Church leaders have acknowledged the fact that some Bible study group leaders just don’t seem to want to attend training events any more. The much lamented training meetings have struggled to attract teachers, precisely at a time in history when the church needs to ramp up the training it provides to its volunteer workers. If you want to provide training that is attractive to teachers, here are a few reminders:
- Don’t expect busy leaders to attend meetings that are announcement-oriented. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a meeting while someone makes announcements that could have been sent in a text or an email! If this is what you’ve allowed your meetings to degenerate into, no wonder people don’t want to attend.
- Don’t expect busy leaders to attend poorly planned meetings. A poorly planned meeting in which the A/V equipment doesn’t work, or the proper number of handouts have not been photocopied, or there is a shortage of snacks and drinks communicates, “I wasn’t thinking about you or your needs.”
- Don’t expect busy leaders to attend meetings that don’t benefit them directly. I’ve spoken with church leaders who maintain that people today simply will not commit to attend training meetings. I disagree. People will attend, but they have to experience excellence, and they have to walk away with some tangible benefit to them. Remember, they are trading their valuable time for whatever you give them. So make sure the teachers experience a “win” when you come together for training. Have some fun, give away some items, help your teachers develop a skill, or give them the inside scoop on the future of your church.
As David Francis once said, if group leaders are “confident they will miss a scoop on the church’s future direction from the pastor, exciting new ideas they can implement in their class…a great new resource, or just a real feeling of being genuinely loved and appreciated, most will be there!” (Great Expectations, p.32).
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