Opportunities to learn together are important. Sometimes outside training is available. Churches may be able to help each other. Training can also be based around resource materials such as this guide. Bible study groups are another very good way of sharing new ideas.

If a few leaders receive training, there will certainly be benefits but it may take a long time for others to see those benefits. Planning how to share any kind of training can be very valuable. There are two ways of sharing learning…

  • Key leaders receive teaching and pass it on to other leaders, who in turn share it with leaders of small groups. In this way the whole church can benefit.
  • Several church members receive training and share this with a larger group. Then the whole church comes together to receive the training, usually working in small groups (existing Bible study groups, for example).

This ‘training of trainers’ helps ensure that new ideas and teaching are passed on to the whole church instead of remaining with just a few individuals. Jesus sent the disciples off two by two to practise what they had learned. Then they returned and learned more before being sent out again. This pattern of learning, trying out and then reviewing what has been learned together is a very valuable way of sharing and reinforcing new learning.

Discussion 
  • Read Colossians 1:3-12. Paul sent this letter to the church in Colosse.
    • List the encouraging things he has heard about the church in verses 3-8.
    • Could others say the same things about our church?
    • How does Paul pray for the church in Colosse?
    • What does he pray for them?
  • What fruit do we see in our church? Take time to pray this prayer for our church.
  • What kind of training and learning is available to our church?
  • Who do we already have within our church or community who has useful experiences or learning which we could ask them to share?
  • What training or learning is available within our region or country in terms of organisations and individuals?
  • How much do people want to learn about new ways? Would they, for example, be willing to contribute towards paying for transport for outside people to come and share knowledge?
  • Where can we find out about possible sources of useful training?
  • How can we encourage others to share any training experiences they have received?