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Regional Transformation Workshops: A Role for Regional Ministries

Click here to download this whitepaper as a PDF file.

Many long-established churches within regional ministries and middle judicatories are in decline and need of systemic transformation and deep change. The need presents a unique challenge for regional ministries because the effects of churches in need of transformation aggregate at the regional level; needs accumulate and the necessity for congregational transformation compound.

Nobody disputes the notion that broad-scale transformation is needed in many churches. Churches themselves may recognize this fact but are at a loss about how to begin transformation; they may need assistance to begin and sustain systemic transformation and deep change. Without leadership, the inertia for beginning transformation is tough to overcome; typically, there are forces that keep many churches on the same path doing the same things over and over without improved outcomes until transformation becomes difficult.

While regional ministries can play important roles in congregational transformation by providing leadership and access to resources for their churches, regional ministries often lack adequate budgets and staff time to provide efforts of sufficient scope or scale to establish and sustain transformation within the churches of their region. Using traditional congregational transformation approaches, there just aren't enough regional resources available unless bold new methods are employed.

A New Approach

TransformingTheChurch.org has built a new and efficient system for both beginning and sustaining congregational transformation. Our approach can be used by regional ministries in powerful and meaningful ways but, at the same time, be fully employed even with limited regional resources. This entirely new way of helping churches not only can help beginning the congregational transformation process but also continue with sustained efforts over the long term. When using our new approach, regional ministries can meet the urgency needed to begin transformation quickly, as well as continue sustain transformation efforts to produce the best possible outcomes.

We have several specific configurations to support groups using our courses. Click here for details.

TransformingTheChurch.org's unique approach combines the power of state-of-the-art networking and online learning technologies with high-quality educational courseware content provided by true subject-matter experts and closely-coupled access to consultants, coaches and mentors known for the use of best practices for transformation. The results are powerful online educational and virtual interactive meeting environments that can be made ubiquitously available to all, clergy and laity alike.

Ideal Economics

TransformingTheChurch.org's approach brings economies of scale to bear for providing efficient access to the best experts in the field; people known to use best practice and have excellent reputations and proven track records. When using our approach, in the same time normally required for training only a handful of people for transformation, our approach can do even better training for hundreds or thousands of people. While maintaining the full quality and interactions with these experts, the costs are spread over a large number of people, greatly reducing the cost per participant.

Also, using our new approach, the otherwise hidden costs of conducting physical meetings are eliminated. Traditional physical meetings require venue costs (facility, staff, energy, set-up and clean-up costs.) Far more important, the vast majority of the hidden costs are the time and cost required for each participant to travel to meetings. The travel-related time and costs often limit participation by people who just can't fit physical meeting into their schedules or can't afford the travel costs.

TransformingTheChurch.org's advanced technology eliminates these hidden costs while maintaining and even enhancing participants' access to and interaction with our instructors and other class members.

Also, eliminating travel not only eliminates the fiscal costs of travel, our approach greatly reduces the carbon footprint of people meeting on a frequent schedule. Even if only traveling across town is required, we eliminate the gasoline required to drive each car involved and the fuel to heat or cool the meeting venue and operate the building. For region-wide or county-wide travel, the carbon savings are even greater!

TransformingTheChurch.org provides a very green approach!

Since transformation efforts require not just single meetings but series of meetings over time, the reduction of both costs and carbon are significant when using the TransformingTheChurch.com approach.

Ideal for Building Critical Mass Supporting Transformation

With many of the costs associated with the traditional delivery of education and consulting either entirely removed or at least greatly reduced, coupled with the economy of scale inherent with these technologies, the costs for participating in on-going systemic transformation are reduced to the point that anyone in any church can participate. For the first time, rather than only one or two people from each congregation benefiting, entire teams of people from the same church (even from small churches) can benefit from the direct exposure to the transformation training and first-hand participation with the best experts in the field. All church leaders, both clergy and laity, can afford to go through the process together as a team.

Broader participation in training and direct participation and interaction with transformation experts foster critical masses developing in congregations; more people are properly equipped to make deep change happen.

Ideal for Far-Flung Regions

Our powerful approach is both distance and time insensitive; ideal for far-flung regions with rural churches.

Our educational and consulting/coaching systems can be used from anywhere, without the time or the expense of travel across town, across the region or across the country.

