Be. Do. Serve. Train

The majority of the people who read my blog know or have a pretty good idea what the title “be. do. serve. train” means to our ministry. It is our basic philosophy of discipleship, which means  it is our basic philosophy of ministry. About 15 years ago Austin Gardner, my pastor, wrote down these words in response to a questionnaire to a supporting church. He had been a missionary in Peru for several years at this time and had come to the clear understanding that “church planting is leader training”.

I briefly reviewed this process with men training for the ministry in Santiago, Chile last week. I will be leading a discussion on this subject  at our Vision Baptist Missions Orientation Week later this week. I do not get bored with it! I love that I can go and visit one of staff missionaries or strategic partners and even though I do not speak the same language as the men they are training I do speak the same principles they are being instructed in.

Recently, I have read the book Simple Church and I really enjoyed it. It reaffirmed what I have believed to be the key to the success of many churches on the mission field in comparison to many of the struggling churches in the states. Missionaries know they have to replace themselves in 4 years. The average American pastor doesn’t really even have to replace himself in a life time as long as there is a Bible college of seminary he likes. Missionaries start from the goal of training leaders and design process and programs backwards from that point.

I am not claiming that we have arrived at Vision Baptist Church by no means. However, we want to be that type of church you would find on the mission field. We want to take “life on life discipleship” seriously. We are constantly looking for ways to reach out to more people and help people transition from where they are to a more fully dedicated servant of God. However, we do have a game plan that we are all on. Below you will find a basic outline explaining the ministries Vision offers and why we offer them.


Your Private Ministry or the “Be” Level. This is the “real you” that absolutely no one knows except you and God. It is your character. It is the very basis or foundation for all that you can ever be or do in the Lordʼs work. I Samuel 16:7, Matthew 23:27

Characteristics of the Be Level
1. A born again Christian
2. A person of character and integrity
3. Heart is surrendered to Godʼs leading.

How do we develop this area?
•Engrafting the Word of God (James 1:21)
•Washing in the water of the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26)
•Transforming our mind (Romans 12:2)

Ministries of Vision designed to help you grow in this area:

  • Worship Services with In-depth Bible Teaching
  • Sunday # 10:30 am & 6:00 pm
  • Thursday# 7:00 pm
  • Foundations Bible Lessons
  • A series of Bible lessons have been developed to teach on our new identity in Christ.
  • Adult Bible Fellowship & Sunday School
  • Life stage appropriate Bible Classes are offered on Sunday morning at 9:30 am


Your Personal Ministry or the “Do” Level. This is the “you” that people see. This is how
seen in how you live out your life. The “do” level will be a natural outflow of your “be” level
for the good and for the bad. Matthew 12:34-35, Psalm 37:31

Characteristics of the Do Level
1. The “Do” level speaks of how a person treats his or her spouse.and their children.
2. Being good stewards of all we have been entrusted with. (Gospel, finances, creativity)
3. Personal & family devotional life

How do we develop this area?
• Develop friendships with other believers based on your mutual desire to worship and
serve God.
• Develop relationships that will help you accountable to do what you know is right. (Ie
Bible reading, avoiding temptation, etc)

Ministries of Vision designed to help you grow in this area:

  • Saturday Community Impact (SCI)
  • Monthly Activities
  • Our Adult Bible Fellowship groups, Students of Vision (Teen Ministry) and Faith Friends (Childrens Ministry) offer monthly activities to cultivate fellowship among fellow believers.


Your Public Ministry or the “Serve Level”. This level should be based first on the fact that
God has done a work in you at the “be” level and is transforming you into His image. You
should be serving not to serve but because that is who you are. 1 Corinthians 16:15, Acts

Characteristics of the Serve Level
1. Being involved in the ministry of the church – proclaiming Christ to the world.
2. Exercise your gifts and talents through the ministry of the church.
3. Reaching out to the community by meeting the spiritual, emotional and physical needs.

How do we develop this area?

• Be willing to meet the needs in the ministry big or small. (cleaning, parking lot attendant,
assistant to a Sunday School teacher, community Bible study leader)
• “Test Drive” a ministry by volunteering in a ministry team for 3 to 5 weeks.

Ministries of Vision designed to help you grow in this area:

  • Food Ministry
  • Community Bible Studies
  • Secretarial Team
  • Bible Teachers & Assistants
  • Random Acts of Kindness (yard work for
  • those in need, fundraisers, etc)
  • Ministry Leader, Church Planter, Pastor, Missionary


Your Priority Ministry or the “Train” Level. The Great Commission was given to the
church. It was not given to part of the church but to all of us. As we “be”,”do”, and “serve” we
should invest our lives into other people by helping them to “observe all things”. Matthew
28:18-20, Titus 2:3-5, II Timothy 2:2

Characteristics of the Train Level
1. We must “invest time” and not simply just spend time with them. Matthew 13:10-17
2. Training is different then teaching/serving. Training requires a “life on life (Holistic”
approach to instruct and guide. Mark 3:14
3. This must be our priority ministry to see Godʼs church multiply and reach the world
with the Gospel.
4. Training “leaders of leaders”. The person you are training should already be discipling other people.

How do we develop this area?
• We must first be learning from someone in a mentor relationship. 2 Timothy 2:2
• Our “be”, “do”, and “serve” levels must be Biblically qualified to imitate.

Ministries of Vision designed to help you grow in this area:

  • Our Generation Training Center
  • The OGTC provides “establishing and equipping” classes throughout the week.
  • Foundations Resources
  • Guide books are available to all those who have completed the Foundations booklets to train others.

Learn more about missions, our staff missionaries, and strategic partners at the new and improved bcwe blog at

About the author

Trent serves as an Associate Pastor at Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. He writes, speaks, and helps lead events that encourage people to "pioneer" in the work of sending.
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