. Currently, we offer this retreat once a year (maybe twice a year). For illustrative purposes, let’s say the next Encounter retreat is in October. Yet, in August (two months prior to the Encounter retreat) we want to equip our potential leaders in “Developing a Heart for the Harvest.” Back in the day, we required our potential leaders to attend Encounter and then enroll in “Developing a Heart for the Harvest.” This was a mistake. The pastoral team helped me see: “While we desire to equip our people, life is happening.” We needed to shift from a linear training mindset to a circular mindset. In simplest terms, precise order– step 1, step 2, step 3 must be relinquished; therefore, a potential leader can attend any equipping event that is currently being offered. It’s CIRCULAR!
I’ll be the first to confess that it’s not always tidy and may even seem illogical. Yet, this circular equipping track is pliable, flexible and fluid.
Further, the tools that you use to equip potential leaders are important, but not the main thing in equipping. Forging and deepening relationship through the equipping tools that you utilize is the main thing.