What is Just In Time Training?

“Just in Time Training” was an unfamiliar concept for me. Why are they not applying what I taught them?  We taught how to create a set of stories for discipleship in the Orientation Program, but they are just preaching. They seem to have completely forgotten everything they learned in the training!  Argghh!!

Have you ever felt frustrated that you invest a lot in training people only to see little field application happen?

I sure was!  Then I put into practice what is called Just in Time TrainingJust in Time Training (sometimes called Micro-Learning) is when you give people only what they need to use immediately. You train in small learning segments.

You start with where they are and train them step by step.

  • Do they already have five 1st generation groups?  What do they need to see those multiply?
  • Can they share the gospel effectively? Maybe they need help with choosing a gospel story?
  • Are they just beginning to learn the language?

This style of training is in contrast to giving them in one long training for everything they will face over many years as they work to start a DMM. 

I first caught a vision for disciple making among unreached people when I was on a missions trip in college.  I then went through a 4-year program to learn how to do church planting.  It was excellent.  I had great teachers and had excellent material that was “cutting edge” for its time.

The problem was that by the time I finally was doing what I’d been taught, most of what I’d learned was several years old and had gotten pretty fuzzy in my memory.  I’d try to find old notes and quickly gave up. Like most people, I went back to what I knew from experience and memory.  This is what happens for most people.  Without “Just In Time Training”, traditional Christians generally go back to traditional approaches- even after being trained in DMM principles!

This has to change if we want to see Supernatural Increase and Greater Fruit that leads to the release of many new movements of Jesus followers.

just in time

A Few Key Principles For Just In Time Training In Disciple Making Movements

1. Only train them in what they can immediately go and do.

Immediately means within the next two weeks.   The longer the time gap between what you train them to do and when they go and do it, the less likely they will ever apply what you taught them.  

2. Less is better if it is put into action.

Avoid overtraining.  This is a big temptation for most of us as trainers!  We have so much we want to share with them that could help!  Force yourself to train on less topics and skills but practice more.  If they leave with confidence and competence, they are much more likely to try it in their home context.

3. Follow-up train.

Running only one training creates excitement.  A series of trainings with clear action steps and coaching in between creates much more fruit!  If you run a series of trainings, you will see growth in both disciple making skills like evangelism, storytelling, training leaders step by step.  Never plan to run just one training.  Plan for Follow Up Training from the beginning!

4. Filter and re-invite those serious about putting it into action now.

People are interested to learn new things.  We attend trainings for many different reasons.  Be understanding of this, but only invest further in those who have time and a commitment to apply what they are learning. Make your second training “by invitation only” and with a criterion that has to be met in order to attend.  For example, require them to have met a coach at least 3 times after the initial training in order to qualify for the next one.

5. Keep the big picture of a DMM constantly in front of people.

I’ve seen with “Just in Time Training” that there are so many small steps, people lose sight of the goal.  They can start to think the training is just about a) how to share the gospel, or b) how to tell Bible stories, or c) how to learn the language.

Find ways in the training time to regularly restate the overarching DMM goal.  Help them see where they are at in the pathway toward that, even if they are just taking the first few steps.   You can remind them of this big picture vision in many creative ways like prayer times, videos, testimonies of movements, etc.

“Just in Time Training” is a huge key to seeing more disciples making disciples!

How will you change the way you are training disciples making it more “bite-sized”?

How will you apply the key principles above the next time you plan a training?

Leave me a message in the comments!  I’d love to know!









  1. Glenn

    Thank you for this.
    I have been sharing the big vision and will continue that. But this helps me put the vision alongside the smaller steps.

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