I have been spending a lot of time lately working on core competencies. We have them in seminary life. They are the end goals of a curriculum that hopefully lead the institution to fulfill its mission. They are the skillsets, the character traits and the base of knowledge we want each graduate to possess when we are done with them. We assess and evaluate to try to ascertain how well we are doing based on how well our graduates are doing. Since I often help our educational partners around the world as well as our own campus with curriculum development, I spend time on such things.
Recently, however, I have been working on core competencies in the context of several local churches I am consulting. It has been very enlightening. So, I ask: What are the basic skills, character traits, and what is the knowledge base a church member should possess in order to be an obedient, fruit-producing disciple? What is the church teaching and/or doing to help the members to obtain these competencies within their local context? How intentional is the church in identifying and conducting this process? Does the average church member have an awareness of where they are, where they need to be and how to get there?
I have watched some really good leaders working through this in the local church. They have connected God’s mission to a biblical vision with these personal competencies. They have developed clear statements of expectation for the individual that will lead them to fulfill vision and mission. From spiritual disciplines to ministry responsibilities, this intentionality has helped to connect the dots between the personal and the corporate. They understand the need to focus on the biblical objective rather than simply upon the personal subjective. They recognize that the program activity of the church should be designed to develop these core competencies and not compete with them. This understanding defines what the curriculum of the church must be in their small groups and discipleship ministries. There is a common core in the best and most biblical sense.
How about you church leader? Do your people know how well they are progressing in their discipleship? Do they have specific, personal goals and spiritual markers in terms of fulfilling biblical vision? Can they define and assess what is needed next? Are you developing and conducting the proper training and offering the right ministry opportunities for your members to obtain these understood core competencies?
Take the time to prayerfully write out biblical goals for knowing, doing, and being. Work through what it means and looks like for a disciple to fulfill the biblical vision for your church. If you need help figuring out mission and vision go back and review some of my previous posts. Teach these competencies and the pathways to them to your people and develop a curricular process to help them become competent in each one. We can only have expectations for our members as high as the quality of discipleship development we are offering them.
Core training, now that will make you truly “cross”-fit!