Bible School
Note: This week, I'm reposting an old classic from our archives at FAST. It's the perfect introduction to this month's featured class: The Explosion Blueprint. To learn more about training, and how to transform your church into a true training center, be sure to sign up for this class. Grab it while it's free!

Over the years, I've become more and more convinced that one of our greatest problems today in the area of discipling is our failure to understand the difference between teaching and training. While both have a place in raising up workers, making disciples is primarily a process of training. Teaching will never accomplish what's needed.

“One of our greatest problems today in the area of discipling is our failure to understand the difference between teaching and training.”

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Think of it this way. I live in the state of Illinois. If I wanted to teach you various facts about my state, like its population or its capital, that is a relatively simple process. I just need to communicate that information to you in a way you can understand. And you just need to remember it. The population by the way is approaching 13 million, and the capitol is Springfield. I just taught you something. Easy.

But if I wanted to teach you to swim, however, simply transferring information would not be enough. I could give you hours of lectures, show you dozens of powerpoints, bring in scores of competent swimmers to share their favorite tips, and more--and you would still not know how to swim. To learn that, you are going to have to get in the water! That's because being able to swim is a skill, and skills are transferred through training.

In other words, teaching communicates information. Training communicates skills. Teaching requires the student to understand and remember. But training requires the student to implement and practice.

An Early Experience

This difference became obvious to me many years ago in one of my very first discipleship teams. I was meeting with a group of very dedicated young high school students to do some advanced discipleship training. They had all been raised in Christian homes, and had all freely chosen to be part of my team because they wanted to grow spiritually.

One meeting, when we got to the point where we were starting to talk about the devotional life, I asked a simple question: "How many of you have been told all your life you should study the Bible every day?" Every hand when up. Then I asked another question: "How many of you have ever had someone sit down and show you how to study the Bible so you can get something out of it?" Not one hand went up.

They had all been taught the importance of Bible study, but had never been trained in how to do it effectively. Unfortunately, their situation is not unique. Believers are told to pray, but not shown how. They are told to overcome sin, but not shown how. They are told to witness, but not shown how. Telling someone what to do, but not showing them how only creates frustration, guilt, and a sense of failure. Putting a stronger focus on training creates disciples who are fulfilled, competent and successful.

The Great Commission

The Great Commission calls us to make disciples. While that certainly includes teaching them the basic doctrines of the Bible, it is not limited to that. We must also train them in the basic skills of the Bible, how to "observe all things" commanded by Christ. We must help new believers not only know what the Bible says, but also equip them to do it. We do a fair bit of teaching, but not near enough training.

“The Great Commission calls us to not only help new believers know what the Bible says, but also equip them to do it.”

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This focus on training is one of our foundational principles at FAST. Our resources are all designed to not only impart information, but also skills. To show what the Bible says, and also how to do it. To make disciples today, we must understand the difference between teaching and training!


Can you relate to the story in this article? Have you been told various things to do, but not been shown how? How important is it for believers to acquire the skills of Christianity? What is involved in passing on a skill?

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Posted by Laurie Wissink on 06/14/24 - Coach
Nice observations Michael. Connecting knowledge to head knowledge or teaching and skills to heart knowledge (training). As a church we are great at teaching information. Lets pray that we will also learn the skills to put what we know into action.
Posted by Michael Kennedy on 06/14/24
This is an enlightening concept to me. Teaching vs training. Knowledge vs skill. Knowledge is a noun. It is something you can understand. Skill is a verb. It is something you must do.

I am thinking of Head Knowledge vs Heart Knowledge that I’ve heard in so many sermons. I’m thinking now that Head Knowledge is information. We are very good at that. Heart knowledge is skill. Two very different things. We are not so good at teaching/training skills.
Posted by Laurie Wissink on 03/22/24 - Coach
Great post Diane, thanks for sharing that story! Your granddaughter could have been seen as being disrespectful and rebellious, but you didn't see it that way. You understood that she didn't know how to do what she had been asked to do and so, you trained her. :) This so aptly illustrates the point above! We can't do what we don't know how to do. Training is important!
Posted by Diane Castanon on 03/22/24 - Coach
This is what I love about FAST. It combines teaching and training, reminds me of Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it., and this is what Jesus did with His disciples.

I had an experience in Best Buy with my former daughter-in-law’s eldest daughter when she was about 5y/o. She removed a small plush toy from a plastic bottle. I told her to put the toy back into its container. She refused. So I sat down on the floor, and proceeded to demonstrate how to put it back in, while explaining how to do it. I pulled the toy out, and asked her to try to put it back in. When she had difficulty, I helped her. When she finished putting to toy back into its tiny container, her face beamed with joy. This was what I had loved about being a mother…sharing and demonstrating and watching my children grow, and overcome difficulties. (Isaiah 28:10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:) God loves to see this in us too!
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/18/23 - Coach
Yes, the principles here apply in many areas Becca. Nice post!

Thanks for that link Rebecca. So many of these concepts are interconnected. I love seeing the links between them.

