Local church communications training available through Learning Management System

The statistics help tell the story. The U.S. Department of Education reported in 2009, “Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.”

Large secular organizations have been using e-learning or online training for years with much success. For example, IBM has found that participants in their eLearning program for managers learn nearly five times more material without increasing the time spent training.

So is there a place for online learning in the church? The Conference Center for Technology and the Center for Clergy and Laity Excellence in Leadership believe so, which is why they have teamed up to provide the Learning Management System (LMS) at http://arumc.adobeconnect.com. And a new Communications Training Module on the LMS gives all churches in Arkansas an opportunity for online learning.

An agreement with Sayge Resources of Houston, Texas, is making available to all clergy and laity a series of 12 sessions that will guide local church leaders in developing a comprehensive communications plan for reaching their unique mission fields. Arkansas churches will have 18 months to take advantage of this resource.

Each session includes a coaching video, a downloadable e-book and an action tool. Ideally, local churches will form a small team of leaders to work together on each of the sessions toward the goal of improving communications with their communities.

The 12 training sessions are:

•    Vision Identification

•    Guest Experience

•    Social Media

•    Communications Strategy

•    Volunteer Mobilization

•    Web Essentials

•    Brand Standards

•    Storytelling Principles

•    Audience Connection

•    External Marketing

•    Project Systems

•    Creative Leadership

Through the LMS, Sayge Resources will provide live webinars with church communications leaders and other resources and videos. New videos will include nationally-recognized authors and speakers such as Donald Miller.

“Through the online content developed by Sayge Resources, we are providing excellent resources and tools for local churches of any size so that they can improve their communications,” said Mark Epperson, director of the CFT. “We hope this will be the first of many partnerships with providers of online content that we can deliver through the Learning Management System.”

In-house training products are in the works as well.

“A four-session segment on the Means of Grace, featuring the Rev. Andrew Thompson, the Wesley scholar for the Conference, is in post-production now,” Epperson said. “It will be available on the LMS by year’s end, and we have other projects scheduled for early 2014.”

The CFT expects to have the full Communications Training Module available on the LMS by Dec. 15. A sample of the first session is currently loaded on the LMS.

Found at http://arumc.adobeconnect.com, the LMS is accessible to anyone with an arumc.org email address. To request an arumc.org email address, visit http://my.arumc.org.