Entrust Equipping Leaders
Equipping a leader's head AND heart using formal or non-formal methods
September 2, 2022
Dr. Scott Klingsmith: how can we provide excellent equipping of both the mind and the heart in our training contexts?
Guest Dr. Scott Klingsmith What is one of the traditional arguments against seminary training? Men and women with great head knowledge and low hands-on ministry skills. Listen in Dr. Scott Klingsmith, formerly of Denver Seminary and now with WorldVenture, describes some pros and cons of seminaries, Bible schools and less formal ministry training approaches.

Dr. Klingsmith's Entrust Equipping Christian Leaders article https://www.entrust4.org/post/formal-and-nonformal-christian-education-definitions-advantages-and-challenges

WorldVenture (Dr. Klingsmith's bio) : https://worldventure.com/pworker/4000-367-klingsmith-scott/

Denver Seminary https://denverseminary.edu/

| Speaker Name | Start Time | Transcript | Intro/Outro (Todd) | 00;00;03;08 | Welcome back to Equipping Christian Leaders, a podcast resource from Entrust. Entrust exist to multiply leaders forr multiplying churches. Our website is www.entrust4.org, that's entrust the number 4 dot ORG. Today your host Laurie Lind continues a discussion with Scott Klingsmith of Denver Seminary about formal and non-formal Christian education.
| Laurie | 00;00;31;14 | Hello, friends. Welcome back again to Equipping Christian Leaders. And our conversation with Dr. Scott Klingsmith. Having agreed that non-formal and formal training each have their place and their strengths. I asked Dr. Klingsmith if or how Denver seminar three incorporates some of those stronger aspects of non-formal ministry training.
| Scott | 00;00;55;23 | One of the complaints about formal education historically has been that there there really is an emphasis on the head and that heart and hands. And to use a metaphor that is deeply ingrained in entrust is would tend to get neglected. You say the seminaries job is to deal with the intellectual stuff, and it's the job of the church to to help people grow in character and skills.
| Scott | 00;01;27;09 | And so it's often been the complaint that people have graduated from from seminaries or Bible schools with lots of knowledge, but without practical ministry skills and with maybe less concerned about godly character. Here at Denver, at least, and in a number of other a number of other schools, we have what we call training and mentoring. And so all students are required to find a mentor.
| Scott | 00;01;59;03 | And each semester they learn, they write a learning plan that has to do either with some kind of character development or some kind of skill that they want to increase in. So every student is engaged with someone who is helping them work through character and skill issues. I think I mean, it's always a balance in a curriculum as to as to who who gets the credits.
| Scott | 00;02;30;06 | But we at least have said this is important enough that we're going to dedicate our credit hours to help students grow in character and in ministry skills. It's it's not perfect, but at least it's our attempt to integrate education that deals with the whole person and not just the mind.
| Laurie | 00;02;53;14 | Mm hmm. And that mentor can be anyone. Do they need to be on the faculty, or can it be someone from their church or community or.
| Scott | 00;03;02;12 | Yeah, it it can really be anyone. Sometimes students will pick a mentor for a specific task, someone that they say is really skilled at at some particular aspect of ministry that they want to that they want to improve in. Oftentimes, it's simply somebody that they respect and feel that they can learn from, somebody that can help them grow as they work through these different learning plans.
| Scott | 00;03;33;24 | And in their own desire to become more godly.
| Laurie | 00;03;37;10 | Hmm. I just love that. That's inspiring me. I want to find someone and write a learning plan. It seems very intentional.
| Scott | 00;03;47;17 | It is. And and the goal is really to help students develop habits of lifelong learning so that this isn't something that they just do to check it off. To meet the requirement, but that it helps them develop ways of thinking about personal growth that then they can continue on. So if they finish here, most of them are going to be looking for mentors and they're and they're going to be becoming mentors themselves.
| Scott | 00;04;18;26 | Because they've experienced the value of somebody walking along with them.
| Laurie | 00;04;24;06 | Yeah, that's fantastic. And then so then thinking the other direction, if someone only has access to non-formal training, like right now and trust has a big ministry in Africa called More than a Mile Deep, and it's all much like the model that you were using in Eastern Europe, you know, people coming, training a little, leaving, coming back, checking in there's not any formal sit down classroom graded so much.
| Laurie | 00;04;53;04 | How how do how does that model gain what might be lacking? Maybe it is just the head knowledge or the you know, how how can that model be strengthened?
| Scott | 00;05;04;13 | Well, I think the challenge is so non-formal does not mean disorganized. It does not mean ad hoc means that there is a plan, that there is organization involved in it as opposed as opposed to informal education. That just kind of happens in life But there are a lot of programs that that still are pretty ad hoc. And so so there are there are programs that could definitely benefit from more more organized learning plans and more a more in-depth curriculum.
| Scott | 00;05;48;15 | That's not just, well, what do our students need this week? But that takes them through, you know, some kind of an established curriculum. And I think that the options for non-formal education to have an integration of learning and ministry is one of its real strengths. And in many ways, including some kind of a mentoring component to that can can be a value where there I mean, that often happens in groups anyway, that they end up, you know, I mean, they're learning from each other.
