This morning at the e-Formation 2016 plenary, Lisa and Kyle laid out a strategy for continuing to grow the impact of the e-Formation Learning Community in a sustainable way. Below you’ll find the announcement video and transcript.
Please save the date for a flagship bootcamp June 6, 2017, with possible tie-in events before and after. And please help us spread the word about the opportunity to bring an e-Formation event to your area!
Kyle: Hi, I’m Kyle Oliver, and I’m the digital missioner in the Center for the Minister of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary and the lead organizer of the e-Formation Learning Community.
Lisa: And I’m Lisa Kimball, director of the CMT and associate dean of lifelong learning here at VTS. Five years ago, I saw a church that was way behind the technology adoption curve mostly because people were afraid. The educator in me, and also the Jesus follower in me, recognized that the way through fear and uncertainty is in community.
Kyle: My first day on the job was attending the event Lisa and our colleagues put together: the e-Formation Learning Exchange. There were 28 people in the room—from multiple regions and denominations, including two participating primarily in Spanish—and we left feeling more confident, more curious, and more convinced that God was and is doing a new thing through digital disciples.
Lisa: The most remarkable thing about our time together was how clear we were when it ended that we needed to do it again, and we needed to invite a lot more people. In the four years since, we’ve cast our nets every more widely and tried to listen faithfully when Jesus said to drop them on the other side of the boat. Two years ago, the Spirit led us to pilot a series of regional e-Formation bootcamps. Partnering with local presenters, responding to regionally identified needs, and bringing the best of what we learned at the conference, we found the opportunity to serve new participants who would likely never have made the trip to Metro Washington.
Kyle: I think most of you have heard that in the fall I’ll be starting a doctoral program in learning media design. My upcoming departure has given Lisa and our team a chance to reflect on the future of e-Formation. In the process, we’ve looked at the numbers, and realized that the significant growth in first-time e-Formation participants is now coming from the webinars and regional events.
Lisa: Even if Kyle weren’t moving on, we’d be having this conversation. The Center for the Ministry of Teaching has a long history of piloting new initiatives and giving them away. I’m excited about this chance for us to transfer our learning to you. Our regional bootcamps have been very successful. It’s clear that the best way for us to promote contextual learning about digital media for ministry and continue expanding access and cultivating leadership is keeping the show on the road.
Kyle: Don’t worry. At this time next year, we’ll still be gathering in person and online for a flagship bootcamp with webinar access hosted at VTS and possible satellite locations. Our dream is also to partner with at least four organizations or regions that want to bring an e-Formation event to their area. If you feel called to host an event, or to share your gifts by becoming an associate facilitator, we want to hear from you. And you should expect to hear from us regularly on the e-Formation Newsletter. Conversations about this year’s regional events have already begun.
Lisa: Last of all, thank you, thank you, for making all this possible. Our faith has been strengthened by the Spirit-led courage and joy each of you brings to the learning we’ve shared.