I am happy to send you the enclosed “Outreach Training Program” designed by Vance Genzlinger, a longtime member of the Oar Arbor Society. Vance built this program based on his career in the sales industry and his intense desire to help the people in the church learn how to share the NewChurch with others.
He has done several trial runs of this program and staff in my department helped him with editing. You might like to use the program, or parts of it in your evangelization training. I am hoping you find this a resource to add as one way to help prepare members of the church to gain confidence in the work of evangelization. Please note that Vance would love feed back and questions about the material in the hopes that it will improve with the input. Vance writes the following:
This training program is patterned after the “New Church Journey Programs” that have been given so successfully throughout the Church in recent years. It is like Journey in that it has a similar length and that the intention is for it to run church wide. It is also a program with intense group mode participation and interaction. It is being worked into a format that is similar to Journey. It differs in focus from our own regeneration to our outreach prospects and their concerns. Instead of practicing techniques on how to bring the Lord into our lives, we will be practicing techniques on how to discuss our beliefs with our outreach prospects. Although this training program contains some quotes from the Bible and Writings, it contains more information on how to understand the marketing of ideas, how to understand the backgrounds of the prospects and some understanding of our teachings about the most difficult problems we may encounter that are not usually covered in Journey and our regular doctrinal classes.
One thing that is new in this program is the experience of role playing. It gives our members and friends experience talking to prospects about our teachings by taking the role of member and prospect and trying to respond to the prospect’s concerns. Many sample role playing dialogues are included in the text to show our members how to get started. They are not included with the goal of memorizing specific doctrinal positions. They are included for the same reason examples are included in math and science texts – to stimulate thinking about how to approach and solve different types of problems. They are to show our members how to initiate dialogue, how to focus on the prospect’s questions or concerns, how to create their own answers to prospect’s concerns and to develop true empathy for our prospects and the ideas they have been taught.
It is hoped that at least 50% of each two hour session will be spent with group participants actually creating their own dialogues. This is to be preceded by the participants discussing the text for the week which hopefully they have read before coming to the workshop.
This type of the training is designed to help eliminate the reason most of our members feel inadequate to discuss our beliefs with others.
In order for this training program to be effective, we must first perfect a complete draft of a training manual for the “Outreach Training Program”, and second we must prepare a manual for the small group leaders, and third we must train the trainers who will train the small group leaders, particularly in the art of role playing.
Please contact our Bishop, anyone in the General Church Outreach office and/or this author (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your reaction to this material, suggested improvements, and its value to our Church.