Creating and Leveraging learning opportunities Part-1

U.S. Companies invest 100’s of millions of dollars annually into the development and education of their employees in the hope that as their workforce grows, so will the company bottom line. Most Pastors however feel as though they can’t compete with the level of training that is done in Corporate America with both external and internal corporate trainers, massive learning institutes that are unique to their specific industry, and well funded and well tuned employee development plans. In fact, while a large majority of Pastors feel as though they have the responsibility to develop and train their Staff or their lay leaders, they are often left feeling discouraged, under resourced and poorly equipped to do so. So how can we in the Church World best create and leverage learning opportunities for our teams? While the list that follows may seem familiar, as you dig into it you’ll find that this isn’t as easy as it first may seem. After all, if developing people were so easy everyone would do it wouldn’t they?

#1 Attend Conferences

There is no shortage of Church Leadership Conferences out there to pick and choose from. Why not create a group learning experience by going to one of these together with your team once a year. If you don’t have the resources to do that, then hit a satellite site of Willow’s Leadership Summit or the Chick-fil-A Leadercast. If you can’t do that then pick up the DVD’s of Summit or Catalyst and watch the best ones together with your team and debrief them.

#2 Bring in Local Church Leaders

You know that large church in town? Why not invite the Lead Pastor to come and spend some time with your Staff or Team? The majority of those guys would be happy to come and spend some time investing in your team, and while you’re at it take them to lunch or coffee and get some one on one time with them (soak up as much as you can). Sometimes it just takes someone else saying the same thing you’ve been saying a different way for it to catch on. Other times it’s helpful to have a set of experienced and fresh eyes to speak into things.

#3 Read Together

There is no shortage of books, magazines, and blogs that tackle the vast array of leadership struggles that the average Pastor and Church Leaders struggle with. Many even have curriculum that have been built around them for group interaction and debriefing, and application to your specific setting.

#4 Create and debrief secret shopper experiences

Identify a handful of local churches within an hour drive time that seem to be doing an effective job at reaching their community and send teams to visit them on the weekend. Yes, give your team a Sunday off and send them off at various times in groups of 3 or 4 with a prearranged set of items to pay attention to (parking, campus signage, overall guest service experience, check-in for kids, worship service, teaching style, use of technology, etc.). Have the group grab lunch afterwards to debrief and report to the overall team later.

Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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