This Article is from our Every Age, Same Page series
Few would argue against the need to train staff and leaders. The question is not should we train, but how should we train. Many churches and organizations follow a template put in place long before the current leadership arrived. Generally, that’s because the process in place has worked before and continues to do the job. But is what you have now the best option? Are you optimizing your training and leadership processes? Let’s take a look at some ways we can ensure we are training our staff and key leadership for optimal results.
If You Can Email It, Don’t Call a Meeting.
When it comes to training, people attend with the expectation that what will take place is critical. If they leave the meeting with a handout or information that could have easily been emailed, they will feel their time was not well used. Think through your training content. Is there something that requires attending the meeting? Are you merely passing on information? Here are a few ways you can ensure the meeting is beyond email level:
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Let People Share Stories
Sure, you could type up a story and email it out but hearing someone whose life has been impacted will always provide a meaningful experience people are glad they didn’t miss.
- Provide Q&A or talk-back time. Getting attendees involved in the conversation creates a dialogue that can’t be replicated through email or text.
- Create interaction. Back and forth training exercises are always more effective than a talking head or lecture. Implement ways people can remain engaged throughout the training.
- Pray together. Allow a time for people to pray and be prayed for. Prayer is something that cannot be emulated in a digital communication world.
Schedule Training When People Are Most Able to Attend.
Think of all the times you led or participated in a training that was wedged into a super busy schedule. I remember a time when we did most of our training on Sunday evening after groups, worship, evening groups, and evening worship. Talked about tired! Try to schedule your training when it won’t be an extra strain on an already busy schedule.
Think About Whole Families When Scheduling Training
Sometimes you schedule training because your group isn’t busy, but what about their family? Perhaps a perfect time to train parents is a terrible time for their children. Maybe your training one week (missions leaders) doesn’t seem too bad, but the following week there is a Sunday school leader training where many of the same people will need to be available. Or what about events scheduled for some members of the family like a D-Now or Student Camp runs along the same time-frame as training for parents. Just because it doesn’t involve your group directly doesn’t mean it doesn’t impact families a whole. Think holistically when making your training plans.
Celebrate the Win Every Time You Train
Whether you have someone share how they grew their Sunday school or small group class or a story of someone sharing the Gospel, celebrate wins every time you meet. And try to let others be the ones celebrating. That way you aren’t creating a false narrative that you, personally are always winning. These celebrations also communicate the mission of the church and help people see that others just like them are doing the things you would like to see take place.
Leave People With Practical Next Steps Every Time You Train
People should never leave a training unsure of what to do next. Likewise, they shouldn’t leave wondering why the training took place at all. This means you will want to ensure that people are gathered with a purpose and they know what comes next when the training is complete. It could be as simple as a few steps to help make their small group better, or a gauge for spiritual growth. Regardless of the steps, make sure you provide some.
Whether you’re leading a team of staff or volunteers, these tips can be helpful to train your people. Training is critical to good leadership, but doing it more effectively can ensure you get the most buy-in possible. Getting every age on the same page in your church not only requires us to think about families and the effectiveness of what we do, but also the outcomes of our training process. By making consistent adjustments and thinking of everyone, you can maximize your training and equip your people well.