Growing up I had the privilege of moving from the farm to the city. My dad went to work at Tinker Air Force Base, and he also ran cattle at the farm. Dad was a hard-working man and was determined to instill that work ethic in each of his children.

Whether we were on the farm or in town, we had chores to do, and he expected them to be done with excellence. No half-hearted effort would be accepted. I learned a lot of things from my father, but the one thing that I learned that has transcended every task I have done is the pattern by which my dad operated.

You see, my dad never asked me to do anything that he hadn’t taken the time to train me on how to do it. That often meant hours of working at his side and attempting the task with him overseeing my effort. Once I had accomplished the task under his supervision, he would then make sure I had all the tools needed to do the job, then he would send me out on my own to do the work. In other words, Dad would train, equip and deploy me for the work.

The idea of training, equipping and deploying has become a pattern for all I’ve attempted to accomplish.  This was especially true for the work I did as a pastor. Occasionally, pastors and/or staff tell their congregations all that they need to be doing but don’t take the time to train and equip before trying to deploy them. I know we think that many of the disciplines of our faith should be intuitive, but even Jesus trained and equipped his disciples before he deployed them.

This pattern takes time and requires effort on the part of the leader and the learner. It is often slow, and the product isn’t always as good in the beginning as it would have been if the leader just did the task themselves. However, over time, training, equipping and deploying is a much more productive pattern.

Oklahoma Baptists has a whole group of Ministry Leaders who are ready to come along side you in the local church to help train and equip you before you deploy.  There are large group events like the Youth Evangelism Conference (Jan. 16-17 at Falls Creek) where more than 2,500 students and student leaders will be trained and equipped to be deployed in your church field with personal evangelism tools.  At the Advance Conference (Jan. 24-25 at Moore, First), ministry and lay leaders will be trained and equipped to deploy in their church fields with the Gospel.

However, Oklahoma Baptists not only have large training events, but we also have Ministry Leaders who can come to your church and train and equip any size group you gather to be deployed in your community.  Some of what is available would be like Doug Matlock leading Sunday School/small group leaders to effectively reach the lost and care for the saved; Prophet Bailey coming to help develop leaders to reach young adults.

Amy Cordova can train and equip women to do effective women’s ministry; Sarah Wooten can train and equip your church on how to start a successful girls ministry; Rickey Thomas can do a training to help you to develop effective community ministry evangelism strategies; Brian Baldwin or Todd Sanders can train and equip your church to have a fruitful student ministry; Charlie Gatton can train you on how to minister to children and their families; Randy Lind can train and equip your worship team on how to effectively lead others to worship; Don Williams can train and equip lay leaders to care for your community through Disaster Relief; and I can come train you on how to have an effective revival.

These are just a few of the ways we can come to you at your church to train and equip, so you are ready to deploy with the Gospel.  In fact, I can promise that if you have a specific task that you would like the Oklahoma Baptists Resource Group to help you with, we will be there for you!

In 2022, let’s not just talk about what we are supposed to do.  Let’s do the work by training, equipping and deploying with the Gospel.