Life Skills Your Church Can Teach the World

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What if people in your ministry want to get better, but they don’t know how?

What if people in your ministry want to get better, but they don’t know how?

What if you, as a leader, hold onto a countercultural gold mine you can’t see (because you’re so used to it) that could change how people in your community live?

Let me explain.

Many of us are tracking what’s happening to our diets these days as more and more people become overweight. The problem stems in large part from more food being eaten at restaurants (fast food or otherwise) or as prepackaged products that you take out of a box and pop in the oven or microwave.

You can rail against how poorly people eat (and I’m guilty of it too at times), but there’s a problem underneath people eating poorly at restaurants and at home.

The problem? People don’t know how to cook.

My wife and I are huge Jamie Oliver fans. Jamie is a British chef and we (OK, my wife Toni) cooks at home using his recipes many nights a week.

Jamie is also on a crusade. He realized that people don’t just need healthy recipes, they need to learn how to cook — cook as in actually buying whole foods and actually cooking from scratch.

If people can’t cook well, they won’t eat well.

Jamie even tells you what pots to buy, what spices to stock, how to use a knife and all the other things you need to learn to figure out how to cook, even if you’ve never boiled an egg.

Apparently cooking from scratch at home is now countercultural.

What if if there’s a similar thing going on in your church and community, not just about food, but about life?

Think about it. As a leader, you:

Long for families to stay together and thrive;

Want people to be generous;

Yearn for people to be in healthy relationships.

What if it’s that they don’t know how?

Carey Nieuwhof Carey Nieuwhof is Lead Pastor of Connexus Church north of Toronto, Canada, blogs at and is host of The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast available for free on iTunes.

More from Carey Nieuwhof or visit Carey at

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  • jim

    Disciple ship isn’t knowing the Word, it is living the Word. What you describe in this article is nothing more than “teaching them to observe.” Whether it is “career homeless,” addicts, the best and brightest college student, divorcee, loser, loner, father, or any other category I work with, the common theme always emerges as “show me.”
    Show me how to forgive, how to love (both myself and others), how to make friends, how to be family, how to “be with” God . . . There is no end. The formula is ancient. It is done in close association so you can discuss them in the rising up and laying down, in the home and walking by the wayside. It is understood through observation, questioning, trial, evaluation and adjustment in an unending, living conversation.
    Unfortunately it is not quick. It isn’t glamorous. It is not about being smarter or more well educated. It doesn’t move masses for the moment, but it does change lives for now and forever.
    It may not see thousands of people make a profession of faith in my lifetime, but if it will extend to the thousandth generation . . .

  • tdrums545

    This is a great idea- why not a page on a church website- “what you can learn at our church.” This is more than “what you can expect at our church.” This sparks some ideas for me. And it is a good exercise to evaluate what exactly people can learn at my church. If the list is short, it probably means what we are doing is not very relevant. Cool.

  • Paul

    These two examples do not have links…?

    “If you want to launch a similar initiative, you can download the (free) Thrive export kit for your church here…You can download three sample Great Family Experiments here for free for your church….”

    Where are the links…?

  • JoeandSusan Sukraw

    Where are the links for the sample/examples? Please

  • Buzzy

    Wow if Jesus had done this the Pharisee’s wouldn’t have nailed him to a cross. Stop the worldly crap and preach the Kingdom of God to all creatures like you were told.