Last year I toured the state of Oklahoma and met with Directors of Mission, pastors, staff members, and a whole lot of lay people (almost 1,000 people total). Everywhere I went; from Altus to Vinita; and from Guymon to Talihina; people shared their passion and enthusiasm for Sunday School, as well as their frustrations. During these listening sessions and meetings, a constant theme addressed was the need for equipping and training Sunday School and Small Group leaders. As we developed our ReConnect Sunday School initiative, this issue became one of the primary drivers of our ReConnect task force. Our Sunday School and group leaders need and desire good quality training, but the training needs to be delivered in a 21st century format.
Next week on Monday, October 14 we (the BGCO) are launching a brand new website totally dedicated to the training of Sunday School and Small Group leaders. When it officially launches next week, we will have on-demand training available for the following groups:
- Young Adults
- Sunday School Directors
- Ministers of Education
- Small Group Leaders
How it works
Every person that registers completes a registration process that sets up their user profile. Although you don’t have to register to view the online seminars, the only way you can receive certification and credit for watching a video is to register.
The first step that we ask of everyone is to take the 5 video basic certification seminar. This is the bedrock seminar for the entire site and informs each user of the fundamental principles of ReConnect Sunday School. Basically, we believe that every group leader needs to understand the basics of Sunday School and ReConnect’s four primary connectors before moving on to more specific training in other areas.
Once a person has completed their basic certification, they are ready to start earning badges. Most badges can be earned by watching between 4 and 6 videos (depending on the badge), and then participating in any online discussion associated with those videos. We are starting next week with 14 badges, and have 17 badges that we will release in 2014. Badges are available in a variety of topics and age-groups. When a person completes the requirements for a badge, it will be added to their personal profile and their church will be contacted about their achievement.
Future badges will include topics like: Sunday School evangelism, discipleship, men’s Rewired, Arthur Flake is My Homeboy, and much much more!!
The ReConnect training website also works on your smart phone. You can go to the website and watch a course or two while waiting in the doctor’s office, sitting in traffic, or even during the church’s morning worship service (latter is NOT recommended!).
Thanks to the faithful contributions of Oklahoma Baptist churches to the Cooperative Program, we are able to provide this training site to Sunday School leaders free of charge.
Be watching the blog this week as we roll out more about the new online training site for Sunday School and Small Group leaders. We’ll also reveal the website location later this week so that you can get a sneak peek before the official launch next Monday, October 14.