This is part two of a series on developing a leader training plan. Read part one here.
After you have created a list of all the things your volunteers need to be able to do or help others do, and have categorized each action as a handout, video, or face-to-face action, you can then move to steps three and four.
Step 3: Gather your stuff.
Create a folder for each action or group of actions defined in step 1. This can be an actual or a virtual folder, whatever works best for you. Start looking for books, articles, podcasts, and notes that help you provide an answer for your teachers. The internet is a great starting place. So are the annual booklets produced by David Francis.
Don’t forget to consult people in your church. Ask community leaders, teachers, and others about what they are reading. Not everything they’re reading will be helpful, but some of it will be.
Always be on the lookout for information you can add to your folders. Over time, you will create a valuable personal tool. Periodically review the content in your folders to see what you have forgotten and what needs to be refreshed.
After you lead training on that subject, place your notes in the folder as well. You never know when you may need those notes!
Step 4: Plan and conduct the training.
The focus of this article is ongoing training, so we assume that something will be offered with some type of regularity. You have to decide what you mean by regular and ongoing.
Almost all the research points to monthly or quarterly training as being the most effective when it comes to Bible study teachers or leaders. If you’re conducting quarterly training, you will most likely dedicate one of those four events to inspiration as opposed to training. If you conduct monthly training, you’ll most likely meet ten times (skipping December and one of the summer months). Also, probably one of these ten meeting will be inspirational or vision setting, so you will actually only have nine training opportunities.
Once you decide on the regularity of training events (which dicates the number), review your list of prioritized tasks (see step 2). Place the training events on a calendar and assign a topic, beginning with the things you identified as most important. You will want to make sure the most important issues are scheduled when you anticipate the higher attendance. In most settings, for example, scheduling the most important topic in June will be counterproductive.
Start preparing for the meeting. Create a plan or agenda. Make sure everyone knows when it is happening. If childcare is needed, get it arranged. Clear calendars to remove potential conflicts. Practice what you are going to do. Conduct the training and get feedback. Start getting ready for the next event, building off the feedback and experience you gain.
What other steps would you add to this process?
G. Dwayne McCrary is the team leader for Adult and Young Adult group resources at Lifeway, leads two weekly Bible study groups (one for empty-nesters and one for 4-year olds), serves as an adjunct professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and carries 20-plus years of church staff experience. He is married to Lisa (both native Texans), and they have two children and one grandson. Find him on Twitter: @gdwayne.