It's so easy to do trainings and think that the number of people who sit through a training account for potential "impact." But the training is just the beginning. The application of the knowledge shared in the training is key. But even that is not enough. Through application, transformation can take place. Transformation comes through the application of what has been taught and the lessons learned.
This is tough for us to understand. Learning to apply knowledge takes time, practice, and sometimes an unlearning that has to happen first before we can even start the application. Transformation takes even more time. This waiting is tough.
|Beautiful group of Trainers|
But to change the marketplace where marketplace ministers are recognized, supported, equipped and encouraged by the church will not be quick. To work with the Church to be counter-cultural rather than a sub-culture is like swimming upstream.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that we had trainers from five different countries gather together for a Training of Trainer event for Discipling Marketplace Leaders. While I love the dialogue, enjoy the debates, and can see the lightbulbs going on while we are together, the key outcome comes after they leave and begin to apply these concepts to their own life, their own work, their own church, and their own community.
And that is why I love to read the journals of the trainers. What they write in private, at the end of the day, can inform me of what is going on inside, of what God is whispering to the person. It's not unusual to see a correlation between someone's very thoughtful and deep journal writing and actual transformation that will take place as a result of our time together.
Below is an excerpt from one of the trainers from Ghana, who has just finished his MBA. His faith came through so clearly throughout the week as did his passion for business. He grew up in a very poor family and is so excited at seeing how his passion for business and his passion for his faith can be merged together to make a difference for people in similar circumstances. He gave me permission to quote one part of his journal in this blog. This was just one paragraph in 22 pages of a typed journal that came from his heart. I love how he tied the Bible and economics together, especially for Christian business people:
|Exam time for Trainers!|
|Trainers being silly|
Because of this desire to see real impacts and outcomes, we are starting a new research study in Northern Ghana that will be four times the size of our initial research in Kenya. We want to study to see whether the work that we are doing can lead to personal transformation, workplace transformation, as well as transformation in churches and communities. It doesn't seem logical to me for us to continue to do this work without having statistical proof that there are real causal impacts that lead from information to application to transformation. We ask for your prayers as we embark on this. It won't be easy and it won't be cheap. But neither is it cheap or easy to keep doing something and making assumptions about causal results which may be merely a result of a correlation.
We want trainers, pastors, denominations, and business people to feel confident about this ministry as it is a big commitment of time. We want donors and investors to also feel confident about this ministry, as it is a big commitment of talent and treasure. But most of all, as we use the three resources that each of us are given (time, treasure, and talent), we want to be able to say before God that we there has been actual multiplication and transformation.
Update on Kenya: Thank you for praying during this last week for Kenya. The election on the 26th was marked by demonstrations, boycotts, arson, looting, and death. Four counties postponed voting indefinitely due to insecurity. Only one-third of registered voters showed up to vote. The opposition has called for mass civil disobedience and has started what he is calling the "National Resistance Movement." Continued prayers are still needed. Kenyans are weary and the way forward is not clear.