Questions about ITA:
1. What makes this training different from others? After all, isn’t our world filled with institutions, schools, and universities offering leadership training?
First, one distinction of ITA training is the amount of time that the participant is doing something during the training. There is emphasis on actively participating or practicing, rather than on passively listening to lectures. The course builds on the principle that “people do not remember as much of what they hear as what they do.”
Second, the objective is to develop skills rather than only gaining knowledge. After they have heard it explained and modeled, participants practice a new skill.
Third, instructors introduce new material, they encourage participants to discover it for themselves. Facilitators and participants share their combined knowledge and experiences in an interactive climate.
Fourth, the workshop follows a carefully planned and formatted structure. Trainers help participants recognize their self-worth and gifting in God’s eyes, as well as an understanding of God’s concern for leaders who are loving and caring for others.
Fifth, after covering the leader’s self-worth and identity in Christ, the focus turns toward practical and personal issues of ministry and business that they, as leaders, need to address.
2. What sort of people benefit from attending this training? Are there people who have not benefited at all?
Some people benefit more than others. This happens in all courses. Those who take the time and effort to apply what they have learned have benefitted the most. Some of these people are in key leadership roles in business and churches now, while others have used what they learned to help in their partnership development with churches and friends. Like every training, it is absolutely crucial that participants come with an attitude of willingness and eagerness to learn. Willingness to learn is one of the most important characteristics of a leader.
3. What organisations form a part of the ITA partnership, making these courses possible?
ITA is a growing network, which started with Wycliffe Bible Translators, Operation Mobilisation, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Free Will Baptists, Tentmakers and Caleb. See the full list here.
4. Why are leaders so enthusiastic about this training?
Marc Kretzschmar (OM ICT) says: “I’m motivated to see this training given because of its focus on developing skills and building character through changed attitudes. I’ve seen the resulting benefits in my life and in many of the others who have attended this course. This has been specifically in the areas of public speaking, building relationships and life direction.”
Joop Strietman (OM Netherlands) says: “While doing the course in 1995, l realized how little input of this kind I had received from experienced leaders when I was asked to pioneer the work of OM in Holland twenty years earlier. I then had this dream in 1995 to have this sort of practical, down to earth, skill developing training available for upcoming and existing leaders within OM.”
John King (Wycliffe Canada) says: “I have been really blessed to put this kind of practical, Scripture-based training to personal use and to also share it with hundreds of leaders who confess that they have never received anything like it in any of their seminary or university studies.”
5. How many courses have been given and how many more is ITA planning for the future?
Since 1995 ITA has completed over 85 courses for over 2,500 participants. Our goal is to continue to provide six or more courses per year with hopes of increasing that number as ITA expands. We have also offered courses in French and Spanish, and are looking to move into other languages as well — which will also add to the number of courses offered.
6. Who pays for ITA courses?
This is a great question. Mainly, because in the commercial world training of this quality is extremely expensive. The answer is complex, because paying for the courses is a joint effort between many people–participants, trainers, and supporters. We keep the cost down as much as possible by doing the following:
- None of the trainers involved in the course receive a salary or honorarium from ITA. They do this as a part of their ministry (and see it as an important aspect of it) to grow themselves and to develop more effective leadership in God’s work. So, in that sense it is their supporters who are paying for their important input into the training.
- We look for quality facilities for the best price, often with Christian organisations. In all cases we look for accommodations and catered meals, so that extra energy is not spent on non-course essentials. This is the greatest cost of residential training.
- Some of the partner organisations have scholarships available for their members to help pay this cost for their leaders; please check with your organisation for possible subsidies.
- Some organisations who are recipients of the training are helping financially, especially to help cover the travel expenses for the trainers. This help is essential!
- There are a few donations from businesses and individuals to help pay administrative costs and therefore to make the training possible.
