I meet many pastors, youth pastors are especially guilty of this, who try to run Alpha without taking time to do good training. Whether its urgency or lack of preparation, not training usually has the effect of making things more difficult than they need to be.
I asked Cher Paulson, interim pastor of Alpha at Calvary Temple in Winnipeg, why training is critical to having Alpha run well. Here’s her response.
“The most valued part of our training sessions is the learning from each other and hearing from others and what they do to manage their table. It helps for the table hosts to share their ideas, triumphs and challenges and we can all learn together. I think training is also crucial because there is always more to learn. We can also be sharpening our skills. There may be something that we need in that moment because every time we lead it’s a different experience with different people. I think it’s important to keep the training relevant and interesting and give lots of room for input and venting. It’s important for each table host to know they are not alone and they are not the only one to have faced this challenge and what they have learned along the way may help another leader who is struggling.
“I try and get my leaders to look at training as not what they can get out of it but rather what they can put into it for others to get out of it.”
What do you think? Can you think of a time when you failed to train or prepare well enough? In a program or sports or a family vacation?