How Summit Church Benefited From Online Training In A Rural Community

Online training isn’t just for churches located in growing cities. Kim Masengale has learned this first hand as the women’s pastor at Summit Church in Indiana, PA, a town of roughly 13,000 people located 60 miles outside of Pittsburgh. Since she and her husband joined the staff at Summit Church, they have experienced exponential attendance growth from around 400 attendees in 2014 to over 1,300 currently.

As the church has grown, there has naturally been a larger need for volunteers to serve across all of their ministry areas. Kim says that every time they attempted to do in-person training, they always had a difficult time getting volunteers together for their meetings. After hearing about TrainedUp on a podcast, she was instantly sold on the idea of trying online training for their church.

As they rolled out online training for the first time, they received a little pushback from volunteers and leaders due to the rural setting they were in. Kim notes, “We’re not in a big city, so people are still a little hesitant to adopt new methods, but, once they saw how easy and user-friendly the training was, our volunteers and leaders really began to embrace TrainedUp.”

Summit Church uses a combination of pre-made videos from TrainedUp mixed in with their own custom training videos. According to Kim, “At first, the staff was a little nervous about getting filmed for the training videos, but once they did it, they were all really thankful that they no longer had to personally teach the training material every month or go through the hassle of trying to find a meeting time that worked for everyone.”

One of the ways that Summit Church was able to make the staff feel more comfortable on video was to implement an interview-style format. Interview-style videos allowed the staff members to more naturally answer questions asked by other staff members rather than a talking head video where one person recites a prepared script. This led to a more natural flow for the videos without the need for dozens of attempts.

Kim and the team at Summit Church have also found that online courses don’t have to stop with volunteer training. In fact, their most popular course is one for water baptism. Similar to their struggle with volunteers, they found themselves facing the same issues getting their church members to attend a meeting. Summit Church decided to create an online course that explained the practical aspects of getting baptized as well as brief teaching on what baptism is.

Why should you try TrainedUp? Here’s what Kim had to say:

“TrainedUp is an incredibly practical tool to help you train your teams. It streamlines your entire volunteer process, and our teams are better trained than they ever have been before. We’re respecting our volunteers time, and all of this has led to our volunteer base growing exponentially. I really cannot recommend TrainedUp enough.

Because of our streamlined training, new volunteers are able to get trained quickly instead of waiting weeks or months for the next meeting. It has also helped our retention. When someone joins a team and they’re not trained adequately, they’re more likely to fall off after serving a few times. Now that our team members are more equipped, they’re more confident in their ability to complete the task at hand and are sticking around longer than before.”

Scott Magdalein

Scott is the founder of ServeHQ and has over a decade of experience as an Executive Pastor, Worship Pastor, and College Pastor. You can chat with him directly using the widget at the bottom of this page.

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