Right Johnté, there's a difference between learning the content of Christianity and the skills of Christianity. We need both to experience the fulness of a life of faith!
Posted by Johnté Whyte on 09/07/23
I can relate to the students because this was my experience. We read in II Timothy 3:16-1716 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. and John 5:39Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. but we’re not trained on how to search the scriptures. To pass on the skills of Christianity we will have to be willing to invest time in someone else’s salvation giving them to tools they need to thrive in their journey to the promise land. It is a rewarding opportunity to be apart of God’s plan of salvation in the lives of others.
Posted by Rebecca Gottfried on 09/07/23 - Coach
One thing that has been very helpful to me is listening/watching the Shields of Brass sermon.

It’s a simple and effective way to start understanding how to study the Word. My 6yo boy and 8yo daughter have done the gold, silver, and brass projects in their Bible journal. I highly recommend it.
Posted by Becca Mayorga on 09/05/23 - Coach
I went to a parenting seminar once where the speaker was explaining how he taught his children. He said, he would first, show the child how to do something, like how to change a tire. Then he would have the child do what he had done, while he observed and was ready to help when needed. I thought this is amazing skill. Wish I had known this when I was parenting, and my parents had taught me this way too. I have also seen this in some work experiences and really appreciate it. So yes, it is quite valuable when disciplining others. To develop skills having an example to follow is quite helpful.
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/26/23 - Coach
We have a number of classes here Linda that will help you develop the skills of meditation and application, and it is going to unlock a wealth of how to's for you. Sorry no one was there back then to give you that information. Your story is a great reminder of the importance of getting more real in our training skills!
Posted by Linda Rothenburger on 03/26/23
So true! When I was a young mother I threw out the books Child Guidance and Adventist Home in frustration saying, "They just tell me what I should do but not how." And no one in the church could help me with the how either. I almost left the church because of this great failure!
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/03/23 - Coach
Thanks Lana! That means a lot. This is the one thing we've tried to do--focus on training not teaching. Most of us have information a plenty, but it's the skills we're lacking. And I believe these skills are going to be critical given the challenges just ahead. No time to waste!!!
Posted by Lana Rose on 03/03/23
Great thoughts here on the difference between teaching and training.
I have been feeling the difference, but had not been able to put it in this simple to understand way. It is what I have felt for a long time. It was not til I came to FAST that I began to understand the how to's. Appreciate your work, Dan!
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/21/23 - Coach
I love your paragraph on the kinds of skills we should think about teaching. I think many of these are topics we've never really touched on here at FAST. Fascinating list Angie!
Posted by Angie Leimena on 02/20/23
The great commission instructed to observe all things which means a requirement to obtain skills.
Therefore, one of the greatest importance in discipling is giving an effective training. Through training the learner is trained to have skills to implement and practice the Bible principles in their lives. Students are told to witness, but not yet shown how. The command of the Lord Jesus is to observe all things which is similar to give an effective training, which result in acquiring skills.
The skills may include, how to implement the teaching such as how to give a correct response to any challenges rather than responded with being emotionally reactive, how to give Bible study. how to relate to invite others to study the Bible, how to witness, how to memorize. Basically, how to model the Lord Jesus, when He was living on earth. That includes how to teach, how He manifested His faith in the Father, how He faced Satan, how to face any kind of opposition- rudeness- social and physical attacks. How He managed His time while working all day till sunset, how He care for the sick, the needy, the list can go on.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/30/22 - Coach
Congratulations on learning to swim Valerie. I practically grew up on the water and swimming is one of my favorite things to do. Which is just to say, the more direct exposure we have to something, the more comfortable it becomes. I also really appreciated your point that the best teachers were those in the water with you. Which is why I love these cubicles! :)

I think those are both great takeaways about discipleship...
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 12/28/22 - Coach
This article hit "home" for me as a former college teacher. I learned over the years that I had to readjust my perspective because I encountered many students who did not have the foundation for learning which I assumed college students would have. I could "teach" them the content of the chapter but I had to "train" them on how to apply what was in the book.
Also, your example about learning to swim hit home because I just learned to swim three years ago. I had the theory but until I got into the deep end of the water and faced my fear of doing so it was to no avail. Now when I get in the pool, I start at the deep end and I see that the longer I am in the pool the more comfortable I become in doing so.

