Spain (ReachBeyond) — Social media usage is up 800% since the debut of Twitter in 2006. As Facebook marked its 10th anniversary in February, it had more than 1.2 billion monthly active users, changing the face of global communications. And the use of this technology is only expected to rise for years to come.
During a five-day planning-session held by Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global) in April, eight media trainers from around the world gathered in Spain to address the challenges of teaching rapidly-developing technology to local radio partners.
Curt Cole, senior vice president of global ministries, contacted former Reach Beyond missionary Mike Dworak, now operating his own media consultant firm, to introduce these talented trainers to each other. He encouraged collaboration and facilitated conversations among participants in an effort to find practical solutions to problems they’re facing.
Since those who took part in the event were working individually in separate ministries, this presented some special challenges. “We needed to provide teamwork and an opportunity to come together to collaborate to seek solutions,” Dworak said.
“We aggressively and proactively looked at the strengths and weaknesses in the current model and built those into our new approaches,” he explained. “We can reach our communities better if we can equip the trainers to better serve their communities.”
While participants came from places that were thousands of miles apart, each representing unique situations and cultures, they found it helpful to use Skype to get to know each other better before the meetings began.
“I was intimidated by the meetings in the beginning,” admitted Lisa (last name withheld for security reasons), one of the media trainers. Attendees expressed that they had felt alone, wondering if they were training their people in the best way. “But by the end, we felt close. This was a game-changer for me. It was a lot of work, but it brought much joy.”
Not only was the leadership team able to identify the participants’ strengths and weaknesses, they also found common ground with both frustrations and opportunities, helping the trainers make plans for the future.
Team members are already working on the “next steps,” Dworak said. “They really connected and began to organically share and connect and cast a vision. Everyone had a voice: everyone participated and had input. They shared challenges, addressed needs, and talked about how to overcome threats.”
“There is so much more collaboration now,” Dworak added. “There’s a place for resource sharing, developing content for the regions, developing tools for weaknesses, holding ongoing video training, and making future plans.”