- The participants themselves cover the remaining cost for the workshops. For those who can afford it, they pay the full price of the course fee. We look for help to make this charge less for those who otherwise could not participate. Included is the complete course training, participants manual, local course related transport, full accommodations, meals, breaks and many other extras. Each location differs in cost, which accounts for the different prices around the world.
Questions about LMC:
1. What subject areas do you cover in the Leadership Matters Course (LMC)?
The eight main subject areas covered in the Leadership Matters Course are:
- Relationship Building Skills
- Communication Skills (Story-Telling)
- Public Relations Skills
- Management Skills
- Leadership Training Skills
- Motivational Skills
- Creative Thinking and Decision-Making Skills
- Life Management Plan
2. Does this course deal only with horizontal relational issues? Does it also deal with issues such as commitment to God and holiness of life?
The answer is that the course deals with both horizontal and vertical relationships. We seek BALANCE. Spiritual development is a balance between our relationship with God and the out working of that relationship with those around us. These two areas of growth are not in conflict with each other. The Church, for example, does not consist of prayer and Bible studies alone. To function effectively, it needs men and women who can express themselves through practical skills of service. As someone said: “We should work as if it all depends upon our efforts. At the same time we should pray as if it all depends upon God alone.” We need a practical balance.
ITA trainers are all experienced men and women of God, committed disciples of Jesus Christ. Some have been in the Lord’s work for several decades. At the same time, participants in the course share stories from their own lives and experiences. In this way both trainers and participants share powerful and enriching testimonies of God’s work that significantly enrich the course. We also pray, sing together and dig into the God’s Word to find principles that will help us be more effective in our lives and ministries. In the leadership sessions we delve into issues that relate to our relationship with God, our need for a vision of God and the work at hand, the need for God’s anointing and the need for displaying a godly character in our lives. Included in the course is an extended period when everyone spends time alone with God. Each participant reflects, thinks and prays about their ministry, vision and future.
3. What has been the feedback from participants in the past?
P.V. Kurian, one of the OM leaders in India put it this way. “You will be able to broaden your thinking and have a different perspective on life as a whole.”
Another commented: “This course is absolutely essential for anyone wanting to excel in the area of communication, management and godly character.”
Hans Strom from Sweden said, “If you want to take a course that will be a highlight in your life, to build you up … go to this one.”
From the MV Doulos someone said, “For the first time l feel prepared for what I know l will have to do.”
Dr. Robert Bryan, a Free Will Baptist missionary in France said, “I don’t remember ever having had two weeks of more intensive training, and I don’t believe I’ve ever had two weeks of training that excited me more.”
Read more participant feedback HERE.
4. Who are the trainers in the Leadership Matters Course and what are the qualifications to become an ITA trainer?
First of all, the trainers have extensive personal experience in the subject areas in which they do the training. They must also have completed the training themselves. Then they must participate at least once or twice as an assistant, learn and embrace the unique philosophy of ITA’s training.
Some of the trainers are people like Dr. David Cummings, who has been a translator, a National Director in Australia and the International President of Wycliffe. Others are people like Joop Strietman, who has been responsible for OM in Holland for 20 years. Peter Nicoll was a leader in South Africa, Director on the ship Logos II and then Director of OM in the UK. Marc Kretzschmar has served with OM for over 30 years in ministries in Eastern Europe, and in the leadership of OM in the USA and UK. Dr. Jeff Turnbough and his wife Susana were church planters for 30 years, and was later in leadership positions in their mission organisation. All of them have a wealth of experience in the subject areas covered in the workshop.
5. What does it take, time-wise, to participate in a Leadership Matters Course?
The course is very intensive! Participants devote two weeks (12 days), including evenings and weekends of uninterrupted and undivided attention. Following the course, it is also ideal to set aside some extra days to think through the experience, the material and apply these to one’s particular life and ministry. The two weeks of the workshop are very intensive, but at the same time enjoyable because of the highly interactive nature of the training.
If you have more questions about ITA or LMC, feel free to contact us!