Whatever Happened to Training?

I have worked with leaders for over three decades. Most of them were volunteers serving in some capacity in the church and others were staff people that I worked with or supervised. Many of my best friendships occurred because of those relationships.

One of the things I observed is that some leaders are more successful and enthusiastic than others.  They have the ability to make a Sunday School class grow, a discipleship group flourish or a youth group multiply. There are a multitude of factors contributing to why some leaders seem to experience more follow-ship and success than others.

There is one factor that I have noticed thru the years about these successful leaders whether they were pastors, Sunday School teachers or staff members.

They were always the first to attend training. I just got back from training Sunday School leaders at a mid size church in Texas. This church set aside the whole day to train their Sunday School leaders. I taught during Sunday School, preached in their morning worship, and then they had breakout sessions in the afternoon by age groups. There was a great spirit of cooperation and excitement in that church. They do this event every year as they work on their three-fold goal of reaching, teaching, and ministering.

As a pastor I always planned for at least one major training event to improve the skills of our leaders each year. I brought in the best people I could find to equip our workers. This time always provided new information and inspiration for our team of workers. They were challenged to do their ministry with excellence for the glory of Christ. I could immediately see the difference that training made after the event. Usually we even added new workers who came to the training and then were placed in service.

I am not sure when it happened, but I have noticed that most churches never offer training anymore. We seem to just coast and hope that our workers will improve and stay motivated on their own without any outside help or training.  We may give them  book to read or a DVD to watch but there is not a concerted effort church wide to raise the expectations for leaders and provide pratical help for their assignment.

Focused training for your leaders will make a difference in the effectiveness of your church. Conduct a major training rally for all your leaders where you thank them, feed them, and train them. You will see a difference.  Your churh will bear more fruit for the Kingdom.

In addition to your training options at church there are things that the Kentucky Baptist Convention provides. One of the best attended training events is “Super Saturday” where you can bring all your leaders to experience training on one day. Check it out on our KBC web site and by all means do something to train your leaders!

Keep the Son in Your Eyes,

Mike James

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