Now the connection from my swimming lessons example and what you shared here is that the best training I received was from those who were in the pool with me. The example of the youth who wanted to learn more about the Bible but who had never been shown how to do so really resonated. How many of our young people want to know more about our faith but go unfulfilled because there is more talking at than talking to them? How many more adults are in the same predicament?
I praise God for FAST.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/27/22 - Coach
Amen! That's so true Doug. This is really what this whole site is all about. Or at least we're trying! :)
Posted by Doug Schoch on 12/26/22 - Coach
Very good article. Training is what we need to do. Back to the Great Commission, don't stop at baptism, keep trying. Without this training they come in the front door and go out the back door.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/11/22 - Coach
Yes, we can (should) start learning the basics of these various skills right away, and then advanced to deeper levels as we grow. Good point Carlota!
Posted by Carlota Belmo on 12/11/22
When we are newborn we need milk, but as we grow, we graduate to more solid food.
(I Peter 2:2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:)I’m thinking the same applies here, we should acquire the these skills right after baptism, so that the reflection of Christ can duplicated over and over again.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/08/22 - Coach
Right! Reading books alone would never do it. The information there had to be combined with action. Congrats Wayne. I did a half marathon once. A whole marathon is even more impressive! :)
Posted by Wayne Senner on 12/07/22
In learning how to run a marathon I had no trainer or training but I read a lot about it. But it was when I got out of bed or out of the chair or out of the house and hit the road on a daily basis that I became a marathoner.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/25/22 - Coach
I think you make a couple good points there Gail . First, that we should be careful to not minimize the importance, or difficulty of good teaching. Especially with complex concepts, teaching all by itself can be a significant challenge. Training is harder still, but because training builds on top of teaching, having that in place securely is essential too.

Another point that struck me is that of timing. Sometimes a concept (or skill) doesn't really click until we are ready for it, or in a position to use it. Which is why going over training more than once is often so helpful. We're at a different place in our growth the second and third time through...
Posted by Gail Lutton on 10/25/22
I love this, as I definitely learn better with/from "hands on."
This sentence from your article: "Telling someone what to do, but not showing them how only creates frustration, guilt, and a sense of failure," I can really relate to!
A favorite experience I recall is when I was in nursing school and struggling with a certain math concept. My husband could draw well and a lot of times when he was trying to explain something to me and he could see my eyes glaze over, he'd get out pencil and paper and draw me a picture/diagram which would usually clear up my understanding. This time however, with the math concept, his drawing didn't help with my understanding. It wasn't until I was a newly graduated nurse and had just started my first job. One day as I had two actual items in my hand and was working with them, that suddenly I remembered that picture my husband had drawn, and everything made sense!
Information, power point, teaching... all have their place, but teaching is definitely the way to go!
Thanks for offering these teachings!
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/05/22 - Coach
Two great points Jo. We can't share a skill we don't have. But we can share whatever level of proficiency we do have! :)
Posted by Jo Laing on 10/04/22
You have to be doing a skill before you can pass it on. I learned today that even though Apollos only knew the baptism of John, he taught that. I don't have to be thoroughly proficient in a skill before demonstrating it, I can share it now with the little I know.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/26/22 - Coach
That's such a valuable point Julio. That this difference between teaching and training not only applies to our ministry to others, but also Christ's ministry to us. Or perhaps I should say how we relate to Him. We can approach Him as a teacher dispensing information (true), or as Master that we loyally follow (even more true). And our approach will determine what we get out of our walk with God.

And of course, the kind of discipleship we practice determines what we have to give to others. This site, for example, is largely the result of trying to follow Jesus as Master. It's simply sharing what He has trained me to do. Our ministries will bend this direction as well, the more our walk with God bends this way. Great post!
Posted by Julio Useche on 09/26/22
So many of us (myself included) often read through the Word and gain valuable insight into it's teachings, but never write those insights down and repeat them to others because we've not been trained to do this, and sometimes because we're just lazy. Psalms 32:8-98 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. 9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. says "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee". Often times we just want to be told what some verse means or to be led as a horse, but God wants us to use our minds with the wisdom that He has given us and with the instruction we find in God's Word. When we do this, then we are able to train others in doing the same.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/25/22 - Coach
The difference is super obvious once you see it, Rebecca. But because the general culture sort of goes a different way we don't even think about it. I'm praying God will wake many people up to really pursuing a deeper experience. Soon! Time is short...

Thanks for another affirmation of the importance of this Belain. How many have been discouraged, or just given up on trying because no one every explained the nuts and bolts. I'm praying this class will answer many of those kinds of questions!

I really appreciate both of you for your commitment to be an instrument of change--in helping others to grow!
Posted by Belain Kinfu on 09/25/22
I can relate to what you’re saying Dan. I grew up a Christian being taught that I need to read my Bible and pray but didn’t get a training how. I feel like a big part of my life has passed wanting to but not knowing how. I pray that this will change for me and God will use me to train others.
Posted by Rebecca on 09/24/22
Wow can I relate!! Being brought up through Christian schools, knowing doctrines but never knowing how to study the Bible, or how to apply it to my life! How can that be? Being convinced of truth but never convicted. I’m praying God will use me as He sees fit to help in teaching and training.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/24/22 - Coach
I'm sure we've all been there Barbara, where we were told to do something but not really shown how. Or not given time to really internalize the requisite skills. Definitely frustrating. We can do better with those we are trying to help grow. In the long run, slow and steady wins the race...
Posted by Barbara E. LaRose on 09/24/22
Yes, I’ve been shown something once and expected to understand at one of my jobs. I learned to carry a pad and pencil with me to remember and often times asked another employee to help me understand and show me. It’s very important to understand the skills of discipleship, you don’t want to loose one soul if you can help it. To pass on a skill is to know how to teach but most importantly, how, as you said Dan, how to help the student to know how to understand and remember.   
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/23/22 - Coach
Ha, I think that's kind of what happens sometimes in our church, isn't it? Nice story Louise! :)

And I love that last point. If we don't teach someone first how to follow, teaching is less likely to make much of an impact.
Posted by Louise P on 09/23/22
Training versus teaching reminds me of the cartoon about two boys and a dog:

First boy: “I taught my dog to whistle.”
Second boy: “I can’t hear him whistle.”
First boy: “I said I taught him, not that he had learned.”

