Throughout the spring and summer, it’s been a question mark of whether or not One Challenge’s training program for new mission workers, CORE, would happen. OC desires to continue ministry while respecting governmental guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the uncertainty of health restrictions, and in order for OC’s new mission workers to receive their full training, creativity became vital to the success of the training program.
In a typical OC three-week CORE training, a lot of information is packed into the time together. With access to online tools, Etta, director of OC Pre-Field, made the decision to start a weekly online gathering of appointees beginning in April. This allowed for some of the training information to be given to workers ahead of the in-person time in August.
“The idea of online training had been kicked around before the pandemic, but now we had the necessity of trying it out,” Etta says.
The 20 appointees meet together once a week via Zoom. Each week, different presenters address a different topic. “I have been very proud of my colleagues as I see them work hard to adjust their presentation to this virtual environment, and it has allowed some presenters to participate from far away,” Etta says.
The time, so far, has been enriching for the participants and there’s been a lot of positive feedback. “They are like-minded and like-hearted people, and in the similar situation of support raising and trying to get to the field with the ‘tiny’ circumstance of a pandemic going on,” Etta says. “The bonding, and connections forming, are a great thing for them right now.”
Benefits of Online Learning
With the virtual shift, there is the ability to complete tasks at manageable pace, rather than an overload of information within one month.
“Instead of drinking from a firehose, participants can consider one topic at a time, with a week to chew on and consider what they learned,” Etta says. “Also, the participants are requested to complete some homework before each session—either a course on the OC Learning Center, or a book to read. Then they get to interact with the teacher or facilitator, as well as others in the group (virtually) to process the content, build on it, and apply it.”
An additional benefit of the cohort is the participants will know each other well by the time they are together face-to-face. Taking away the “get-to-know-you” stage of a first meeting, will allow for deeper and meaningful connections during the in-person training.
Learning and Adapting
Etta is learning a lot as well. This training is her first as director of Pre-Field and she is growing and adapting with the program.
“I’ve certainly learned some skills in the virtual environment, but beyond that, I am seeing that some topics might work best virtually, and others might work better in person,” she says. “Instead of being all or nothing, I think we may look at the topics and resources, and decide what format works best for individual topics in the future.”
OC is praying that an in-person training can happen, trusting God is in control. Regardless, we’re thankful of the time spent together online, helping workers be prepared and effective in the areas of ministry.
Member Care One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. One Challenge wants to encourage a high level of care for global workers, providing the opportunity for them to thrive in their countries of service, bringing the best of who they are to the kingdom growth effort. We pursue genuine relationships and accountability in family, friendship, team, ministry, and local communities of faith.