Previously in Entre Ninos, we looked at excuses people use to not assertively multiply their efforts in a ministry context. Then we considered starting points for handing off responsibilities. Today we will walk through the steps to training others to take over those responsibilities. Multiplying yourself in ministry is the biggest win. But it doesn’t come easy.
Step 1 - Watch me.
Invite someone to observe you doing the very task you would like them to do in the future. Before they come to observe, be sure they know the endgame of this observation. You want them to step up and take on this responsibility. Coach your key volunteer to “put on the lens” of an observant learner. As you are teaching, have them watch the things you do and be prepared to question why you do what you do.
Step 2 - Reflect with me.
Take time after they have observed you in action to debrief together. What did they see that confused them? What did you do that seemed like a “win”? Ask them why they think you approached the task the way you did. Creating a culture of reflective practice is an important leadership lesson!
Step 3 - I prepare with you.
They watched you. You talked about what they saw. You might think the next step is to turn them loose and let them roll. Not quite yet. Take time and help them prepare. I will never forget training a new game leader. He watched me lead games and we reflected together. Before our next meeting, I tasked him to come to me with three games that he wanted to do. But the games he picked were poor choices. Rather than offending him, we walked through what it takes to make a game a good fit. We made it a teaching opportunity when we selected games and prepared together.
Step 4 - I watch you.
After preparing together, give this leader the reigns. Give them the chance to try it out under your watchful eye. With a pen and paper, look for ten things that were great, and one item that could be adjusted. Please notice the pattern has started over. Now you are the observer.
Step 5 - I reflect with you.
(1) They watched you. (2) You talked about what they saw. (3) You helped them prepare. (4) They went live as you observed. Now comes one of the most important aspects of the learning cycle: (5) Reflect together about their first solo experience. Share your ten great things and be a voice of affirmation. I want to make a quick insertion at this time. With many leaders, I would repeat the “prepare together”, “I watch you”, “I reflect with you” cycle for several weeks. One leader I mentored had an amazing aptitude for teaching. He was worth the investment. Therefore, I committed to prepare with him, observe him teach, and reflect with him about his teaching for one solid year. He grew exponentially.
Step 6 - You go solo.
The goal of this process is to let them fly solo. At some point, it is time for them to do the new task on their own. This can be a very big moment and as an engaged leader, you should make a big deal out of it. Pray for them. Write them a note of encouragement letting them know you are proud of them. Remember, they are now doing what you would have to do if they had not been willing to step in and take this challenge.
Step 7 - We reflect together.
They are now leading independently. Though you are no longer directly observing them, encourage reflective practice. Meet with them and ask THEM how THEY thought it went. What worked? What was a flop? What would they do differently? Creating a new leader is great. But creating a new leader who is accustomed to reflecting on their practice is even greater!
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