Key #3 DMM Breakthrough Growth: Train Don’t Teach

trainer of trainers

Do you long to see more multiplication through your discipleship training?  Are you tired of only seeing a few new disciples each year?

The last two blogs talked about Keys for seeing DMMs released. The first keys were  Key #1: Praying With Faith and Key #2: Perseverance.

There is another crucial key to releasing a movement. If you want to multiply disciples, an important change needs to happen in how you do discipleship training. You need to shift from being a teacher to becoming a trainer.

Are you a Trainer or Teacher?

I was speaking in a training program the other day and began to realize how big of a shift God has brought in me over the past few years. What I do when I am invited into a classroom full of people wanting to learn and grow has dramatically changed.  I’m still speaking about the same topics, but my mindset is very different!

Don’t Choose Easy- Be Fruitful

Teaching is easier but yields less fruit. In many ways, teaching is more satisfying to my ego.  When I teach, I give information and pass on knowledge.  It’s quite easy to feel good about myself when I teach.  If I make a good presentation and everyone likes it, responds well, and gets excited, …then it was a success.  I like teaching and there is certainly a place for it.  It is a wonderful spiritual gift God uses.

I began to realize that teaching was not as effective in producing disciple-makers. When I looked deeply at fruitfulness, I knew I needed to change.  My goal is making disciples who make disciples. That means doing things differently.

discipleship training
Training in the Jesus story

Trainers Are Different From Teachers

  • Trainers are practitioners. They do what they are training people to do.
  • Trainers demonstrate and model both in the classroom and in the field.
  • Trainers are learners themselves, not experts, though they are probably some steps ahead of the trainees.
  • Trainers follow-up and check on how things get applied after the classroom period is over.
  • A Trainer’s goal is not only to pass on knowledge but primarily is to develop skills.
  • Trainers are careful to keep their training style simple enough that everyone they train can pass on the same material to others immediately.
  • Success for a Trainer is when the student/trainee is able to actually do what they taught and train others to do the same.

Jesus Trained His Disciples

When I look at Jesus, I see him training his disciples.  There are those times when He also taught them and passed on knowledge.  But most of the time He was modeling in the field with them, giving them assignments, then getting a report. Then He would train them again.

I believe we will see many more disciples who make disciples from our “training programs” and seminars if we stop teaching so much and train more.


Do you tend to be more of a trainer or a teacher? What discipleship training approach have you used?

Take action.

What one change you will make next time you speak, to train rather than only pass on information?

Share this with one other person and ask them to hold you accountable. Let me know in the comments below as well.

This blog was originally posted in Feb 2017.


  1. Bekele

    It true and the perfect method to develop our Discipleship training skills.
    Let us all of us use the method that already has given us to any body.

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