On Sunday evening, August 28, we tried a new way of delivering quality training for Sunday School and small group leaders in Oklahoma. We called it One Day Live. Just so you’ll know up front. It was a success. In fact, it was a tremendous success! We had 259 churches participate and we equipped 7,418 small group leaders at the same time, and that’s with only 1/3 of the churches reporting back so far! To give you something to compare to, prior to moving to One Day, we trained roughly 2,500 Sunday School leaders/year.
I’ll confess to being pretty nervous about it. Although we had made an initial transition into this model in 2009, we had never done it this way before. Especially with as much content and technology involved. Not to mention the involvement of hundreds of people coordinating 259 individual events who were hundreds of miles apart.
We started this process a year ago and just kept adding ideas and stuff into it, kind of like the way my wife makes homemade soup. It seems like every time she walks by the pot as its cooking, she finds something else to throw in it. It sure tastes good when she’s done! We found ourselves doing the same thing with One Day.
Here’s the strategy:
First, instead of asking churches to bring their Sunday School/small group leadership to a central meeting place that is often a long drive from their church; we de-centralized the training so that each church could host its own leadership training. I have found that local church ownership is the key ingredient to this type of training.
Second, we developed resources that just about any small group leader that uses curriculum could teach. We did not focus on technology in the seminars.. we focused on content. We also focused on variety and avoided “one size fits all training”. We have 84 different training seminars that churches can use to customize their Sunday School training.
Third, we recognized that just about everyone enjoys and benefits from inspiration and encouragement. So for a general session, we livestreamed Johnny Hunt from FBC-Woodstock for the general session. Johnny did a great job and the One Day Live Simulcast became a unifier for the event. Many churches informed us that they liked knowing that they were joining thousands of other leaders participating in One Day at the same time.
One Day Training Resources
I’ll just itemize this so it doesn’t become too burdensome to sort through.
- Orientation guide – to help the local church plan and coordinate with the larger simulcast
- Resource CD with 84 training seminars (age-graded, preschool thru adult)
- Pastor’s Panel (a 90 minute discussion with Johnny Hunt, Dick Lincoln, Hance Dilbeck, Lawrence Phipps and myself). For easier viewing it is divided into 12 video segments
- Booklet Sunday School Leader PocketGuide: 5 C’s of Missional Groups
- A companion powerpoint presentation to the booklet (video segments with discussion questions)
- Promotion poster
- Five posters illustrating each of the 5 C’s of a Missional Group
Also included is a DVD 6-pack with the following disks:
- Johnny Hunt’s pre-recorded video message for One Day (in case the internet isn’t working or you need to fudge the start time a little)
- Ed Stetzer video – Missional Small Communities
- Ed Stetzer video – Missional Leadership; Lost and Found Young Adult Research
- JD Greear video – Small Groups: The Gospel on Display
- Pastor’s Panel with Johnny Hunt, Dick Lincoln, Hance Dilbeck, Lawrence Phipps and myself
- One Day Resources CD – with 84 training seminars
We have received some valuable input and we are weaving these ideas into next year’s One Day Live event, which will be on August 26.