Friday, April 6, 2012

3 Ways To Train STM Teams That Are Scattered

How do you prepare your team when they are coming from all over the country and maybe even the world? Preparation is easy when we can all be in the same room, but how do you do it when your team is made of individuals from many different places? Many groups send a manual and meet up in an airport hoping everyone will feel prepared. This, however, can be frustrating to team members who have never traveled or those who may have unanswered questions and keeps the team from getting to know each other ahead of time.  

Flying everyone to one location for a weekend of training can be a great way to deal with this issue, but it is probably out of your budget. There are other options and ways to prepare your team. Here are some ideas:

  1. Find creative ways to meet virtually. Meet on the phone using a Free Conference Call service. You can even find free video conferencing solutions. I have held weekly team meetings the six weeks prior to a trip using The Next Mile curriculum over the phone. It’s a little different than in person, but we get to know each others’ voices, names, where we are from, and get to pray together.

  1. Schedule a forced layover. Often there is one major hub out of your country to your international destination. Talk to your travel agent about an overnight layover so you can meet and do some training at an airport hotel. Most hotels would have a meeting space you could use for a nominal fee.

  1. Arrive a couple days early. Plan to arrive at your destination a day or two early. Spend the first couple of days orienting your team; training, and adjusting to the new culture. Your in-country costs are usually very minimal so an extra day or two is not a big cost.

Are you wondering what you should cover in your training? If so, check out the post “4 Areas To Train For Life Change.”  

Questions for the author? Contact Tory at or 520-404-0841.


  1. I like your suggestions above. Preparing a team remotely can be challenging, but there are a lot of good tools available now.

    Wycliffe GET Global is currently using a website platform called, where you can create a secure site, post readings and facilitate discussions prior to a trip. We're currently revising this material right now into a 7-week series called Start-Up. I'd be glad to compare notes within anyone else who does online orientation activities.


    Justin Stanford

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