Maybe that’s why the Great Commission exhorts us to make disciples before it mentions teaching...
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/22/22 - Coach
Posted by Richard on 09/22/22
So true thank you
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/22/22 - Coach
Thanks for sharing Tonya. You are definitely in for some treats in the coming months. We are going to go through each aspect of discipleship from the perspective of training. I believe it has the potential to change all our lives. Learning how to live as a Christian is so much more than just knowing what a Christian is supposed to know. Can't wait!
Posted by Tonya Anspach on 09/22/22
Thank you for sharing the difference between teaching and training. It makes me think of my daughter who is in her second year of nursing school. She is now being TRAINED on what to do. Trust me, I know, because she is coming home every day asking to get my vitals etc...LOL.

I can see the real value in training and realize that is what is completely missing in my Christian life. Only I didn't realize it. Digging into the Bible has been difficult for me. I see the joy on others' faces when they study their bible, but have yet to really experience that total joy myself. I know now that it is because I have never really been trained on how to do it. I look forward to the rest of this class. THANK YOU!
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/21/22 - Coach
Most theology programs, are just that: theology. It's intentional so the pastors are prepared for any theological challenge--which is important. But there's a real place for practical discipleship training too, and I fear sometimes that is neglected. Thanks for your commitment to growing as a disciple-maker Mike!

Oh, and I like your training progression! We teach something similar later in Basic Training.
Posted by Mike Carner on 09/20/22
I can definitely identify with the story. Sounds like my upbringing. Even taking theology in college was mostly teaching with much less practical training. So it is something I have struggled with even in my ministry. I learned lots of facts I could teach others, but the practical has been a challenge. Always looking for opportunities to become better a training people.

I think it is very important for people to learn the skills of living out the Christian life.

The basic steps in training in a skill are:
  • Watch me as I do it
  • We do it together.
  • I watch you as you do it.
  • You find someone else to train.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/20/22 - Coach
Yes, exactly Sam. Demonstration is a critical part of the training process. We can teach without demonstration, but not train!
Posted by Shawnda McKnight on 09/20/22
Demonstrating is required in order to pass on a skill. That is why it took me so long to fall in love with Jesus when I grew up in the SDA religion. I didnt have anyone to show me how it was supposed to look.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/24/21 - Coach
That's a good word Colette: apprenticeship. Too often we think of them as students and just give them a teacher. But an apprentice is expected to learn a craft or skill. They need a trainer. A very different process!
Posted by Colette Guthrie on 09/24/21 - Coach
Dan I heard of this concept in a leadership development seminar which zoomed in on equipping leaders for success.

Becoming a Christian is like being an apprentice. It sure helps if you put that spiritual babe in the care of an experienced worker. II Timothy 2:2And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (substitute train for teach).😇
Posted by Pathy Neijo on 03/13/19
Very informative, encouraging and inspiring! Thank you very much!
Posted by Dinah Robles on 03/13/19
this is very relevant— the “how to” will help me/us to learn not only the facts but how to put into action the facts learned. Many times we assumed that the skill is already part of the teaching but as I am learning teaching is different from training. Thanks Dan.
Posted by Floride Leonce on 03/04/19
Hi Dan,

I can relate well with that story. The funny thing is that I sometimes repeat the same thing with my children. I’m happy to have the opportunity to learn and get the skills needed to practice and teach others. I will sign up for the Explosion Blueprint class.

Thank you and may God bless you!
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/04/19 - Coach
Thanks everyone for your comments!

Thanks for pointing out how the method we use definitely impacts the outcome Claudette! Definitely appreciate your perspective on this as a professional in this area.

Information certainly starts the process, doesn't it JoDee. But the process can sometimes go along slowly without access to good training resources.

Praise God for that family Tanya! I had a family like that in my life too.

