Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Key to Multiplication: Train don't Teach

I was speaking in a training program the other day and began to realize how big of a shift God has been bringing in me over the past few years. There has been a pretty dramatic change in what I do when I am invited into a classroom full of people wanting to learn and grow.  I'm still speaking about the same topics, but my mindset has changed a great deal!

The change can easily be defined as a shift from being a Teacher to becoming a Trainer.  What is the difference?

In many ways teaching is easier and more satisfying to my ego.  When I teach, I mostly give information and pass on knowledge.  Its quite easy to feel good about myself when I teach.  If I make a good presentation and everyone likes it, response well, gets excited, well...then it was a success.  I like teaching and there is certainly a place for it.  It is a wonderful spiritual gift that God uses me in.

But, when I began to really look at fruitfulness and the results I was seeing related to my goal of making disciples who make disciples...I saw I needed to change.

I need to be willing to be less of a teacher and more of a trainer.  Trainers are practitioners- they do what they are training people to do.  Trainers demonstrate and model both in the classroom and in the field.  Trainers are learners themselves, not experts, though they are probably some steps ahead of the trainees.  Trainers follow up and check on how things get applied after the classroom period is over.  Trainers work not only on knowledge being passed on, but also on skills. Trainers are careful to keep their training style simple enough that everyone they train can pass on the same material to others immediately. Success for a trainer is when the student/trainee is able to do what they taught and train others to do the same.

When I look at Jesus, I see him mostly training his disciples.  There are those times when he also taught them and passed on knowledge.  But most of the time he was modelling in the field with them, then giving them assignments, then getting a report and training again.  

I believe we will see many more disciples who make disciples result from our "training programs" and seminars if we stop teaching so much and train more.

Do you tend to be more of a trainer or a teacher?

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