Jill is here in town for several days and I have had the privilege of working this year with the team that she leads down in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and even parts of Missouri. We were speaking about training tonight and how the correct training can provide impetus for people to want to improve performance. I first worked with her team back in July and then again last month in mid-October.
While it is true that there are many skeptics out there who believe that training doesn’t work, I am here to tell you, after working with more than 450 companies, that it does work – and very well, I might add, if you follow several simple rules.
First of all, your effort must be directed at the right audience. It isn’t easy to teach people who don’t want to learn or aren’t motivated. Likewise, depending on how people are wired, you have to present the material in a manner that is interesting and compelling to your audience. Also, especially if you are working with sales people, you have to continue to drive the message home and present much more material than to any other type of group – because they could be out in the field selling and any time spent with you is time they aren’t making money for themselves.
So, in short, motivate, educate and have extra material ready. Then, like fighter pilots, your recently trained folks can go out and test their newly acquired skills. In the case of Jill’s team, an already good sales team is really becoming cohesive and hitting new records. It’s great to see. One of the keys to training is the fact that you just can’t do it once or twice.
The most successful teams continue some regimen of training throughout a period of time. Otherwise, motivation and knowledge tend to dissipate and sooner or later, the team is back to where they started. When teaching soft skills – things like team building, communication, trust and shared commitment, it is difficult to define the metrics by which success can be judged. Sadly, this is one of the problems with soft skills training that cause companies to look at it with a jaded eye.
The same rules apply for each of our spiritual journeys. We can’t be expected to excel at our relationship with God if we don’t spend some time getting trained. And, just like in the corporate world, one time training just doesn’t make the grade. To really enter into a deepening relationship with Christ, it is important to be motivated, get educated and make sure that you have access to much more material than you could ever possibly understand. That’s just what the Bible provides.
Realistically speaking, every person who wants to learn more about God can secure a Bible and attend a local church. There, assuming the teaching is authentic and in line with God’s will, a person can start a regimen of work that will draw them closer to the Father and the His Son, Jesus Christ.
Certainly, one reading of the Scripture is not enough. Just like in the corporate arena, continuing training, as well as interesting material and presentation, is necessary to keep people investing in their own eternal future. And God has provided more interesting episodes in the Bible than any of us will ever be able to fully understand.
The verse for tonight reflects the eternal importance of our studies. From 1 Cor. 9:25, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” So while our corporate endeavors are important, they don’t hold a candle to the time that we should spend learning about God and the Bible.
My encouragement this evening is to let you know that God, through the Holy Spirit, is ready to teach you more than you can possibly imagine. My prayer is that you will attend a great church with biblical teaching and that you will be motivated to continue a lifelong practice continuing to grow your relationship with God. After all, you will be spending eternity with Him. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…