Like they say Carole, it's better to teach someone to fish than to just give them a fish. Glad to hear your pastor is modeling good study methods. In our Explosion Blueprint class we define 4 biblical steps to training. Showing how is step 2.
Posted by Carole Bliss on 03/04/19
This comes right to the point. I am in a Bible study at prayer meeting, where my Pastor is showing us how to read slow, digest it, and discuss it with the help of the Holy Spirit. So important.
Posted by Tanya Telis on 03/04/19
Yes, I certainly can. I wanted a true Adventist home for myself and my children, but I did not have a clear picture of what that would look like, or how to go about creating it. I had read EGW and had the information, I needed the loving family in my church that took us under their wing and showed me all my home could be AND how to go about getting there. They encouraged each positive step and were there to guide when I was heading the wrong way. I thank God for them every day!!
Posted by JoDee Shoffner on 03/04/19
Yes, I was truly wanting to be a Christian. I believed the information and that began a transformation of the way I think. Slowly I knew that Word was reparenting me. I belong to a small church of mostly elderly people with one young couple and a few younger ones. We certainly don’t have the training. ...
Posted by Claudette Haynes on 03/04/19
As a certified trainer, I can certainly attest to the premise of this plan. I find that when I teach vs. train, I receive a very different response from the participants to when I train vs. teach. Yes, I’ve discovered that there is a very big difference.
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/01/19 - Coach
Looks like I missed a few posts, below. Sorry about that! :) But it's pretty clear this article strikes a common chord. I appreciate Danny's comment below about the combination of classroom teaching and clinical training in preparing nurses for their profession. That's much closer to what we need in the church. Good post!
Posted by Nancy on 10/31/18
Yes, i can relate, learning from others who have walked the path before you is helpful, but putting things into practice is getting the training that is needed.
Posted by Linda on 10/24/18
I can definitely relate the this story. To be successful in discipleship you truly have to be trained.
Posted by Danny on 10/21/18
Yes, I can relate to the story very well. I am a nurse teacher. In nursing, I give my students theoretical knowledge. After that, we apply theoretical knowledge in the clinical area and showing students how those concepts they learned can be applied while taking care of their patients. They do these things repeatedly while in the clinical area until they can do it on their own. This is how it should be when teaching on how to study the Bible. Looking forward to the class.
Posted by Lillian E. Cepeda on 07/18/17
I am very sure I will enjoy the Bible Class.

In reference to my Mom, unfortunately, she has gotten to a point where she can no longer take care of herself. Everything is in God's hands now.
Thanks for caring!
Posted by Dan Vis on 07/16/17 - Coach
Hope all goes well with your mom, Lillian. My prayers are with you. Excited to hear about your new study.

I mentioned it somewhere else, but thought I would repeat it here: our next challenge is going to be part of a future course I'm building on how to give Bible studies. I think you will enjoy it!
Posted by Lillian E. Cepeda on 07/15/17
Thanks Dan
Posted by Lillian E. Cepeda on 07/15/17
I am beginning to work with a family. Please pray for them. I am also talking to my neighbor. For now, it's interrupted due to an emergency / my mother is critically ill. I am traveling there now.
Blessings! And pray for these people.
Posted by Dan Vis on 07/14/17 - Coach
Glad this was a blessing, Chidinma, Vani, and Kathy. If you haven't already, make sure you sign up for the Blueprint class. It goes into how we can transform our churches into training centers in even greater detail.

Lillian, that's a beautiful picture of seeing everyone who learns some skill instantly going and sharing it with others. If we all did that, how rapidly the church might grow!
Posted by Kathy Rosenberger on 07/12/17 - Coach
I have never heard this concept put so clearly and simply. It has helped me greatly. Thank you.
Posted by Lillian E. Cepeda on 07/10/17
This topic brought to mind the story found in the Book of Acts 8:26-4026 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea., the Ethiopian Eunuch reading in the Book of Isaiah 53, and the Holy Spirit sent Phillip to explain it to him.

How wonderful it would be that after taking the training, the Holy Spirit takes control and help us train others too. I do know that the Holy Spirit is our Helper, because Jesus sent Him. The more we learn,memorize, and study the Scriptures, the better equipped we are to teach and train others.
Posted by Vani Kaisuva on 07/10/17
Very clear. Thank you. Pray the Lord will keep the above in mind as I continue to minister.
Posted by Chidinma Jenny Ukoh on 07/08/17
This is really eye-opening. Thank you for this site. God bless.
Posted by Dan Vis on 07/05/17 - Coach
That's the difference exactly, isn't it Carole. Not just telling someone what to do but showing them how... And it applies to some many areas beside just Bible reading. Thanks for the comment!
Posted by Carole Bliss on 07/04/17
Telling one to "read the Bible" and showing them how, is so important.
Even at my age, I am learning to go slower, and digest each word, instead of reading a chapter, just to say, I read a chapter.
Thank-you for this training series.

Posted by Angie Leimena on 07/04/17
Thank you Dan. I am encouraged.
Posted by Dan Vis on 07/04/17 - Coach
Great posts everyone. Joyce, I think you described the process of training quite well. Kendra, so happy you are having such a wonderful experience.

