Training up an Army


We launched our church site in Sandhurst 18 months ago. It takes 160 volunteers every month to put on our Sunday meetings at Sandhurst and as we started with a team of about 40 volunteers, we had to train up lots more people very quickly in every kind of area. We’ve seen new tech team, new worship leaders, new kids teachers and welcome team. We’ve seen people get on board with publicity and preaching and hosting the meetings and leading life groups. Every area comprises of new people that have been trained up to further the vision of our site.

I was reading Genesis 14 the other day and it struck me how Abram had trained people up and was preparing people to protect this nation that God had promised.

“When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan.”

(Genesis 14:14).

There hadn’t been a war at this point, there hadn’t been much conflict but Abram was ready. He hadn’t just trained one or 2 people, he had trained up 318 people. He had built a whole army and was prepared.

Our teams all follow a really simple way of training others in whatever area they are working in. It’s from the book “Exponential” by Dave and Jon Ferguson:

  1. I do. You watch. We talk. As an experienced leader leads a team, an apprentice takes time to observe him or her. Within a few days the two should meet to discuss what the apprentice has observed. This debriefing time should include three simple questions: (1)”What worked?” (2) “What didn’t work?” and (3) “How can we improve?” This time of debriefing needs to continue throughout the process.

  2. I do. You help. We talk. In this phase of development, the leader gives the apprentice an opportunity to help lead in a particular area. For example, if someone is being developed to lead a student ministry small group, the leader might ask that person to lead the prayer time while the experienced leader leads the remainder of the time together. Again, this experience should be followed up with a one-on-one to talk.

  3. You do. I help. We talk.Now the apprentice transitions from supporting or helping the leader to taking on most of the leadership responsibilities of the team or group. If a person is being apprenticed to lead a team of sound technicians, he or she will operate the sound system and provide leadership for the other sound technicians. The more experienced leader now begins releasing responsibilities to the new, developing leader. As in the previous steps, the leader and apprentice leader should meet regularly to debrief the ministry experience.

  4. You do. I watch. We talk.The apprentice process is almost complete as the new leader grows increasingly more confident in his or her role. Consider how this step might look in a children’s ministry. A children’s group leader, at this point, would give his or her apprentice the opportunity to fulfil all the functions of leadership, with the more experienced leader now looking on and watching the new leader in action.

  5. You do. Someone else watches.R They talk. This is where the process of reproducing comes full circle. The former apprentice is now leading and begins developing a new apprentice. Ideally, the leader who has developed and released several apprentices will continue to work with those leaders in a coaching capacity.

One day, we’d like to launch another site from our Sandhurst site perhaps in Fleet or Farnborough or Aldershot which means that we’ll need to train up 160 volunteers to go and launch a site which will bring the gospel to other parts of the South East of England. So we’re investing and training people now. We’re on the look out for new site pastors who can lead these sites, for new life group leaders who can build community in these areas. We know that if you want to be successful in the battle, you’ve got to train people up.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s