I had to take some time off after the "31 Days of Sunday School" blogapalooza! But I am very excited about the results we are receiving from our One Day Initiative that we are doing in Oklahoma right now, so I am back and ready to start blogging again!
Just to update you quickly about One Day: Our state convention Sunday School office re-engineered the way that we deliver leadership training to Sunday School and small group leaders this year. In the past we have focused on training teams of consultants. We then sent these highly trained professionals to associations to train lay leaders from the churches in each association. We conduct about 25-30 of these association training clinics annually, almost all of them in August/September. Our attendance at these clinics total about 2,500 leaders per year.
My evaluation of our association clinic model revolved around three areas:
- Although 2,500 leaders trained annually may sound like a lot, in the context of about 20,000 leaders in our state, it is barely more than 10%.
- The age demographic attending associational clinics is getting older. Most of the attendees are over 50 years of age. Rarely did we have a leader attend in their 20's or 30's.
- Due to the model, the training topics tend to be rather narrow. For example, if the training theme this year is ministry, but your church leadership needs training in outreach/evangelism… well, you see the problem!
So we deconstructed the training model this year and rebuilt something new… One Day. We redesigned the training and built it off of two key concepts: decentralized and customized. We wanted to put together leadership training that a local church could implement (decentralized). And… we wanted to offer a variety of training topics so that a local church could pick and choose seminars that best fit their situation (customized).
However, we still wanted to focus the training around a common purpose. In Oklahoma, we are encouraging our churches to be missional. Since I believe that the church's small group structure should be the practical implementation of the church's vision, we have adopted the term "missional Sunday School" or "missional small communities". Ed Stetzer graciously allowed us to capture his message about missional small communities on video, and these videos have been made available to our BGCO churches (and yours as well, for a small $10.00 fee).
We also wanted to customize the training for our churches, so we enlisted pastors, education ministers, student ministers, and childhood education leaders from our churches to write the various breakout sessions for us. These leaders developed 26 different conference plans for our churches to use to equip their leadership. These plans were then posted on our BGCO website for our churches to download and use. Our communications team informed me that the One Day webpage received more hits in August than any other page on our convention's website.
Tomorrow I'll bring an up-to-date report and an evaluation of the One Day Initiative, and what we are doing to improve it for 2010.