Margarita Kantor, Project Coordinator
One of our more consistently successful areas of ministry has been our seminars for Shabbat school teachers. In fact, we are currently in our 21st year of Shabbat school ministry. As gratifying as that success is, the danger of repeatedly organizing the same seminars, year after year, is that we might be tempted to do things on auto-pilot. The challenge is to continually think about how we can further develop the ministry.
Approximately two years ago, at one of our staff meetings, we were brainstorming how to develop our existing ministries. At that particular staff meeting, I suggested that we offer teaching in the form of webinars – a current, convenient format for people. My vision was to record experienced teachers lecturing, and provide those videos to people who work with (or aspire to work with) children, for them to watch at their own leisure. Everyone at the meeting agreed it was a good idea… but none of us knew how to go about realizing it.
In Israel, business is seldom accomplished quickly. That certainly held true in this case. This new form of ministry would require a tremendous increase in funding, as well as contacts with the right professional videographer, and other skilled tech people. We had more questions than answers, but we began to pray and to wait upon the Almighty to provide for us. Bit by bit, the puzzle began to take shape. First, the Lord connected us with two media ministries, which were prepared to finance this very costly project. Then He brought us into partnership with another local Messianic children’s ministry, Medallion, with whom we have the privilege of working to bring this vision to life.
In just the past few years, our Shabbat school seminars have served over 600 people from around 120 local Messianic congregations. However, not everyone is able to attend the seminars, which are always held on a Friday. In Israel, Friday is a day off for most people, although there are those who work or study on that day. Offering an online training course in an easily accessible online format bypasses the Friday dilemma.
The name of the online course is “Lord, I Want to Teach!”. Anyone working with children – in Shabbat school, kids’ clubs, summer camp or even just raising children at home – needs basic training on some twenty different topics. These essential topics form the basis of our course. One month will be dedicated to the study of each topic. At their convenience, the course participant will watch three 10-minute video lessons, and will complete an assignment issued by the teacher. Towards the end of the month, the students will participate in a final online meeting with the teacher, where they will review the assignment and conclude with a final discussion.
We have had quite a bit of interest in the course, already. We anticipate a hot, exciting summer of filming and much activity, as we prepare to launch the online course “Lord, I want to teach!” in the fall. We will do our best, and expectantly look to heaven to help us move forward with this brand new project.