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One woman’s ReTrain story
ReTrain student Natasha writes about why she signed up.
My ministry was at a standstill.
God had been doing amazing work in my life and I felt called to a particular ministry, but I was entirely stuck. I heard the call, but how was I supposed to fulfill it?
At the time I was single, working full-time, volunteering several hours a week for Resurgence, and entirely lacking a strong foundation in the Bible to point people to Christ. Yes, I could tell them about Jesus and cite some Scripture to back it up, but I had no scholarly understanding of the word of God. I lacked the hows and whys of the gospel. I knew I needed training. I knew I needed discipleship. I knew I needed instruction, but I had limited extra time to invest. I didn’t hear God propelling me toward taking time off from work to go to seminary or Bible college.
ReTrain is a leadership development program for anyone who wants practical training and teaching. Because there are seminaries willing to recognize the program for credit, you can continue on to seminary should you sense God calling you there.
Like I said, I had limited time to spare, but I found ReTrain accessible. Once a month over the course of nine months, we had class sessions: two, weeklong sessions and six, two-day weekend sessions. Yes, there were books to read and papers to write, but there was enough lead time that I was able to balance the work with my other commitments. As it turned out, ReTrain was exactly what I needed at that time.
Growth in discipleship
Far from just a bunch of students learning in a classroom setting from recognized Christian leaders, ReTrain offered the benefit of assignments designed specifically to work out the practical aspects of what God has called you to. Each paper built off the lessons from that month’s teaching and reading so you could apply what was being taught to your ministry goal. By the end of the term, I had tools I could use immediately in pursuit of the ministry God had led me to.
More precious to me than this, was the wider scope of understanding I had of God. I learned even more of the character and attributes of God and my relationship and love for him deepened. My dependence on him grew. My relationship and love for the lost and God’s people increased more than I ever thought possible. In short, I matured in Christ immensely.
Growth in fellowship
While much of this maturation was the result of the reading assignments and teaching—the Holy Spirit was at work in every class—much of it also was the result of the other women in my small group (or cohort). The class was divided into cohorts with whom you engaged in discussions during the class, sometimes collaborating on assignments, and spending time with outside of class. We tried to get together at least one evening of the two day meeting times to just hang out and get to know each other better. We were at different life stages and ages, and had different backgrounds and upbringing. Just like regular Christian community, we were together because God placed us there. It was such a joy each month to see one another and catch up on what had been happening in one another’s lives since we had last met. When you see how God is working in someone else, it is amazing! It was like seeing a young child only once every few months. If you see them day-to-day sometimes the growth is harder to detect, but with more time between seeing them, the growth is more pronounced. Looking back on how God worked in all of us from the start of the term to the end was truly a blessing.
ReTrain is for the called
If you’re a woman unsure of why you might go to ReTrain, I hope you can be encouraged in knowing that ReTrain is a place for women, not just pastors. ReTrain is for anyone called to ministry (which, frankly, is everyone—see Matthew 28:19–20). You will get great teaching, training, development, and practical application of what you’ve learned to actually go and do. Plus, by God’s grace, all that scholarly knowledge will further reveal the beauty, majesty, and grace of God and all that he’s given us in Christ by the Holy Spirit.