Angie, you are right. Leadership is so important. I'm sure God will use you as you continue to look for opportunities to share. Stay encouraged! :)

I talk more about the process of training in our Blueprint challenge. Hope you all get a chance to take that...
Posted by Angie Leimena on 07/04/17
It is very essential to have training skills to practice what the Bible says, and manifest genuine true results. Yet in my church surrounding, the response to invitation to join training seems unappealing. Have tried to give them inserts in bulletin about join a fast training, but no results so far. Seems it requires a permanent standby leader to demonstrate excitement, and proven results in order to contaminate. I do not have such leader, GOD willing there will be more young people joining the church plant. As for me I am very thankful to Fast ministry even I am not good enough.
Posted by Kendra Jumbo on 07/04/17
This is really true. Bible study used to be very boring for me until Elder Johnny Wong taught me how and how to memorize scripture. Since then, every word in the Bible seems so fresh and new. I hope God uses us to teach others. Thanks for this post.
Posted by Joyce Augustinis on 07/03/17
I believe what is involved in passing on a skill is first working with the person to show them how, even doing it with them for a few times. Then let them try it themselves and don't worry about mistakes. You can keep giving them tips. After a while they will become more skilled until they themselves can train someone else.
Posted by Sherry Olson on 04/27/17
I too love the swimming analogy, it really showed the difference between teaching and training.
I was baptized in 2001, and no one ever offered to sit with me and teach me how to study the Bible, I cannot leave home to go to Bible college to learn, which seemed to be what a lot of people do. And I always wondered why we didn't have something like that in our churches.
Thank you so much for your dedication Pastor Dan.
Stella, your children are the Lord's vineyard; after you have trained them up in the way they should go, you will have fined tuned your skills to continue your work for the Lord! (Sorry, I need to go back and figure out how to tag someone, just cannot remember how to do it!) God is rejoicing over you Stella :)
Clarris, I think you hit it on the head, a lot preaching at our youth, not training them.(my grandkids informed me that I "lecture"; now I know what I need to do) If they were trained in these important skills they would be less likely to leave the Shepherd's fold.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all!
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/19/17 - Coach
Thank you Wendelina! Appreciate your kind words. Stella Tigere, if you haven't signed up yet for the Journey, that's the best place to go to get training in all these areas. Ton's of great content there for anyone else who wants more.
Posted by Wendelina P Deligero on 04/17/17
Wow, another gem of thought. I did conduct some bible studies, sit with members, but those were just teaching. It's much different from what were doing at FAST. THANK YOU SO MUCH for conceiving it. GOD BE PRAISED ! I've been through with a number of discipleship training. FAST is different.

More so, you continue to feed us with spiritual gems to keep our hearts burning.

May God continue to mightily use you.
Posted by Stella Tigere on 04/17/17
I can certainly identify with the above comments I was born into an Adventist family, educated in an Adventist school and worked most of my early years in an Adventist school. All through out my experience I have been told/taught not trained. I would really love to learn how to study the Bible, mediated, pray and fast. I am grateful for FAST I have now learnt how to memorise and retain scriptures. Please direct me to the rightful class so I can learn and also be a trainer firstly to my children then in the Lord' s vineyard..
Posted by Lisa West on 04/16/17
Fast4god! Wow! I had a wonderful Christian mother who instilled in us biblical truths but after reading your article I've realized that she taught but didn't train. At least I don't remember that part!! Even praying had been somewhat of a struggle.....getting fulfillment; satisfaction; a sense of "wow, my prayer was really heard, I can feel it!" Your comment of telling someone what to do, but not showing them how only creates frustration, guilt, and a sense of failure really hit home.

I pray the God continues to bless you in your mission to teach AND train others. Thank you!!!
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/15/17 - Coach
Hi Qing! Great post! I like what you put about companionship and "doing" things together. We are so prone to teach classes rather than train people. There's a huge difference, isn't there?
Posted by Jacqueline on 04/15/17
I want to be able to teach and train
Posted by Colette Guthrie on 04/14/17 - Coach
Amen Qing. F - A - S - T trainees!
Posted by Qing Ling on 04/14/17 - Coach
Colette you mention one of the essential components of training - time.
Helene you give a very good example of HOW effective training happens- through POSITIVE experience in COMPANIONSHIP, both trainer and trainee doing it TOGETHER.

Most of all, as trainers discipling/training others, we need to pray for our trainees and let the Holy Spirit bring conviction into their hearts and empower them to be Faithful, Available, Spiritual, Teachable :)
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/13/17 - Coach
Clarris, it is true--we could do a better job of incorporating more training into our schools. It's not easy, and many teachers try, but we could definitely be more intentional about it!

I pray God blesses your efforts Ruth! It's definitely more work to train someone, but the rewards are worth it. Let us know how it goes.

