Training Outside the Classroom

By Michael Sove

Over the last 15 years I have used many different approaches to cell leader training.  Let me share with you some of those approaches and what I have learned through the process.

The first time I took people through training I held 8 weeks of training.  We met once a week on a weeknight.  This process was fine but committing to eight weeks in a row was tough for most people.  People that completed the eight weeks of training could open a cell.  What was lacking at this point was on the job training that I have found so useful in later years.

Later on I held training that went Friday night and all day Saturday.  This would complete the process faster but people were overwhelmed with information.  What they needed more than information was actual cell experience and feedback from the leader.  Another variation of this was training on a particular weeknight split between two weeks lasting for three hours each week.  In these shorter variations, sure, people could get through the training but I always felt rushed and that the training was too condensed.

There is nothing wrong with classroom training but I have found one on one, on the job training to be the most effective.  I began to ask myself the following questions:  How could I get as many people as possible in the training process?  What would happen if they could start at any time and work at their own speed under the watchful eye of their cell leader?

I am currently working on a process where two main books are used for training and a person can work through the books at their own speed, with their cell leader holding them accountable.  I am making CD’s where I talk through the chapter topics and make specific application to our church and setting including stories from my experience over the years.  What I like most about this is that a person doesn’t have to wait until the next cycle of classes are offered and the cell leader can help them practice what they are learning.

You’ll have to discern what works best in your setting and maybe multiple ways to accomplish the same training should be offered.  Some people might prefer seminar training while others might work best independently with their cell leader as an accountability partner.  Whatever you choose to do, remember that people will learn more by doing, and then receiving constructive feedback from their cell leader.

What have you found most effective in training?


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