Thursday, January 22, 2015

Evaluating our Trainings- what is a success?

If you are like me you have both run and participated in hundreds of training schools, seminars, formal and informal trainings, conferences, etc.  How do we measure whether or not the training (school, seminar, conference, etc.) was successful?
It is very, very important to evaluate our trainings if we want to grow in effectiveness and fruitfulness.
Most training, if evaluated, is evaluated immediately after the training is completed.  Very, very rarely do we evaluate trainings several months or even years afterwards.  I'd like to suggest that we MUST begin to do this if we want to be good stewards of the time, talent and treasure we invest in various trainings.
Often I hear people talk about a school, conference or seminar in this way- "It was good.  I liked it.  The speaker didn't cancel.  The food was good.  No one got sick.  The Holy Spirit really touched us.  There were some good worship times.  We didn't have to kick anyone out this school." On it goes.  Is this really our criterion for how we measure our training effectiveness?
Instead, we must look at (measure) things like;  increased fruitfulness, increased skill capacity, changes in thinking/beliefs that results in sustained changed behavior. Another key component of a successful training is whether or not those we trained were able to pass on the training to others or not. Lets ask ourselves: Did those we trained go on to train others in the same things? If yes, what percentage of our students became trainers?
It is important that we not only evaluate our trainings immediately afterwards, but that we also evaluate at the 3 month, 6 month and even 1 year mark as well.  This will teach us the most about how effective we have been and what we might need to change to become more effective. Many trainings themselves are excellent but lack adequate follow up coaching or resourcing of the students.
If we want to see supernatural increase, we must be good stewards.  Wise and faithful stewards evaluate and then adjust, making changes so they can maximize fruitfulness out of what they put in.
How many thousands (even millions) of dollars, ruppes, or other currencies, have we invested in various trainings without adequately evaluating them? 
Jesus didn't call us just to teach, but he asked us to make disciples.  That means training, not just teaching people or running programs.  Lets put our best effort forward, working together with the Holy Spirit and listening to His guidance, evaluating and adjusting, so we will maximize the benefits of what we do in His Kingdom.

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