You have perfected a secret sauce that has been the key to your success. What is the best way to share this key to propel others to similar success? Last week, we examined how to do a deeper dive into your own past experiences and learnings to identify and crystalize the principles you want to pass on to others. Today we will address point two: designing a training process that works.

A process that works

Level up from teaching

First of all, training does not equal teaching. Simply telling people the principles you want to communicate—and then expounding on them—will fall short. Once you understand the deeper principles learned through your own personal experience, you’ll want to engage any learners in an active, experiential show-how training process. It’s more like what an apprentice mechanic would learn than what a philosophy class student would learn.

Show-how training

Here’s the basic outline of the show-how training process, which is functionally what Jesus did with his disciples. (See Mark 9:14-29 for one example.)

  • I do, you watch
  • I do, you help
  • You do, I help
  • You do, I watch
  • You do, someone else watches

A process that works

I used to teach a Junior High Bible study, and this was the process I used to train new leaders. Once I knew what I had learned personally, I engaged this process to teach others experientially. An apprentice watched me as I taught a short lesson, followed up with a group activity, focused in on the most responsive students, and facilitated spiritual and discipleship conversations as appropriate. We met afterwards and he shared his observations and insights. Next time he facilitated parts of that process while I helped, and we debriefed the experience afterwards. The following week he led the whole class with me present and observing, and I provided feedback afterwards. Eventually, he was doing it on his own and was in a place where he could have taught someone else how to do it in the same way I had modeled the process for him.

Key elements of a good training process

Any good training approach is going to include three key elements: environments, relationships, and processes. In this case, the live ministry environment in which we practiced was the Junior High Bible study. The relationship was between me and the apprentice and we made sure to engage and debrief between each step to provide needed encouragement and feedback. The process was the show-how process that lasted over several weeks. Given what you want to teach, consider what environments, relationships, and processes might be most helpful for you to engage.

Any good training approach is going to include three key elements: environments, relationships, and processes. Share on X

Test your process

Next, you’ll want to field test the training approach and evaluate it. After trying it out, consider asking these questions:

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • What are we learning?
  • What needs to change?
  • What are our next steps?

Your answers to these questions can help you make needed adjustments in your unique context under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Develop key partnerships

If you know others with similar goals, gathering to brainstorm together can be extremely fruitful. I have hosted some lunches with a few church planters and their key leaders and facilitated them listing out some of the key issues they were facing. Then they went around and shared principles and key questions to help them figure out what might work well in addressing those issues.

In that case, we decided to form a pilot group where we incorporated the following additional pieces of the process:

  • We decided to include spouses, if the planters were married.
  • Each participant made a commitment to attend a monthly gathering on the third Saturday of the month.
  • We started with a brief presentation on a topic, then discussed it as a group.
  • Coaches were present and intentionally involved in the interactions.
  • Follow-up coaching was provided in between monthly meetings.
  • We set aside time for relational sharing, encouragement and prayer. The peer relationships were immeasurably important.

Replicate the process

Examining the environments, relationships, and processes surrounding your own experience helps you identify the elements that led to success. Then you can replicate those things and test to see if the success can be repeated. It’s almost scientific! Next week we’ll address the final step in the process: How do we package the principles and process to catalyze others toward success?

Examining the environments, relationships, and processes surrounding your own experience helps you identify the elements that led to success. Share on X


There’s no need to start from scratch! We have taken key principles and developed processes that are proven to be customizable for any context.

Leadership Skills Guides– These guides are jam-packed with leadership essentials that just aren’t taught in school. Pick and choose skills as they are needed to train your developing leaders in real-time.

Map of Discipleship- You cannot move forward toward a goal without first discovering exactly where you are. This FREE resource helps you identify where you are in your discipleship journey and determine the best next steps in relationship to Christ. Invite others on the journey with you! Also available in Spanish.

Guide for Discipling– This resource was developed following the lessons Christ taught his disciples about loving God, being the church, and sharing the gospel with others. Used in partnership with the Map of Discipleship, you can meet people where they are at and walk through a truly transformative process with them.

We have worked with several denominations to customize this guide to fit their traditions and vernacular. Check out the A Discipleship Guide for Lutherans, Discipleship for Episcopalians, and The Vineyard Discipleship Guides.