| Scott | 00;06;27;15 | That's the that's the value of it. It's not that the expert is just coming in and dumping their content, but the students are learning together. And so sometimes simply formalizing some of those relationships, I think, can be beneficial. Mm hmm. Yeah.
| Laurie | 00;06;44;16 | And more and more, as you say, there is this convergence where the two are coming together. And in incorporating aspects of the other type of training and learning. And if people do if we do move more and more into this non-formal kind of training, or at least like using distance, like like zoom and training online, do we lose the life on life aspect there?
| Laurie | 00;07;09;07 | Do you think or are there ways to keep that real close mentorship kind of learning going on, even if it's at a distance?
| Scott | 00;07;17;27 | I think it's a question of intentionality, because just being on campus with a professor does not necessarily mean that you're going to get more life on life than you will from a distance.
| Scott | 00;07;35;23 | You know, there there are professors that come into class and and deliver their lectures, and that's the only contact they have with students and and there are professors that are deeply engaged with their students, you know, whether that's in a church context or you know, going out and do evangelism together. I mean, there's such a wide variety there.
| Scott | 00;08;00;24 | So I think the question is not the distance but it's the intentionality of relationship. So because of this technology, the you know, depending on on a professor's resources, he or she could have significant engagement in the life of students no matter where they are.
| Laurie | 00;08;27;18 | Mm hmm.
| Scott | 00;08;29;14 | And just as in a classroom, it can be just as perfunctory or as deep as the professor or the student pushes for. Mm hmm. So. So so it might not be you know, sitting in the same room or engaging in the same ministry together from a distance. But there still is the possible to to be coaching and encouraging and and sharing experiences, regardless of where the student and the teacher are sitting.
| Laurie | 00;09;06;25 | That's true. I was wondering, do you have another story or two of a student, a person you've worked with, whether back in in the former East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Romania, or more recently, where you've just seen seen them really blossom into a solid leader in the church, and that various aspects, various kinds of training were part of their growing into that.
| Scott | 00;09;34;09 | Well, I have former students, former mentees that I'd love to take credit for, but just as we always said before, that whatever we offered was a piece of the equipping that was going on. We we never claimed that we were the only training that a that a pastor or a church leader, a participant would get that we were a piece in their development that that's pretty much what I can claim with some of my students.
| Scott | 00;10;13;29 | Mm hmm. So, yeah, I have students that I've seen have graduated and moved into cross-cultural settings in other countries. And are being very effective. One I can think of right now is in Southeast Asia, and he is developing a training program for pastors in his country. And, you know, that's totally cool to see as that's developing I've seen others who have moved into pastoral ministry and are are really involved in helping their people engage with the world.
| Scott | 00;10;56;15 | And that's always very encouraging for me to see. So you know, I've got guys that I've worked with, I don't know, even just here from the seminary in six or seven different countries, as well as in ministry positions around around this country. If I look back at, for instance, our time in Romania, the real focus of our time at the end was was helping to develop a church based, regional church based training programs.
| Scott | 00;11;31;18 | And a few years ago, I was able to spend a day at an interest conference in I don't remember where we were hungry, maybe OK. And one of the guys that I had worked very closely with was there as as in trust staff at that point. And was the national director for training for his denomination. Mm hmm. And so to to see that that OK, we planted some seeds and and now some really great things are happening.
| Scott | 00;12;06;01 | So it gives the, the the rewards for what we're doing is seen the people that we've had a chance to have some impact, some involvement with, move way beyond whatever it was that we could have done.
| Laurie | 00;12;20;02 | That's got to be such a rewarding feeling to see people you've invested in carrying on and even training others and serving Christ and his church. That's 2 Timothy 2:2 in action. And by the way, that's Entrust's  theme verse. My guest today, Dr. Scott Klingsmith is the missiologist in residence at Denver Seminary. He wrote a great article for our Entrust blog, which is like this podcast called Equipping Christian Leaders.
| Laurie | 00;12;50;19 | You can find his blog article at www.entrust4.org/blog. Then scroll down and find the entry from May 10, 2021. Next time Dr. Klingsmith and I will talk about how people become pastors in almost completely opposite ways in the West as opposed to in other parts of the world.
| Laurie | 00;13;19;10 | And now here's a question to think about and act upon until we meet again. What is a skill or character quality you need to grow in and who could you ask to mentor you in that? Seriously, think about it and I challenge you to go find that mentor. I'm planning to do that myself. I'm Laurie Lind, and let's meet again next time here on Equipping Christian Leaders.