David, it will be great to have you as a partner, and we would love to see your church get on board too. We have some big things plan for our training centers later this year. It would be good to start getting people plugged in now. Thanks for your kind words!
Posted by David J Grabe on 04/12/17 - Coach
Greetings to all in our Lovely Saviour's Name!
Thank you Pastor Dan, for "...setting in order these things we are lacking"... (Titus 1:5For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:). As a Bible Instructor for several years, these two (teaching & training) have somehow eluded my understanding and more often than not, I have confused them for each other! No wonder, as you said, "telling someone what to do, but not showing them how only creates frustration, guilt, and a sense of failure." This Memo has spoken to me & clearly shows the path I need to take! I shared the FAST Mission Program to our church board-and they are "on board" to implement the resources that are here. I will purchase a single membership today, & will get the Church membership Training Program soon! Thank you again everyone for your shared thoughts, vision, and commitment to Discipleship! I will be, "putting a stronger focus on training that will create disciples who are fulfilled, competent and successful."
Blessings to all Exodus 33:14And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
Posted by Ruth Mea Paun on 04/12/17
It is so very clear the difference between teaching and training! And I had never really thought about this or try to understand the difference before. I have been telling my Sabbath School Class to get involve in the TMI but have not really train them how.
I will take some class time to train them how to conduct small group bible study and how to memorize scriptures starting with the memory verse.
Posted by Clarris Magadza on 04/11/17
I really can relate to this. I have always heard people saying you must study the word and meditate upon it but, I was never shown or told how. It's only now when I did the BMC that I learnt what medidation means.
As I read the lesson above, it got me thinking about a lot of students who learn at our church schools but end up leaving the church or getting involved in crime or some other serious mischief. Could it be that our institutions are doing a lot of teaching and very little training???
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/11/17 - Coach
Hi Bryn! Words are slippery things sometimes. I'm sure even today, there's a lot of things that are somewhere between the two--it's not really a black or white thing. I perhaps over simplified things for the sake of illustration.

I had a similar experience Leslie. So surprised there was so little available when I first started out. So I set my life goal to try and fill that gap. Thank you for the call to share FAST with others.

Hi Rhonda! Great to see a comment from you. :)
Posted by Rhonda D. Coleman on 04/11/17
I liked the analogy of the swim class. I find that I learn better by having a skill demonstrated than just reading about how to do it.
Posted by Ajay Nenavathu on 04/11/17
Hi Leslie
Thanks for the link
Posted by Leslie Caza on 04/10/17
I was an Adventist for years and never thought about discipleship until my children's Baptist piano teacher shared a discipleship booklet with us. It was refreshing! I wondered why SDAs didn't have anything like this. We are very good and organized with teaching doctrine and have many Bible study sets, mostly all teaching basically the same information. All good, but not enough.

Then I found FAST. I asked people in our church if they felt they had ever been discipled. I got something like this for an answer, "Yes, I went to an evangelistic series."

So it seems that perhaps we're not training because we don't even seem to recognize the need.

I'm so thankful for FAST materials and for Johnny Wong's materials as well from

Let's spread the word as this is needed by all of us. The blessing needs to be brought to the front so others can see the need.
Posted by Bryn Jones on 04/10/17
A relevant and needed post, thank you. Like a lot of words, definitions and meanings change over time.
One hundred years ago, teaching involved training.
Eg. "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime."
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/10/17 - Coach
Dixie, using a good lexicon can definitely help! And comparing Scripture with Scripture can definitely help increase our theological understanding. Meditation with a view towards personal application involves other skills however. We'll be focusing on those in Basic Training.

Ann, my daughter just got a dog. It's been interesting watching her learn to train the pup. Definitely involves more than just telling her to do something!

I'm ready to go back and rewrite For Such A Time right now! :) Thanks Ajay!
Posted by Pamela Kendall on 04/10/17
I can relate. I really appreciate the training aspect of FAST classes-instruction in how to meditate on scripture has been very helpful. I'm looking forward to instruction in how to pray in a meaningful way as well as time management. Thanks for this helpful article explaining the difference between teaching and training and for all the great education provided here at FAST-especially the practical "how to" training aspect!
Posted by Ajay Nenavathu on 04/10/17
Hi Dan
yes verses like Psalms 119:11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Proverbs 4:4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Deuteronomy 30:14But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. ect.

Psalms 119:11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
A primitive root; to hide (by covering over); by implication to hoard or reserve; figuratively to deny; specifically (favorably) to protect, (unfavorably) to lurk: - esteem, hide (-den one, self), lay up, lurk (be set) privily, (keep) secret (-ly, place).
Total KJV occurrences: 32
Posted by Ann Lavenburg on 04/10/17
I've done a little of both telling and training but only training i.e. "show AND tell" really works. Many times we train without realizing it as we set an example. My husband and I have owned several dogs. It was great to watch the newcomer learn the rules and boundaries from watching the old pro. This program is "the old pro." I have always tried to learn memory verses by writing them on index cards. I find that I know many many scriptures just about word perfect but I do not know the reference. The memory engine is revolutionizing that. Thank you Lord for giving your people this tool!
Posted by Carole Bliss on 04/10/17
Early on we are told to study the Bible
And pray. It's only in time thru reading
And asking others have I learned to
Pray without ceasing
Read His Word and pray over it for understanding

Posted by Dixie Mende on 04/10/17
Jason Dishl's comments brought back memories of my own search to know the Bible better. I have found that if I look in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance at key words in a text I see the original meaning. Words have changed in meanings over the years and what I thought was the meaning in today's world may not have been what was meant. I then look for other texts with the same key word meanings and find many proof scriptures that back up each other.     
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/10/17 - Coach
Ajay, interesting insight into the Hebrew word. I'm assuming you mean verses like Psalms 119:11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.? A great addition to the information in the For Such a Time book...

Helene, love your post about how to apply this concept to parenting. As a pastor, I tend to thing church training. But home training is just as important, if not more. Long live the trainers indeed!