The efficiency of our new approach is well adapted to the busy lives and schedules of our clergy and congregants. This allows people to commit to in-depth long-term efforts without disrupting their full schedules and other commitments. Half of the sessions of each course can be taken on-demand, day or night, whenever the participant has time. The other half of the sessions are fully interactive, with instructors/mentors and students present online together, but conducted virtually from their homes or offices of participants an hour at a time. Our approach means that 100% of the time commitment is spent in actual training rather than traveling to and from meetings.

Ideal for Regional-Wide Transformation Training

TransformingTheChurch.org's virtual system and fully-interactive courses are ideal for quickly, easily and inexpensively creating region-wide virtual training events for regional ministries of any size. Groups of churches composed of both clergy and church leaders from each church in sponsoring regions can meet on-line and move through the course as a group, discussing common problems and solutions under the guidance of our instructors and regional staff.

We can provide turnkey events; regional ministries only have to decide to proceed and we will do the rest. We can build co-branded customized classrooms and automatic online registration for each participating regional ministry. All of the set-up and operations of the regional events are performed by the staff of TransformingTheChurch.org.

In addition to making the regional ministries' brands visible, we also invite key members of the regional ministry staff to take important and visible roles in the online event; acting as hosts, coaches and mentors. The involvement of local regional ministry personnel will synergistically add important localized content and allow us to focus on local issues that might be unique to each region.

Each regional event can be custom tailored to each participating region. Since we built our system with regional events in mind, the lead time for setting of a regional event is literally measured in only a few days.

A region-wide training event can become the springboard for starting broad-scale transformation within a region. After completing a regional course, leaders from individual churches can, in turn, form groups within their individual churches to take the course creating a ripple effect of increased participation in both the scope and scale of transformation efforts.

Little, If Any, Impact on Regional Budgets

Since individual participants in these regional events can sign-up on-line using their own credits cards, the cost of providing region-wide training events can be entirely borne by event participants without impacting regional ministry budgets.

Of course, if desired, regional ministries can subsidize event costs in order to reduce the cost of the event for participants beyond what would otherwise be realized through group discounts alone. However, this is usually not required since our low base price and the group discount are usually sufficient to encourage broad-scale participation.

Also, subsidies from regional ministries can be used to provide partial or full scholarships for those in financial need. We can provide different levels of scholarships (full or partial) via unique Scholarship Codes. We can provide any number of Scholarship Codes that can, in turn, be distributed by regional ministries as they see fit.

Customized Features of a Sponsored Regional Transformation Event

For regional ministries wishing to sponsor a Regional Transformation Event, we can customize all of our online materials to elegantly integrate with the goals and objectives of the sponsoring ministry:

  • Of course, the costs of providing scholarships can be borne by the regional ministry budget or by recruiting scholarship sponsors.Regional or area ministers can be integrated into our curricula as host, instructors, coaches and/or mentors through the live interactive sessions. This can be very helpful by focusing transformation effort on localized issues that may be unique to each region.
  • If desired and as an option, our video-on-demand materials can be augmented with live online streaming events originating from within the region to add even more unique localized material.
  • Regional events can also feature customized schedules if desired, to meet local requirements. Times and dates of regional sessions can be individually scheduled as desired.
  • The duration of regional events can also be customized to meet local needs. For example, a six-session course is normally provided over a six weeks period (with one video-on-demand session and one interactive session per week). If desired, durations of classes can be compressed into a shorter, more-intense schedule. It is even possible that all of the on-demand and interactive sessions can be compressed into a two-day intense transformation "boot camp."
  • The virtual classrooms for regional events can be custom branded for each local organization sponsoring the event.
  • We will provide custom branded online forums for conducting region-wide discussions about transformation that can continue after regional events end.
  • Groups of any size, large or small, can be accommodated. Special group pricing can be arranged for very large groups. Working together, we can establish an appropriate group discount and set up customized products SKUs for regional events that will be shown in our course catalog. This will allow event participants to sign-up for the event using custom-branded e-commerce pages at a defined price without financial risk to regional budgets.
  • We will provide custom-branded online promotion and marketing materials for regional ministries to use to promote attendance to events. These materials can be used on both regional and church websites and feature links to customized landing pages in our website and our online e-commerce system for direct sign-up and registration.
  • We will provide immediate e-mail notifications to regional staff of all sign-ups as they occur.
  • Of course, our event administration and technical support is included in all regional event packages so the impact on regional ministry staff is minimal.