Eight Lessons Learned from a Recent Training Marathon to Introduce Mentored
for Church Reproduction
Copyright © 2009 by
Permission is granted to reproduce, translate, distribute and post this
In November 2009, four CP trainers, who had been mentored by
George Patterson, enjoyed three intense weeks in South Asia, introducing the Train & Multiply® (www.TrainAndMultiply.com)
program to indigenous church planting entities at 19 locations, at the
invitation of a non-governmental organization that provided in-country
hospitality, travel and arrangements. We thank the
organizers for both the opportunity and their generous kindness.
The trainers’ combined experiences, notes and evaluations have
led to seven “lessons” for those who wish to introduce mentored leader
training in various settings and situations and across many ministries
must serve a cause that will thrive even if the training itself has been
enemies, debilitating infections, car crashes, unavailable materials,
weak interpretation, trainers’ cultural ignorance, mosquitoes,
poorly-chosen participants, suspicious clergymen, a cancelled visa, all
these happened and cannot be avoided. We praise God that his work will
progress and triumph where our training efforts remain
absent, prove unacceptable, or become compromised in a fallen world.
- There is a vast and
growing demand for training in church reproduction and leadership
present decade has witnessed thousands of new churches planted with
hundreds of thousands of new believers. Most of these want to reproduce
as tens of thousands of churches and millions more new believers. Most
recognize that some kind of affordable, available, reproducible training
must be implemented at every location.
- Tie training to
organizations or identities that have capacity to sustain it.
Not all churches, ministries and organizations
have a structural or personal capacity to sponsor and maintain a
sustained effort over time to supply training and materials across
diverse linguistic, ethnic and religious communities. Thus, training
must become a function of a wide variety of entities that are willing to
see multiplication multiplicative reproduction fostered in other
ministries’ venues as well as their own.
- Some clergy will empower
workers and churches to reproduce, others will not.
reproduction training follows scriptural instructions and models, that
take seriously Jesus’ and his apostles’ examples of empowering
branching, multi-generational ‘chains’ of church workers who learn to
mentor each other. Trainers must take seek to invest heavily in leaders
who adopt that mentality while taking care to invest lightly in
Christian clerics who resist losing direct control of churches and
workers, seeking to retain power and finances for their own prestige and
- Employ interactive,
cross-cultural training methods.
It is as
important that professional, albeit unpaid, trainers, like us, seek to
reproduce ourselves in national or local workers, as much as it is
imperative that those workers reproduce themselves in those whom they
train. This requires employing methods that prove useful and
reproducible in actual practice, continually making necessary changes to
training methods and ideas. We found that one of the best ways to make
teaching points very memorable was to incorporate simulations, skits,
role-plays, and demonstrations.
- Present content that has
enjoyed success in many peoples and nations.
training programs and materials have developed within a single cultural
milieu, and prove unacceptably foreign when exported elsewhere. Programs like T&M have been translated and successfully applied in many lands
over several decades. That experience has led to a small number
of ‘universal’ principles and adaptable practices that normally lead to
church and worker reproduction. Many of the training principles used
successfully in pioneer fields also apply well to multiply cell groups
in Western churches, especially among poorer people.
- Training materials must
be available for immediate implementation.
in innovation have identified universal ‘stages’ that populations pass
through in adapting new ideas and practices. Many things can stop
innovation, such as the unavailability of supplies, materials
or skills to implement an idea that a group has chosen to adopt. Thus,
one must have training materials available to trainees from the moment
they opt to act.
- Trainers must have had
experience in CP work and prove passionate about CPMs.
church leader can train newer church leaders who have less experience
than he. A trainer who introduces mentored
training to church leaders should have, himself,
applied his training in his own work. That fact not only builds
his credibility in the eyes of others, it supplies him with a lot of
practical wisdom that can be tapped during
lively discussions with trainees who want answers.
Find the Train &
Multiply® church planting and pastoral training course at <www.TrainAndMultiply.com>.
Order G. Patterson’s Church
Multiplication Guide from a bookshop or at <www.WCLbooks.com>.
Order P. O'Connor, Reproducible
Pastoral Training, from a bookshop or at <www.WCLbooks.com>.
Download free CP training
software, “Come, Let Us Disciple the Nations,” from <www.Paul-Timothy.net/dn/>.
Download free mentoring
tools and materials for new leaders from <www.MentorAndMultiply.com>.
To subscribe to MentorNet,
or to download earlier messages, visit <www.MentorNet.ws>.
mentoring studies and children's studies from <www.Paul-Timothy.net>.