A New Opportunity: Virtual Consulting
The effects of the international response to the Covid-19 virus have been varied. Some countries have approached the pandemic with calculated and mercurial actions. Others have been more reactionary and slapdash. In all of these responses, the world (and the church as part of it) have had to learn things that, while uncomfortable, may have more far-reaching and positive impact on the way we do things.
One of those changes is that the church has discovered the potential for ‘virtual’ gatherings. A few years ago, only a few churches ‘streamed’ their services. Today, even the smallest congregations in Gnaw Bone, Saskatchewan have jumped on board.
Another area of ministry that has been impacted is global missions. Today, people who had minimal opportunity to see one another in the past, now cross oceans in seconds. They sit in their kitchen and now look in and participate with a group on a regular basis. The technology has been there for many years. Now, as a result of the new realities the world faces, even the ‘dragging edge’ and late adaptors use the technology almost every day.
One of the ways that Clear and Simple Media has experienced this new reality is through our new role in ‘curated learning events.’ A missionary (for example) sees a need for instruction in a certain aspect of ministry among their workers. They identify someone who can provide training or consulting to fill this information or skill gap. They arrange a virtual consult with an educator or expert in the field. They create an event (via Zoom, FaceTime, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype, or What’sApp), set a date, send a link, and just like that, people from multiple spots around the globe are together in realtime, in conversation.
In late February, Clear and Simple Media was contacted by colleagues in West Africa. It seems that a group of writers and content providers had hit a snag. They were working through the challenges of, as native French speakers, writing English content, for an audience of English readers. Since most of our recent experience has been producing content for readers of English as a second language, the ‘curator’ thought we could help.
A platform was chosen. Links were sent. And in a very short time, people in multiple countries, crossing multiple timezones were chatting about writing, editing, and how to address the differences of perspective that can sometimes torpedo worthwhile projects.
Was this helpful? The feedback from the participants was satisfyingly positive. We moved through our one hour time limit in what seems like minutes. In fact, the experience was so helpful that, our readers should not be surprised if ‘curated learning experiences’ don’t become a part of the CSM toolbox in the not-too-distant future.