A good trainer

This past week I attended a meeting for the church denomination where we discussed offering specific trainings for the leadership within the churches.

We discussed treasurer training to go over the changes in tax law and its effects on pastors and churches; we discussed elder training and what it means to be a leader within a congregation; we discussed evangelism and ways to motivate the faithful to share their faith.

We talked about book discussions, technology in the church, and various other potential lessons that could be offered to train the leaders of the church.

All of this got me thinking about all of the trainings I have gone through in my life.

I don't have a comprehensive list, but here are the ones I could come up with off the top of my head: mandatory reporter training, train the trainer program for Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance "Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse", preventing the spread of hate groups training, training for pastoral work in prisons, deacon training, machine safety training in factories, hunter safety course training, CPR and first aid training.

Plus the continuing education conferences I have attended, such as the Festival of Homiletics, Wee Kirk Conference, and First Call Pastors retreats; not to mention the 19 years I spent in school to earn my high school diploma, Bachelor of Science in education and Masters of Divinity degrees.

Well trained and naive to the ways of the world seem to be the hallmark of the millennial generation.

I am left wondering if our society has gone overboard in thinking that specialized trainings are the answer. But even so, I hear a great deal of positive comments about the various trainers at the new YMCA.

So perhaps it isn't the number of trainings we have, but rather the quality of the trainer that matters so much.

With that in mind I turn to the prophet (Isaiah 48:17) where God says, "I am the Lord your God who teaches you for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go."

God teaches us through his word and through his Spirit, if we will only listen. Think of that, the ultimate instructor, the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent God, creator of all things, offering to be your trainer, to be your teacher, to be your guide through life.

With our children and grandchildren starting back to school this time of year, we are led to consider the value of trainings and education.

There is great value in our public school system and in the teachers who labor hard to instruct our children. There is greater value in learning from the great teacher, our Holy God.

Seek out his ways and learn from him. He will show you where to go, what to do, how to live. And all of his teachings are offered for our own good.

So friends, seek training on life from where it really matters; from our Heavenly Father, the true teacher.n

Rev. Brian Hauser is pastor for the Edenburg Presbyterian Church in Knox and Concord Presbyterian Church near West Freedom.