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Effective Leadership

Training your Leaders and Congregation

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Training is not just another word for discipleship. Training is a formal method of teaching someone what they need to know in the best and most pleasant, encouraging, and fun way possible. There are three areas for this, formal class, mentoring, and coaching.
Training is not just another word for discipleship.


Discipleship places the emphases on our spiritual growth, learning the Word and the disciplines and doctrines of the faith, which is paramount for all Christians. Training is the growth and learning in the area of a task that needs to be accomplished in the church to further the kingdom of God, such as a program, service or need.

Training is a formal method of teaching someone what they need to know in the best and most pleasant, encouraging, and fun way possible. There are three areas for this, formal class, mentoring, and coaching. Where teaching is a formal group endeavor, and mentoring tends to be a more of an informal one on one, coaching bridges the gap because you can have specific people assigned who are experienced or are willing to know and grow and show others. The steps for coaching involve presenting, telling, doing, and encouraging. While much can be learned in training groups and seminars, there is no better way to develop skill and interest than the one on one sharing of the skills and abilities by an experienced person to a less experienced person. Therefore, all three avenues of learning are needed and beneficial. Experience has proven that it is best to have general training, one on one mentoring by assigning experienced people with new or less experienced people, and coaches to inspire, lead, and encourage the way, so everyone is doing his best to procedure the best ministry possible.

Consider having the experienced people in your church be coaches to the inexperienced, and mentor them. Perhaps you can develop a complete program for this endeavor!

Beginning Training Your primary task is to involve and equip people to serve our Lord!

1.First, meet privately with the interested person, get to know them and have them observe a working class or team. Interest can be found from personal recruitment, or evaluation from a gift inventory such as seen above.

2.Make sure they fill out the spiritual gifts inventory and evaluation,

3.Have a training class. Give people an overview of the church's mission and plan; what God has called you to.

a. Prayer

b.Worship time

c.Introduce the team in place

d.Go over mission and goals

e.Orient them with the position. Testimonies from others in that position

f.Go over the duties and expectations

g. Give clear examples on how to accomplish tasks

h. Have plenty of Q & A

i.Role play possible scenarios

j.Use videos, tapes, and denominational resources

k. Go over the job description.

l.Provide resources; offer a book or two to read.

m. Have a class field trip to another similar program

4.Personally follow-up: Interview them with someone on the team for Q & A, what is expected, etc. Have them observe the class/ team again, and get feedback from them. Keep in mind a team approach, encouragement, support, Christ working in you and them!

Coaching and Training Ideas:


Preparing for the training


· Analyze the skills and gifts that are needed by listing what is and what could be involved. Talk with several people who do the ministry well, ask other churches, get as much info as you can, then boil it down as simple as possible.


· Think through and determine the necessary steps you want the trainee to learn and do and the priority of each. What strategies and plans are you going to develop to make the coaching meaningful?


· Demonstrate the process. Show how to lead a small group or how to be a good usher; this cannot just be learned from a lecture. Give the overview and steps, then role-play, put them to work, and come back for Q&A.


· Keep in mind that most people respond best to practical hands on training, so make sure you are also providing learning by doing, making the process as interactive and hands-on as possible.


· What set of observations could you provide where the trainee can observe the skills in action to give them ideas?


· Good training and coaching involves good listening. Coaching differs from teaching in that you walk through the process with the trainee.


· Set up a library to provide reading and video resources.


· Have a good discussion with the trainee to determine his willingness and readiness for serving. Give plenty of latitude and patience for volunteers.

· Inexperienced people will need patience and be personally led in what to do. More experienced people can learn faster by discussion and being turned loosed.

· Make sure the trainee knows they are cared for and loved! This means you need to have good eye contact and listen to the other person. Give the other person your undivided attention. Show that you care!

· Do not forget questions in your discussion and interactions. Good questions should be brief, clear, focused, relevant, constructive, open-ended, and conveyed conversationally. Start your discussion with the usual factual questions. Then move to the descriptive and explanatory questions, but do not forget to ask hypothetical questions such as, What if we did this instead? What if we added this or took away that? What then? Then move to alternative questions where the learner has to make decisions. This keeps the person thinking. Finish your questions by summarizing and clarifying them.

· Be aware that previous bad experiences by the trainee will case doubt and mistrust; so, make sure you allow them the time to process.

· Do not put too much pressure on the trainee!

· Assist them in choosing effective methods and Biblical curriculum.

· The training and coaching process should be like mentoring and be a relational process.

· A good coach should realize when to hold people back and when to push them out of the nest to make them fly.

· Good management of people requires listening, patience, tact, and feedback. All relations with the trainee must be made sensitively in love and encouragement! Remember, this is a process, and, as with anything, expect a "learning curve" with the people and the programs in general. It has to be practiced a number of times, thought through and talked through a number of times, and given a lot of prayer before you see the goals you desire.

· Some people learn better with linear curriculum where the steps are carefully listed. Others would rather see the big picture first and then they can easily fill in the details. It is best to have an overview of the big picture and then list out the steps one by one.

· Encourage the trainee to ask you questions, and make sure that you listen carefully to him.

· A coach will need to come along aside the trainee or volunteer if and when they get dumped on or yelled at by an angry person. They are to be protected and have the situation resolved with love, encouragement, and affirmation.

· Be aware that when you mentor and disciple others, you will have an enormous influence on their lives! Thus, to the best of your ability, watch what you say and do, remember the character of Christ, and do your best to model Him.

· Make sure that your trainee and others sense that the goal and purpose is worthwhile and important. If not, effective ministry will not happen!

· Make sure they realize that they are part of the process of bringing the church deeper into the heart of God to worship and glorify Him!

· When the trainee gets more experience and is more comfortable, encourage him to do the task apart from your direct supervision. Never turn people loose without supervision, especially children and youth! At the same, time make sure they know that the door is open and they are welcome to ask questions. Take the initiative to follow up and visit the trainee in action, because many people forget or just will not ask for help.

· Make sure the trainee and volunteer can relate well to the age level they serve and lead.

· Follow up with the trainee and everyone else occasionally, asking them for feedback about their role and the program. Some questions might be, "What do you like about your assignment and the goals? What do you not like? What concerns do you have? How can we improve?" Where appropriate, ask others for similar feedback.

· Make sure you reward and celebrate individual progress as well as team progress and success. People need external support and recognition not only from the pastor but also from people outside of their team or program. Recognition and rewards motivate people to do more and give more, but most importantly, it shows that they are cared about!

· Have a system to recruit and train leaders, coaches, and mentors. Usually, these will be volunteers who have served for several years in the ministry for which you are recruiting. Make sure these are open to and capable of learning the ministry goal distinctions and supporting the purpose of the church, as well as being committed, mature Christians, (maturity has nothing to do with age!) and are able to lead and manage that ministry under the goals of the church.


Make sure you see the other articles following this primer as they all converge and synergistically combine to help you grow your church to glorify our Lord!


© 1988, 1998, 2000, Richard J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership,

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