/Sunday, August 23, 2020
It might be the ‘word of the year’ for 2020…
A quick online search of www.dictionary.com gives this useful description:
verb (used with object)
To modify (a policy, opinion, product, etc.) while retaining some continuity with its previous version
In early March, the leadership of the Kairos Course across Canada were preparing to lead 15 Kairos Courses, 4 Kairos Facilitator Training Courses and 1 Kairos Head Facilitator Training Course over the next few months.
Literally offered from coast to coast and in English, French, Korean and Chinese languages this was perhaps the most significant and diverse offering of Kairos Courses across Canada ever!
And then news of COVID-19 started to increase.
And then the pandemic response was implemented.
And then all these ‘in person’ courses were cancelled or postponed indefinitely.
It was a HUGE disappointment to cancel courses, refund registrations, and look at a blank calendar. It was especially disappointing because several of the courses were significant steps forward in partnership with key denominations and ministries across Canada.
Pause. Pray. Think. Connect.
Should we pivot? Would we pivot? Could we pivot?
It was actually because of these key developing partnerships that the Simply Mobilizing Canada leadership began to look for a way to offer online Kairos Courses—a challenge because it is built around small group discussion and highly interactive content.
Globally, course experiments were designed and executed by Simply Mobilizing colleagues who were facing the same challenges. Lessons were learned. New models were developed. Learning was in ‘real time’ as insights gained in a course in Slovakia or England was implemented in a course in Kenya or the Philippines.
Fast forward to June 1, when the first ever online course in Canada was launched, replacing a previously scheduled ‘in person’ course.
48 participants. 12 Facilitators. 3 countries. Multiple time zones. It was a steep learning curve, and filled with improvisation, and loads of grace from the participants, as we navigated the nuances of how to gain maximum impact from this virtual environment.
Fast forward to August, as 2 more online courses are wrapping up, each with close to 50 participants from across Canada. Lessons learned in the first course, implemented in the second. New adjustments and refinements playing forward as courses are now being scheduled for the Fall, with time zones and affinity groups being the determining factor, rather than geography. More Kairos Course leaders trained in how to work in an online course environment.
If you had asked me on January 1, 2020, if we would ever offer the Kairos Course online, I would have probably said ‘No’.
If you asked me today if we will ever STOP offering Kairos Course online, now the answer is ‘Absolutely not’.
The vision of the Simply Mobilizing Canada team is to see the Kairos Course offered across Canada as a means of encouraging every Christ follower to understand their call to join God in his mission of reaching lost people, right where they are. The impact and reach of being able to offer an online course means that Christ-followers in Dawson Creek and Thunder Bay have as much access to the material as those who live in Toronto and Vancouver.
Because of Covid19 God’s people are scattered into their neighbourhoods EVERYWHERE, like pinpoints of light in our communities—and God is with us. We are present to our neighbours, perhaps as never before. Covid 19 has upset are familiar routines. What is God speaking to us, his people?
Pause. Pray. Think. Connect.
Should we pivot? Can we pivot? Will we pivot?
Take the opportunity, accept the challenge--pivot and join God in his mission on your street. A good place to start is by taking the Kairos Course. Online courses are being planned for the Fall. Find one that suits your schedule at www.simplymobilizing.ca.
Lorna Johnston is the Diaspora Ministries Leader at Outreach Canada. She leads two national teams--Loving Muslims Together (LMT) and Simply Mobilizing Canada (SMC). She works with teams of diverse and experienced leaders and ministries across Canada to alert and activate the church in Canada to the changing opportunities to engage God's mission right here in Canada.