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17 February 2020 | Crieff, Scotland [Jimmy Botha / tedNEWS] 

SM training MartinTED Scandanavian discipleship coach, Simon Martin. [All photos: Wallace Hakima /Jimmy Botha]"You have to be brave to do something extraordinary for God," says Simon Martin, TED discipleship coach for Scandinavia. He was speaking to 77 Scottish church leaders at Crieff Adventist church during their annual leadership training day on Sunday 26 January.

Pastor Martin then shared how, as a young minister, he found himself shadowing another minister who had no fear of speaking to anyone. For some of us it is easy to speak to anyone and therefore we tend to think that ministry should be easy. Others find speaking to strangers quite a challenge, and for such, ministry can be daunting.

Learning some principles of empathy and leadership can make a big difference in the way we each approach the situation of helping a stranger. Finding something in common is often a sure way of starting a conversation. One thing all humans need is food. Eating with someone is a positive way of doing ministry. Food has played a significant role in some of the ministries that Simon has participated in, and, he stated, it has always proved to be a good antidote for fear.

During the annual leadership training day every year, the participants divide into smaller groups after the plenary session in the morning. Training this year focused on elders, deacons and deaconesses, clerks, treasurers, children's ministries leaders, youth and pathfinder leaders, communications and sabbath school.

SM training JohnsonPatrick Johnson focused on the the needs of elders and deacons.A second visitor from the Trans European Division was Pastor Patrick Johnson. "The presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who lead, is essential for this work to be completed," he stated during his morning devotional. His message was clear: if the church is going to achieve much, we have to ask the Holy Spirit to lead us, work hard in our local churches to involve everyone, and be brave in our thinking and approach to new challenges.

In addition to leading the morning devotional, Johnson provided training for both elders and deacons.

“Deacons are an oft neglected group, just left to train on the job,” he stated. “That is OK, but it is really helpful to provide practical material to help their expectations.”

SM training audienceThe two TED directors complimented by local and British Union Conference leaders. They equally provided direction for local church leaders, some of whom were new to their roles. The training day is usually a whole day event, so participants get to have a chat over a good meal for lunch. As usual, the food was delicious, and the cooks catered to everyone's preference. Stanborough Press also attended, and provided a good selection of books, bibles and food for participants to buy.

"The leadership training that happens on an annual basis like this, serves to set up local churches to continue improving the skills of their local leaders throughout the year," suggested Pastor Paul Tompkins, president of the Scottish Mission. He emphasized that while the Scottish Mission has shown constant growth over the last decade and more, leaders and members have the responsibility to continue the trend and bring the message of the gospel to the rest of Scotland.

An image Gallery from the training can be seen here.

The original article was first published on the Scottish Mission website.


tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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