During the last few weeks, I have been thinking again about our vision for SEND U. I have been in this role on a full-time basis for a year, and I want to once more clarify where we are going, and what we are trying to accomplish. Will SEND U be primarily a provider of training resources to those who happen to be interested or can we expect that pursuing some relevant training each year will become part of each missionary's assignment? The SEND U Leadership Team has been working for many months to compile a training curriculum for team leaders and the current online course is part of that curriculum. Will the curriculum be optional for team leaders, or can we expect each team leader to complete a couple of items on that curriculum each year?
As I have thought about these questions, I decided to imagine that SEND International was a college campus. Where on that campus would SEND U be located? What function would it be filling? Starbucks? the library? the classroom? the gym? Could you visit this page on the SEND U wiki to read about a few different options for how SEND U could function in our organization? Then take two minutes to complete the short (only 6 questions) survey at the bottom of that page. It is anonymous, and will be very helpful in our future discussions and the development of SEND U to meet your training and coaching needs. Thanks for visiting this page and filling out the survey - http://sendu.wikispaces.com/ SEND+U+analogy
We are now in our third week of the online course for SEND team leaders. This week we are working on our job descriptions, after having discussed the essential tasks of a leader and the SEND Team Leader Profile in the previous two weeks. I have been delighted to see team leaders from many different SEND areas interact with one another in the class forums, encouraging one another, asking questions, and sharing principles they have learned about leadership. We have participants from 8 different areas of SEND, and a wide range of leadership experiences in many different countries and contexts, so we have a lot of stories to tell. The course is asynchronous, which means that there is never a time when everyone is online at the same time. But as long as participants regularly login several times during the week, real good discussions can happen. Each participant posts his comments in an open forum which all participants can read and respond to.
For me as facilitator, it has been a very positive experience thus far, and convinces me that online training across multiple time zones is not only possible and inexpensive, but can provide a quality learning experience as well. Lisa Engelsman is very interested in incorporating some online training into the Member Orientation Program in the future, and she is currently taking a training module from EFCA EQUIP to give her some orientation to how this type of training works.
A few weeks ago, Dick Walton and I joined the SEND NCE church planters and their Polish co-workers for a SEND-sponsored church planting workshop. The workshop was short (only 24 hours long), but packed with great ideas and opportunities to make connections with other church planters. I was particularly impressed with the quality of the instruction by the Polish church planter from the Bible League. After the workshop, Ted Szymczak and Dick Walton spent several days, visiting each Baptist church plant in that region of Poland to give counsel and answer questions for each CP team. My presentation was on church planting phases, and you can find the materials that SEND NCE have developed on this topic, as well as my PowerPoint presentation on the church planting page on the SEND U wiki.
missionary with SEND International
based in Kiev, Ukraine
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