If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I’m working on a Doctor of Ministry through Drew University. I’m finished with all of the coursework, and I’m working to finish up the development on my project. My dissertation title is “Bridging the Gap: Developing an Alternative Entry Point for Christian Formation at Church of the Servant United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, OK.”
To make what hopes to be a long dissertation extremely short, we’ve noticed (as I’m sure most congregations have) that there are many people who never connect with Christian formation beyond the Sunday morning worship service. It is my hope that we can develop an alternative way to connect with some form of Christian formation for those people who “fail to connect.”
I’m currently teaching a curriculum called “Servant Walk.” Each week, I develop a 4-6 minute teaching video based on that Sunday’s scripture, and then I work with a committed team of lay people to write a curriculum that’s used in classrooms along with the video. People who otherwise don’t feel comfortable teaching have no problem facilitating the discussion in a class. This program has grown and we’ve seen as many as 300 people using this each week in Sunday school!
So, we have proposed that this might be a good curriculum to transfer to an online classroom. People can watch the video, and then interact in a discussion board format with the questions from that week. In consultation with my lay advisory team, we have decided that one of the most natural opportunities for people who might be interested in a “virtual classroom” would be Facebook.
So now we have “Servant Walk Online.” The weekly discussion and active participation begins March 1st, but we already have 16 “fans” after two days being up and running! We’ll see what happens.