We can figure things out eventually on our own Joyce. But it sure takes a lot longer. We'd do a much better job helping people reach their full potential if we could show them the ropes so to speak right at the start.

Jason, your questions about Bible study are very common ones. We'll be working on it more in Basic Training. I'd like to do a special intensive just on this one skill. After visiting churches around the world, and working with many, many discipleship teams, this seems to be the skill people struggle with most.
Posted by Jason Diehl on 04/10/17
I can identify with those people. I'm constantly told how important prayer, devotion, bible study is. Sometimes I even regurgitate the same sentiments to others around me. And yet I have no idea how.

I even had an epiphany on finally understanding the need for prayer and bible study and how it actually works in our life earlier this year in FAST while struggling during the kick off event.

And yet I still can't understand the actual doing of it. I open the bible and they are just words on a page about someone else's life. I don't know how to really study it for anything meaningful. If I start a bible reading program to read the bible in a year, I have to force myself to do it each and every day, often forgetting what I read as soon as I'm finished.

I do like and need this thing called Training
Posted by Dixie Mende on 04/10/17
Collette Guthrie has brought to my mind a very important point to consider when asking people to be a part of a Sabbath School. I do believe it would be of great benefit if the people who have accepted a position would go into that division a month before they are to become a part of it. That way they could see and learn just how the program is done. Confidence comes in knowing how to implement what you will be doing. You could say it is training by showing.      
Posted by Colette Guthrie on 04/10/17 - Coach
What's involved in passing it on?

1. Time. There is no short cut, no instant method. I find this very true in my Sabbath School where we tell people to learn the memory text but don't show them how.

2. Also leading by example. It's hard to pass on something you don't have yourself.

I am impressed that this is where I should invest my time at church. Please pray for me to get moving!
Posted by Debbie Curry on 04/10/17
So very important. I wish I had done more training of my children.

I need more training.
Posted by Gloria Bernard on 04/10/17
Thank you, Joyce, for your comment. I mentioned at church that many do not know how to study the Bible.
The answer came back that church members have no desire to study the Bible.
Well, I believe the reason for that is, because they don't know how to study the Bible so therefore they lose interest in it. The reason I know that is because that was my experience.
Posted by Gloria Bernard on 04/10/17
It has been the same with me. They tell us we need to win souls, but not how to. We are told we should pray, not not how to pray. Told to study, but not how to study.
I had to do some searches on the Internet to find out how to study.
I did searches on the Internet to find out how to commune with God.
I also found out that in order to win souls, through the SOP, we must be Christians at home first.
Trying to win souls without God is useless. Bringing up reasons why they are deceived never wins them to the truth.
We have to start out by finding things that we agree on first.
Posted by Joyce Augustinis on 04/10/17
I'm the sort of person that figures things out on my own and I learned to study the bible by experimenting and by finding tips in articles and sermons and books. It would have been great if during bible class they taught you how to study the bible in various ways to learn how to be a skilled christian. Having a lot of knowledge isn't enough, and I didn't get how to put it into practice until much later in life. Now that I am learning more and more how to apply the scripture I am becoming a better witness as a result. II Corinthians 8:11Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. Now therefore perform the doing of it, that as there was a readiness to will so there may be a performance also out of that which you have.
Posted by Helene on 04/10/17
As mothers we so need to learn this difference between teaching and training. For the most part, children who grow up with a strong work ethic had mothers who knew, at least on an instinctive level, what training was. Kids who can really think and do problem solving from a young age usually grew up with parents who "got it" about training. Instead of telling the child to go wash the dishes, and explaining what to do, these moms let their children pull up a chair at the sink, and they had a good time together, making bubbles, scrubbing and rinsing dishes, talking about everything and asking each other questions. "Training Moms" are more likely to answer a question with a question. They are more likely to think of a way to demonstrate the answer to a question than to tell the answer. "Training Dads" are constantly using the practical things around them as fodder for questions, and then they take the time to guide their children through the process of finding/discerning what the answer is based upon demonstrable facts. Trainers spend time rejoicing with their trainees in their new discoveries rather than saying, "I told you so." Long live the God-directed trainers!
Posted by Ajay Nenavathu on 04/10/17
I can relate to this article also I had always bean told to be like the 5 wise virgins but never told how until recently when i learned that bible memorization is how you store up the oil.
The 'hiding' of God's Word in our heart, as the Hebrew meaning suggests, is putting in reserve. This is what the 5 wise virgins did when they also had prepared a reserve of oil with them (vessel) to keep their lamp burning throughout the night.
Posted by Susan on 04/10/17
Pointed out like this, it is so very clear the difference between teaching and training! And I had never ever thought about this before! Makes me want to do a better job in training my young daughter, so she will have the skills she needs!
Posted by Berith Bermejo on 04/10/17
I can very much relate to this article being raised in a Christian home but never really growing spiritually until I started doing what the Bible says. I thank the Lord for FAST because through this ministry, I really started growing in my walk with the Lord. And the growing continues ...

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