About a year ago, I posted a blog inspired by Kobe Bryant. Bryant retired as one of the most controversial and talented men to ever play in the NBA. In his final game, Kobe scored 60 points. In his career, he won five championships with the same team. Kobe was a force to be reckoned with on the court, making him the backbone of the LA Lakers for the entirety of his career. Love him or hate him, Kobe demanded attention with his skill alone. But the excellence that Kobe exemplified throughout his career does not happen on accident. Talent and gifts were activated when met with proper training. [bctt tweet="Talent and gifts are activated when met with proper training." username="dukematlock"] Bryant’s talent got him started, but natural gifts alone were not enough to make him an international icon. He has given interviews in which he explains his training methods. He watched hours of game times, spent an incredible amount of energy in the gym, and devoted his life to becoming the best ball player he could be. The training he committed himself to and participated in impacted not only his career, but his life as a whole. Last week, we talked about training our volunteers. As we discussed, we want them to catch the vision, understand protocol, and adopt our ministry values; but I also believe that the training we provide should do more than make them a good volunteer. Our training should cultivate skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Talents and gifts are God-given, but skills can be learned through appropriate training. It is our job as pastors to invest in helping our people develop a strong skillset. [bctt tweet="Talents and gifts are God-given, but skills can be learned through appropriate training." username="dukematlock"] When you are looking for new volunteers, what are the traits you look for? Do you want them to be good problem solvers? Perhaps you would like them to be good listeners; I also believe that a volunteer that can influence the energy in a given room is invaluable to any team environment. Now that you have an idea of the traits you are looking for, do you believe that those traits can be learned and cultivated? I do! Some people may be more inclined to certain behaviors, but we are all capable of learning new skills. All we need is training! Part of what we do at Invest Leadership is consulting and training. I often go into churches and facilitate a Listening Workshop. The workshop, done with a team approach, trains the skills needed to enhance communication, reduce conflict, strengthen relationships, develop leaders, improve leadership effectiveness, and boost productivity. A workshop like this is just one of the many ways you can kickstart an effective training process. As you seek to build your team, let me encourage you to train your people. As you impart your vision and values, cultivate skills that will not only make them excellent volunteers, but also better people. You will experience ministry and teamwork at a higher level when you take the time to invest in your people.    


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