Sherwood Lingenfelter's reflections on non-formal leadership training as pioneered by Paul Gupta and the Hindustan Bible Institute: 1. Non formal training vastly expands the potential recruits. Some of the most successful church planters won’t make it into or through formal training.
2. Practical engagement quickly sifts out those who are not wired for, or committed to, the ministry. In formal education many persist who can do the academic work, but then fail in ministry.
3. Experiential (on-site) learning has powerful results for adult learners. The addition of the on-site training had a multiplication effect on the number of churches planted.
4. Evaluation and correction with reference to goal increases positive learning outcomes. Because the HBI team had a clear idea of the kinds of leaders needed, they were able to adjust the training to achieve the goal.
5. The variable pace and repetition of learning serves the diversity of trainees, so that most succeed. Part of the genius of the repetitive series of trainings lies in their flexibility for the learner. Each phase of the training takes a student deeper than the previous one, yet the exact depth varies with each student. Individuals who progress rapidly become coaches for those following at a slower rate.
6. On-site mentoring advances student learning. Mentors play an important role in all the training components. Trainer mentors and peer mentors assist trainees in the development of spiritual disciplines, character, and skill for ministry. The on-site mentoring for church planting seemed to have the most powerful impact on student learning.
7. Empowerment of trainees to train others serves to multiply leaders and followers. The practice of teaching trainees to teach their new converts and teaching new converts to teach their families had a profound multiplication effect when it was implemented well.