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Taking ADDIE to the Church the Business Side

#becomeanidol #careerchange #elearning #idolacademy #idolcommunity #instructionaldesigner May 20, 2022

“Wait, Churches use Instructional Design? But how?”

I remember when I 1st begin to volunteer with the church, I walked in thinking the office staff would be at their desk with Bibles open talking theology and praying for people when they called.  I remember thinking the pastor and board members would be in a room voting on new leadership and responsibilities.  Boy was I wrong! So here is a little breakdown of how the local church uses the ADDIE process to accomplish its “business” goals?


In my 1st week, the staff was meeting about the 1st community job fair the church was hosting.  Because of the magnitude of the project, it was important to have all our ducks in a row, from the participants to the employees, to the volunteers…everyone needed to know what their responsibilities were. So in a planning room, with a whiteboard of information about who is in the community (leaner analysis), and the goal of the event as it pertains to the needs of the community and the impact the church wanted to make (needs analysis), the staff members discussed multiple ways to get the information out to each group and different medians to use. Vanderbloemen has a downable form for church community needs assessment.

Linda said, “Why don’t we do a flyer?” Pat, “A flyer? For who? What will it say?” We can’t have too much information on it or people won’t read it and it will be confusing?”---Sounds like an instructional aid

 “For the volunteers, we could have a meeting/(ILT)” “During the meeting we could take them through the process by showing them a video of us actually doing the work,”  Ben added (instructional video).

Melissa said, “But what about the participants/job seekers?” “They will come from various places with varying abilities?” How will we reach them and give them the information?”  “What if we wrote a script to be read at the radio station that includes all the details and we used that same voice-over on our website when the participant registers? This will explain how they can receive resume, financial, and utility support at the job fair.”

Pat exclaimed “Our employers all have their own idea of the outcome of a successful job fair because they have been to so many. So we have to give them the information on the expectations from them.  The challenge is how? They are all in different areas with different schedules and there is no way to get them in one place at the same time.

Pat helped out with this response, “Why don't we try creating training with Microsoft PPT with a multiple-choice assessment to check their knowledge, upload it into the dropbox and email the zip file to them? That way they can access it when they have time and watch it as many times as they need to.” ---eLearning (as a team of one)


In one planning meeting, Instructional Design was taking place right before my eyes.  The team left the room and begin to get to work on their assigned portion.  They storyboarded PowerPoint presentations, and flyers, and got to work on the script for the radio advertisement and the instructional video.  As time proceeded they would gather again and review what was published, and make adjustments according to the feedback given.


It was almost time to publish some of the deliverables. Pat uploaded the final PPT to dropbox and create a link to the information, so when an employer registered the file would automatically be emailed to them. Linda printed tons and tons of flyers to be distributed throughout the community with the who, what, when, where, and even how to dress for success. Ben and Melissa submitted the voice-over for the radio broadcast, scheduled the instructional video for publication on the YouTube/Vimeo channel for the volunteers, and uploaded the script to the registration page for the participants. Pat supported the team with ideas on how to make the deliverable better and be the difference the community needs.


All deliverables were ready and now it was time to begin the training.  The ILT was held at the church where volunteers participated in a scenario-based training assessment.  Flyers were hand-delivered to the community to be available for questions. The radio broadcast started and so did the registration for employees and participants.

The day before the job fair volunteers arrived on time to set up and did a mini walk-through to assure accuracy and came back the next morning ready to serve. The employers showed up, and set their displays up, with no confusion due to the effectiveness of our preplanning and training.  When the community showed up (dressed for success), the volunteers directed them to their areas of interest and gave them a layout of the employers and the educational support stations.


As the job seekers begin to leave we gave them a feedback form that covered the entire process from their perspective.  It asked about their experience and how we can improve. A very similar feedback form was given to our employees as well.  For the volunteers, we gathered them in a room and held an open conversation about their experiences, challenges, and successes.  We retained this information for the next job fair, revised some of the pieces of training according to the feedback and it was twice as successful the next year and in the years following.


One of the biggest misconceptions, is the church only talks about theology but no one thinks about the business side of the church unless it's a conversation about money. The church plays a very vital role in its relationship with the community it serves and it’s important that they make a positive effect in the space given. Churches also measure KPIs but not in the way corporate does. Check out this article to see how.

Did you know churches have training, participants, and goals?  Did you know churches also have lower budgets than corporate America?  Did you know that the mission of all churches is to impact and change the community/world? The church is responsible for educating and equipping the community to be successful. And for this reason, multiple layers and accessibility of training are needed. 

As a result, my passion for instructional design grew even more during this time.


Written by: Lela Scott

Lela joined IDOL courses Academy in January 2022 after almost 8 years of filling in the gaps for the local non-profit as a volunteer to administrative assistant, graphic content developer, social media marketer and analyst, and instructional Designer. She found her joy in Learning and Development when her son was diagnosed with autism over 13 years ago. She would love to connect with you on LinkedIn.