By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
COLUMBIA, Md.—In just over four years, around 10,000 training “moments” through the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s training portal, E-Quip.net (http://bcmd.e-quip.net), have equipped church leaders all throughout Maryland/Delaware.
“No other training strategy of BCM/D has provided equipping for more people in that same time frame—not even close,” shared Randy Millwood, BCM/D team strategist for leadership development and support.
Site-wide, including all partners in the E-Quip Partners Network, which is comprised of 20 state Baptist conventions, there are hundreds of video trainings from which to choose.
Viewers can use the training for personal growth or for equipping members in their churches.
Millwood said in the first two years as an E-Quip partner, there were between 500-1,000 views of E-Quip films through the BCM/D portal. In the last 2.5 years that number has grown to almost 6,400 total representing a substantial annual up-tick.
“Anecdotally we know that most of the viewings are one person viewing a film; but some of them are two-four people watching a film; and a few of them are congregational viewings,” Millwood said, explaining it would be safe to say 10,000 people have viewed trainings on a range of topics from church planting, spiritual formation, music and worship, to small groups, language ministry, technology and missions.
As a member of the E-Quip Partners Network, the BCM/D is covenanted to provide 12 films per year, equaling about 54 during the tenure of the partnership, Millwood continued, adding, “The exceptional giftedness of our missionary team, both in providing their own material and in enlisting/preparing presenters from our BCM/D network of churches has resulted in 144 contributions during that time frame. We are the third largest contributor to the E-Quip Presentation reservoir!”
That’s good news for Bob Shelton, associate national ministry leader at the Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC), where E-Quip.net first originated.
“I believe strongly in the collective I.Q.,” said Shelton, sharing that ministry partners also help drive recent changes to the E-Quip interface.
Now in a warmer color scheme, the interface boasts larger videos to minimize the distraction on the screen. The videos continue to be organized by categories (channels) and are separated by chapters for easy navigation.
Corresponding PowerPoint presentations, also taking a larger portion of the viewing screen, follow the video’s teaching.
In addition, each individual training event showcases a description of the video, an overall rating (from one to five stars), a speaker biography, related presentations, and a discussion thread.
For increased mobility, the video training platform now works on iPhone and iPad applications and is still available as a downloadable MP3 audio file.
“Our thought is that if we spend money on doing conferences, why not multiply those trainings so anyone, anywhere at any level and any time could access training to fulfill their ministry call?” Shelton said. “Even if you get 50 people to come to your conference, you miss out on a large portion of your constituents. So we decided to capture the conference and share it again and leverage it across the world.”
Presently, using the E-Quip model, the CNBC also is developing LEAD360, an online learning community that is designed to help participants grow as a disciple and leader. Courses are offered through churches and or associations called LEAD360 Centers. Two foundational cycles are offered in Spiritual Formation and Biblical Foundations. Each cycle consists of nine courses with each course made up of eight one-hour presentations. Students will be connected with a facilitator or mentor to process the content presented.
“LEAD360 gives tools to local churches and associations to help disciple members and train leaders,” Shelton said.
If you are interested in becoming a local church pilot project for LEAD360 here in BCM/D, contact Millwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or (443) 878-4587. To access training in the BCM/D’s ongoing database of training videos, visit online at http://bcmd.e-quip.net.