Troy Cooper unpacks what happened when he took the 3Touches of training to Tulsa:
Each touch of training has two components: one is the event and the second is the weekly rollout. We really believe it’s the week-to-week rollout of the training that really gets to movement, but the event training becomes an on-ramp for people and an opportunity to help raise up trainers.
We went in to Tulsa in September-October, and it was just a soft touch of training with the pastors and elders and a few key people in the church. I did just a basic, Level 1: how to share the gospel, and we took them out in the harvest. Then came back and debriefed. It was actually just supposed to be a vision meeting; it wasn’t supposed to be a training, but they took what I gave them and they began to roll it out.
They started going through the Commands of Christ on Wednesday nights, they started taking a training team out in the harvest on Thursday nights, and next thing you know you’re seeing out of this church led by pastors and elders, people come to Christ and stories start bubbling out within the community. So we were scheduled for January, April and July—three touches—but the January training was now a second touch because we’ve already got people on the ground that can train.
So we show up in January and I meet with their fruitful trainers on the ground the night before, and we run through the training and practice and we get up there and their people did 80% of the training. On the Assist part, they got it! The challenge was that because this was coming from pastors and elders in the community, we had seven churches there, with seven lead pastors! We had over 250 people at this massive training, getting trained, going out in the harvest...this is awesome, but the challenge is, if this thing continues to blow up, how many people are comfortable training in front of 250 people? It can seem like it’s just one church that’s doing this, so that’s why I just dropped the idea hey what if we rolled this out at multiple campuses next time? That’s where you’ve gotta bring other catalysts from the outside to help out.
So second touch of training, we did the event and then they did the 4-6 week rollout of the Commands of Christ afterwards. We just went back for the third touch and just watched them at two campuses, and now they’ve got a solid training team on several campuses, and now those teams are helping train other churches in the city.
At Cedar Ridge Church in Sapulpua it was their third touch of training. They had six trainers and 100% of the trainers had come to faith within the last year. They were the ones leading the training, 100%. Daniel Reese was just there to watch them and give them feedback. So these newer believers are training other believers how to make disciples, and what gave them such credibility to do it is, for the last 4-6 months they’ve been out in the harvest every week, engaging lostness, sharing the gospel, discipling the fruit and starting groups in homes, and they’re already seeing third generation disciples.
At this training one of the trainer’s second-generation disciple was there and that person baptized a third-generation disciple at the training.
Our whole goal is to come in to help get it started, then we remove ourselves and just continue on in a coaching and mentoring relationship, so that it’s the local leaders and teams that are the ones rolling this out. So most people in that city don’t even know who we are. They know NoPlaceLeft—that’s the banner they’re flying under—and they know there’s a number of pastors and churches in the area that are doing this.