What’s Happening Online?

Margarita Kantor, Project Coordinator

Debby, one of our online teachers, lectures about how it’s natural for us to feel threatened by new and unfamiliar things.

When we envisioned our online course for Shabbat School teachers, “Lord, I Want to Teach!”, we were thinking of how it would benefit the hundreds of teachers in Israeli Messianic congregations whose challenge it is to educate children in Shabbat school. These teachers have a great desire to serve, but almost none of them have the required training. We decided to equip them by selecting the 20 key topics that every Shabbat School (or Sunday School!) teacher should know.

Planning the course, one year ago, we couldn’t have foreseen that the coronavirus would confine us all to our homes, and that our lives and our work would essentially move online. In retrospect, we can see that we began the course at precisely the right time.

Our students are currently in the eighth month of their training, studying their 8th topic of the 20 key topics. Nearly halfway through, we asked them for feedback to gauge the effectiveness of the course and see whether we should make any adaptations. We asked them how they were applying their newly acquired knowledge, and we asked for their thoughts regarding the course in general.

It was clear from each and every response that the participants really enjoy this form of study. One participant emphasized how much he appreciates studying at his own pace: “I study the topics without stressing, and watch each video lesson again and again. Sometimes I feel that I would like to go deeper into certain topics, but overall this format really suits my schedule.” Another participant wrote: “Thank you for the lessons – they are clear, concise and filled with practical advice. Dividing each topic into three distinct lessons is really convenient.” Yet another wrote: “The lessons helped me relate to my ministry with a greater sense of purpose. I prepare for the lesson more seriously than before. And in class, I employ the new techniques I’ve learned.”

As creators of the course, we were fully aware of all the advantages of online training. We knew it would appeal to a busy, modern-day person with little free time, who desires to serve the Lord. We are so gratified with the reviews testifying to the course’s impact on people’s lives and ministries.

We were also aware that this course would greatly empower the Shabbat School teachers. However, we couldn’t foresee the added benefits reported by our students, that they were applying their new-found knowledge homeschooling their own children during the Covid-19 quarantine, and just generally speaking, in parenting their children. Our students also gained tools for running Bible clubs for children, in addition to teaching Shabbat School.

We rejoice that we can help teachers and parents in the spiritual education of the children who were entrusted to them. And we are grateful to everyone who has supported, who is currently supporting and who will support this project, either financially or with prayer. We are grateful to the two big donor organizations whose support makes this life-changing program possible. If you would like to donate toward this program and/or lift it up in prayer, know that your contribution will further the Kingdom of God in a powerful way.