Chris Singh has been an Institute members since its formation and has been a key member of the Training of Trainers team.
How did you first get into training?
In 1988 I was a broadcaster with Feba Radio in The Seychelles. My term was coming to an end, so I asked the Lord what is there for me now after working as a producer and News Journalist for 14 years. I heard the Lord speak to me from 2 Timothy 2:2 asking me to train others the things that the Lord taught me over these years. He also opened a door for me as a trainer with Radio Worldwide and in 1989 I moved to the UK and got into full time training role.
Why did you feel this was the career for you?
The quality of Christian radio was very poor and it lacked creativity and skill. So whenever I prayer about it, I heard God say to me ‘What are you going to do about it’. I realised in my first year of being in training role that the Lord was giving me a new gift of teaching others. So I said yes to the Lord and it became a career for me. I have never regretted my decision.
Where has training as a career taken you so far?
I started as a trainer in a small team in Bexhill-on-Sea in the UK, running a course for overseas students coming to the UK. In 90s it became more difficult for people to travel to the UK for short courses. So I started travelling to different countries to train people where they were. My first overseas training was in Nigeria in early 1993. It opened a flood gate and I started travelling to train people. It has taken me to over 80 countries so far in Africa, Asia, Americas, Australia, Middle East. Not been to Antarctica !
What is your current role?
I am the head of training with Radio Worldwide, a ministry of WEC International.
Can you describe a typical day for you at the moment?
Since the lock-down in March, I have not been able to travel overseas for training, but my days have been very full. I prepare a 150 second (2min 30 second) ‘Thought for the Day’ in Hindi for Indian listeners. This is broadcast on a number of radio stations and also sent daily to over 4000 phones on WhatsApp. I also upload on YouTube, Pintrest, Facebook and Instagram. So I write these thoughts, record them in the studio, edit and produce these with music. On the training front I have run a couple of courses on Zoom, online and preparing for these takes time. Also the administration and keeping in touch with other partners and former students. It all takes time and fills my day. I still wish there were more hours in a day!
What's the strangest request or experience you've had from or with a student?
There is an ongoing request for funding, as some of the people in Africa and Asia think that as I live in the UK, I must be very rich and can send them money. I have also had request for students to sponsor them for their studies in the UK or in a Western country.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
I have run courses single handed in a number of countries. So during the day I am busy with teaching, but in the evenings and weekends I am very lonely and almost in lock-down, as very rarely my hosts think of my social needs. As I do not have a transport and mostly the training centres are away from city centre, I get stuck in my room at a guest house. I rarely stay in a hotel, so there are no activities and most of the time I am the only one at the guest house and that is quite challenging for me.
What characteristics do you feel make a good trainer?
I would say building relationships with students with honesty. A good trainer has a lot of knowledge, but should always be willing to accept if there are things he does not know, but assure the learners that you will find out. Do research and keep your word. Train with examples from your personal experience and not just the head knowledge. Keep connected with your learners, even after the learning events.
What one piece of advice would you give to your younger-self
Not to be afraid of learning yourself and keep up with times. An up-to-date trainer will face new challenges with wisdom and skills. Learn to say no to some situations and not be pressured into doing things which you may regret later.