student worker, youth ministry, student ministry, i told them to

I Told Them To

By Doug Franklin April 13, 2010

The most used leadership training method in the church is the “I told them to.” I was talking recently to some church leaders about small group ministry and one leader said, “my church knows we do community through small groups because I told them to.” Everyone listening agreed; obviously this church leader had done everything he could to train the members of his church in how to do community, right? Wrong. Just telling people how to do something is not training, so why do we use it as our most popular method of training? Mostly because we don’t know how to develop people or train leaders. In fact, training leaders has become one of the greatest needs of the church. So how do you do it? Here at LeaderTreks we are training leaders everyday in our two year program called Summit.  This is the proven method we use:

1. We teach Biblical character through principles we find in scripture. This requires us to mentor each team member.

2. We teach leadership skills – we think there are five skills you need to have in order to develop student leaders.

3. We give all our content to our team members and require them to teach it back to us using the five skills we have taught them. We want them to be transformational with the content so they need to add personal stories and illustrations to be able to connect to students’ hearts.

This training method of having them teach us our material is genius. Instead of me telling them what they should do, I get to hear them teach and train like they would in front of students so I know for sure what they are teaching, and whether or not it’s transformational.  Many of the churches that have listened to me talk about this method lose heart because they think it takes too much time to develop leaders using this method and you know what? They are right; this method takes time because developing leaders takes time – there are no short cuts and if you don’t know that now you soon will.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More