Church Governance Programme
Over the past 2 years we have been partnering with a ministry called Commission2Go. Last year when we hosted the hackathon, they created an online tool to help connect people with specific skills to find jobs in their area.
The guy that we worked with at Commission2Go, Andy, invited me to conduct a training session on online discipleship to pastors based in Secunda. I arrived there on 11 September both excited and nervous. Excited because it has been a while since I conducted an in-person training. And nervous because the people I was training were seasoned ministers of the gospel.
When I arrived, I had the privilege of sitting in on the session before mine. They were teaching about church infrastructure, the different forms that exist, the pros and cons of each, and it was amazing to see these young men building into churches, to help the church grow.
During my session, I focused a lot on strategy. I used the Stepping Stones strategy that we got from Jesus.net in the Netherlands (see picture below). This strategy makes it easy to see that there isn’t just one formula to reach the world for Christ. The message stays the same, but the method of bringing it across will differ from place to place.
Here are a few questions that I challenged them with.
- Do the people in your area use Smartphones?
- If yes, what is their preferred app of communication
- What is their preferred form of communication? Text, voice notes, videos?
Just figuring this out will help to improve communication, but the reality is that there is also a generational preference. How you communicate to the teenagers and students will differ from the working group and even to the elders in the community.
Knowing all this and getting people of the right mindset to help is key. But I also challenged them on what they communicate. It doesn’t help if you use the right tools, but what you say offends them. I gave them a taste of the first online training course I usually present – Introduction to E-coaching. Giving them examples to respond to and giving feedback on some of those answers helped them understand how the person might react to their messages. It’s interactive and real.
Even though I came to train people, I am asking myself what is my take-away from this event.
All of our churches need help to think about how we do ministry in these Covid times. We as believers have skills and we need to come alongside the church and help improve how effectively we reach our area for Jesus. It all starts with a question. God, how can I make a difference for You in my area?