Training Workshops

training 10

We do a lot of training in church – personal evangelism, teaching Sunday school, leading cell groups, caring visitation etc., but often with not fully satisfactory results. For example, after several weeks of training, students in evangelism class are still not confident to witness. Why? I believe it may be due to built-in flaws in the training design.

What we learned at the LMC is that while the passion of the trainers and the desire and commitment of the learners are important, in terms of the training program, two factors are significant:
1. The content, and
2. The process.
I think part of our problem is that many teachers focus their attention on the content, but not enough on the learning process. They spend the majority of their time in researching the notes, because training is viewed as transference of the right knowledge, then they minimize the impact by lecturing. Instead, the aim should be the acquisition of new skills or attitudes by the students. That’s why I like the apprenticeship method of training in Evangelism Explosion, where the novice must practice what they learned before they graduate.

So as we determine the content, we need to ask 3 questions:
1. What is the desired result for the training?
2. What does the person need to know, understand or be able to do?
3. How will they practice?
Notice the emphasis is on do and practice, because people don’t remember what we say, they remember what they do. So a hands-on workshop is a more effective format than a one-way lecture. There are 10 steps to the workshop process:

1. State the subject – give it an attractive title.
2. Define for clarity and direction.
3. Establish the Importance by focusing on the felt need. Ask participants.
4. Expand the “As Is” situation – Ask what have they seen/experienced.
5. Move then to the “Could Be” – Ask “What should it be?”, “What would be the ideal?”, “How would you like to see it?”
6. Move to Solutions – Ask “In what ways can we …?” Don’t “teach”, train. Make them role play, practice in pairs, do group exercises.
7. Report and Amplify – Talk about their practice.
8. Summarize – Review main teaching points. Come up with a mnemonic for memorization.
9. Reflect – Ask “What is the most important idea for you?”, “What will you start doing, stop doing, do differently?”
10. Make Application – Give an assignment to help them apply what they have learned. Ask them to report back.

Workshops are great to draw out from experienced people what they already know but may not have integrated. With rookies you have to “teach” more, but it’s far better than lecturing. Try it and see for yourself.

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