Lone Survivor, SAS Training and Ministry Training

Nikki and I saw Lone Survivor the other day. Brutal. Such powerful filmaking that it stopped the jingoism from ruining it.

At the start there's this brutal 'found footage' of Navy SEAL boot camp (a far cry from hot young things in lycra jogging in a local park - or church planters eating pastry and attending plenary sessions in a conference centre!). Harrowing experience. Who does this?

Some say the best ministry training should be like SAS or Navy SEAL training: to be the best you need to just be thrown in the deep end and be able to survive without too much hand holding. The idea is that too much pampering won't produce the kind of people we really need.

I kind of like that. I get it.

And at the same time, it's gotta be said: the people who survive in these kind of elite teams are ALREADY highly trained. In order to get in, and in order to surivive in them, you need to already be extremely capable.

So yes, we need to throw people in the deep end. But this is not a substitute for training and preparation. It is one element of larger process of skill and character formation.

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