Over the last three years, we’ve helped thousands of pastors train tens of thousands of volunteers and leaders. For most of those pastors, it was their first time using an online tool for training and many were skeptical that it wouldn’t work for their church.
You’re probably like them. You’ve considered online training, but are wondering if it’s just a gimmick. That’s fair. But, before you tune out and click away, I want to share 11 reasons why you should give online training a chance for your church.
- People Aren’t Showing Up To Your Meetings
One of the most common things that we hear from pastors who are checking out TrainedUp is that the main reason they’re looking at our software is because they can’t get people to show up to training meetings. We did a survey of small group pastors in 2017 to see how many people on average showed up to their training meetings. Want to know the most common responses? The majority of responses revealed that, on average, only 40% and 60% of their people showed up for training meetings.
We live in a world where everyone is busy. Johnny has baseball practice, Cindy has a ballet recital, and Dad is stuck in rush hour traffic on his way home. Showing up to a training meeting is the last thing on someone’s mind. But, by moving your training online your people can access it when it’s convenient for them.
- People Can Access It 24/7
When you enable online training for your ministry volunteers, you’ll be amazed at when people complete training. Some people are early birds and like to do it before work, others do it late at night, and others during breaks at work. Instead of having to shift their schedule to come to a scheduled meeting, training can fit into their existing schedule, and that’s a huge win!
- You Don’t Have To Wait 3 Months Until The Next Training
As ministry leaders, we don’t have infinite time to give away to training. Most churches I speak with schedule training meetings twice per year, or at most quarterly. This schedule presents a unique problem of how to handle new volunteers in the meantime. Do you let them start serving and just shadow someone? Do you do a personalized training session with them? Or do you make them wait for three months until the next training? The truth is, none of those scenarios are ideal.
With online training, you don’t have to wait for the next training meeting. New volunteers can start their training as soon as they express interest in joining your team. Everyone gets the training they need and your schedule is still intact.
- You Can Gauge How Well Someone Paid Attention
When you host a meeting with dozens of people, it’s impossible to gauge how well people are paying attention. After all, you’ve only got an hour of their time, there’s no way that you can engage each person individually. With online training, you can ask engaging questions and require open ended responses to give you a much better idea of how well people are paying attention.
This form of active training, where people have to answer questions, is proven to increase engagement and retention. This means that online training has a better chance of making a lasting impact than in-person training.
- You Don’t Have To Recreate The Wheel
One of the major reasons that people don’t train volunteers is they’re unsure of how to train them. I’ve been there. As a new small groups pastor, I spent countless hours researching how to train my leaders. I pulled from dozens of resources to create something holistic. With TrainedUp, you don’t have to recreate the wheel. Our library of 600+ training videos cover a ton of topics for all kinds of ministry areas. We’ve done the hard work for you.
- Your Content Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect
Although, we have a library of ready to use videos, we still encourage pastors to add their personal touches to online training. This can be intimidating if you’ve never produced video content. You need a camera, special lighting, and knowledge of video editing, right? Nope. All you need is your phone or a webcam.
When we rebuilt TrainedUp in early 2017, we added in the ability to record custom videos using just your webcam. It’s by far our most popular video option, with over 6000 minutes of video being recorded to our platform every single month. Your content doesn’t need to be perfect. Your training doesn’t need to have Hollywood production quality. Just be you.
- You Can Easily Supplement Training For Existing Volunteers
Have you ever tried to get existing volunteers to attend a training meeting? It’s like pulling teeth. Most volunteers that have been serving for a while believe that they already know everything they need to know about their ministry area. After all, half of them attended a training meeting, right?
The truth is that different levels of training is needed. Existing volunteers may not need to know how to welcome first time guests, but they do need to know how to coach new volunteers. Instead of lumping all of your training into one meeting, you can create different levels of training and offer it periodically to your existing volunteers. They’ll learn new information without having to sit through the boring parts that they’ve already heard.
- You’ll Have More Time To Focus On Building Community
I’ll never forget what one pastor told me when we were discussing how online training had made a difference for his ministry. He said that because he no longer had to focus on teaching the class, he could instead open up more time to build community and minister to those that were serving.
- It’s One Less Thing On Your Calendar
Before the printing press was invented, books were painstakingly transcribed word for word by hand. This process was extremely labor intensive and made information difficult to come by. But, when the printing press was invented, information became much easier to come by. The truth is, we do training a lot like people made books before the printing press. We prepare and teach the same material multiple times per year. Moving your training online means that you can create the content once and it can be used over and over again, much like the printing press. This frees up your calendar so that you can have more time to do the 589 other tasks that are in your job description.
- You Will Have A Record Forever
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the best memory. I forget things a lot if I don’t write them down. I’ve tried to do a lot of manual data entry, but the truth is the systems that work best for me are the ones where I don’t have to do things manually. With online training you get a record of training completion forever. Not only that, but you can even look back on how people answered your questions. It’s a game changer as you make changes in the future.
- It’s A Better Experience For Volunteers
One of the best things about online training is how much better the experience is for your volunteers. They don’t have to worry about rescheduling things to attend a meeting, they simply get a link to training that they can complete on their own schedule. Not only that, but every volunteer is guaranteed to get the exact same training. There’s no forgetting to tell something, because everything has already been recorded.
My Challenge To You
If you’ve read this far, at least one of the reasons above resonated with you. Instead of hitting you with a sales pitch, I’m just going to ask that you give TrainedUp a try for one month. To make things even easier you can use the code 11REASONS to get 50% off AND if you’re not satisfied during your first month, just let us know and we’ll issue a refund. Sound good? Set up your TrainedUp account here.