Where did the 3 C’s come from? – MTS

Where did the 3 C’s come from?

All MTS Apprentices are trained in the 3 C’s. Christlike character, Christlike conviction and ministry competency.

The 3 C’s were first written in Col Marshall’s ‘The Art of Ministry Training’ (2003) which was also known as the brick and a little later in the book, ‘Passing the Baton: a handbook to ministry apprenticeship’ (Matthias 2007).

But where did the 3 C’s come from?

Gordon Cheng (a UNSW apprentice from the mid 80s) was asked the question, “Were Phil and Col chatting about the 3 C’s back in your day?” He replied, “Pretty sure they were, yes … I just don’t know if it was that schematised.”

So, in order to solve the puzzle, I asked Col Marshall.

Col said the three C’s developed over time and were the result of a number of influences. He suspects that they may have been an adaptation of a Navigator’s ministry training mnemonic. He also said that KAS was a common acronym used in the secular business world – it stood for: Knowledge, Attributes and Skills.

Col turned KAS into the 3 x C’s. This reflected a more Biblical and more Christian way of thinking about ministry training and leadership development.

The 3 C’s still feature very strongly in the movement.

1 Timothy 4:16 says, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them and you will save both yourself and your hearers”. The 3 C’s are all about life and doctrine.

Another truth that hasn’t changed since the beginnings of MTS is that character is king. A Pastor may be able to preach well (competency) and they may know theology really well (conviction) but if they do not display the fruit of the Spirit as per 1 Timothy 3:1-7 (character) then they are not qualified for the task.

Author: Ben Pfahlert, MTS National Director