If you’re in ministry work, you have heard Ephesians 4:11-13 many, many times. You know that your job as a church worker is to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry.”
In this blog, we’re going to look at the environments and the methods that are most effective in training your volunteer and/or paid ministry staff. This post will look at the five most effective environments for training your staff. Keep an eye on my blog this week for a second part to this puzzle, in which we’ll look at the most important methods to employ when you execute your training.
Leadership360 Fact: Effective training begins with an effective environment.
#1 – On the job. I’ll get into the other training venues that are important in a minute. In ministry, however, there is nothing like just digging in and getting your hands dirty.
Excuses for not being prepared and not qualified began with Moses in Exodus 4, where he told God that he couldn’t speak. God’s response: “[O]pen your mouth and I’ll fill it.”
In ministry, we have the resource of all resources — God Himself. Don’t shortchange how He can use you, even if you don’t have all of the answers.
#2 – Somewhere else. There is something special that occurs in training when you get out of your normal routine and schedule. Go to a conference. Go to another ministry or church and learn from them. Hold training away from your normal location. Get away and the training will stick a little more.
#3 – Where you are. Let me completely contradict my previous point. 🙂 While it is important to go somewhere else, it isn’t financially feasible or it doesn’t work with your schedule as often as training is needed. That’s why it is important to provide regular training in the venue or environments where the ministry is actually taking place on a regular basis.
#4 – Online. Today’s world lives online. We may not like it or agree with it, but we can’t deny it.
Today’s world is also a resource-at-your-fingertips kind of culture. You can Google or YouTube just about anything and learn how to do it. As a leader and trainer, you need to make sure that you provide online assistance and resources for those you lead. They need to know where to turn when issues arise, and it would be most helpful if there were resources available online and, hopefully, available on their mobile device.
It doesn’t have to be your customized content; there are a lot of incredible resources ready made in your area of ministry. They just need to be available.
#5 – With a live mentor. Again, what might seem to be a contradiction is actually a supplement. You see, none of these environments works exclusively. All these environments work in concert with each other. So, while training online is critical, having a live mentor to talk to about challenges and joys is vital.
Sometimes, learning best occurs in discussions over tough issues. Having a Godly, experienced mentor leader to turn to is a gift from heaven. These mentoring relationships come out of doing life with people, but they also come from seeking and asking.
Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry is a command for us as ministry leaders. Some of these work better than others for personalities, situations and life stages. Look to combine a few of these areas to best equip those you lead.
Eric Rojas loves his role as the executive pastor of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL, where he oversees a staff of 120 and serves alongside Senior Pastor Jim Nicodem. He has been on staff at CCC since 2000.
During his 20+ years of ministry, Rojas has served in churches as a youth pastor, adult ministries pastor, small groups pastor, associate pastor, worship pastor and men’s pastor. He is a contributing author for Group Publishing’s Men’s Ministry in the 21st Century and has written for various magazines and websites.
Rojas also serves the church-at-large through consulting and seminar presenting.
He has been married to his wife, Rachel, for 22 years. They have 3 children — Luke, 21; Adam, 19; and Chloe, 17. A man of faith, Rojas believes that next year is the year the Cubs will finally win the World Series.