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The Secret Sauce of Event Training: The Last 7

by Chuck Wood

Jeff and Angie Sundell, Troy and Rachel Long Cooper, and Deb and I recently spent some time reviewing the formation and growth of NPL over the last 10 years. One of our key takeaways was the power of Event Training. I’d like to start sharing why I think Event Training was so crucial to the world-wide vision we now call NoPlaceLeft.

31. The Mid-Level Training

A mid-level training is completely different from the 411 and the Intensive. The latter two are come-one-come-all. The mid-level is an “invitation only” event. It’s focused on your leaders and solving the problems they are encountering. It also has elements of encouragement, refreshment, vision casting, and goal setting. Most people feel like they don’t need a mid-level because they haven’t hit a certain level of ministry. Do you have leaders? Do you have problems? If you said yes to these two questions, you NEED a mid-level training.

32. Don't Invite Non-Doers to a Mid-Level

If you would like to discourage your leaders and undercut what they are trying to do, invite people that don’t do anything (or are just curious) to your mid-level training. Remember, the focus is on your leaders. This is a special event for them. You are going to have to say “no” to some people so you can say “yes” to your leaders.

33. Mid-Level Pastoral Care

One of the most important aspects of a mid-level training is the pastoral care. Your leaders may have received a lot of “Friendly Fire.” Or they could be discouraged or even worse disillusioned with what they feel God has called them to. Or they are having so much fun they are on the road to burnout and don’t even know it. As leaders, we are looking for all of these pitfalls and bringing the love and advice to help them through the tough times and press on.

34. Iron on Iron

Iron on Iron is a collaborative assessment of an individual or team’s ministry. It is bathed in prayer. We ask questions about abiding in Christ, victories, multiplication, and obstacles. We give encouragement and advice. Then we set goals and pray again. After my first “IOI” I saw the pure genius in it! I wish I could have 30 years of ministry back in order to implement “IOIs” along the way. We assess what we value. IOI is the cornerstone of a mid-level training.

35. Keep the Training Free

We deciding in the very beginning not to charge for our training. This went against “conventional wisdom” which states “If people don’t pay something for it, it isn’t valuable.” Hmmm? That may be true but here’s another truth, “As soon as you add money to the mix, you make it that much more non-reproducing.” We decided the application was a better price tag. Training is Free. The Application will cost you your Life.

36. Schedule Your Trainings

Sit down with a calendar. Markdown six 411 training and one Four Fields Intensive for this year. Spread them out over 12 months. “But we don’t even have people to train yet?!” And that’s why you end your planning meeting on your knees begging God to use your little team to ignite a movement. For those who are down the road a little bit, you’ll probably schedule fewer 411s and maybe two Intensives and a mid-level for your leaders (at least once a year). All of this planning is flexible but if you don’t put it on the calendar, chances are you won’t be praying like crazy and it won’t happen.

37. Know When to Get Out of the Way

What grows under a big oak tree? Nothin’ A leader needs to know when it’s time to step aside and let the emerging leaders take the ball and run with it. You can do this too soon and too late. I’d rather have sooner than later. It’s awkward and messy but if you stay too long, your folks become paralyzed by the “Guru Mentality.” And remember, the “Guru Mentality” doesn’t multiply. And besides now you get to go to new places with new people and start over again! (I know, that only sounds good to the apostolic types 🙂 )

It’s been fun for me to reflect on the last ten years of training. This has been one prong of a two-pronged attack on lostness; Training existing believers. The other prong is the 0-1 raising up leaders from the harvest. Both are essential to the movement of the gospel. I know this is a lot (I think I wore a hole in my keyboard) and I know I didn’t cover everything. There are more “secrets” to good training out there. If you have some, please post them on the Facebook Group. Keep training!

Email and ask to join our NoPlaceLeft Facebook Group: Charleswood1 at



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