Today I uploaded some updates to our site to change our Training Center program to one that includes more kinds of groups. We're now calling them Training Teams. It involves several changes. Read on to learn more...
New Training TeamsBy Dan Vis
August 06, 2019
Some time back I did a survey of all our current partners to try and find out how we could improve how we serve our community. And one of the prominent things I discovered, is that there was a strong desire to have more ways to share our FAST training resources. Our old Training Center program was great if you were a leader in a strong local church, but many wanted to just share FAST with their family, or with some group they were involved in. So we got to thinking about it.
And the more we thought about it, the more we realized a flexible approach could actually help in a number of areas.
1) We could provide a lower cost option for individuals who wanted to get a leaders license for use in their own personal ministry.
2) We could give families an attractive option without having to pay for multiple individual accounts, or involve the whole church.
3) We could effectively accommodate individuals using FAST in their small group, Bible study team, prayer meeting, care group, discipleship team, etc.
4) We could create a better solution for pastors with multiple small churches in their district.
5) And last, but not least, we could be a bit more fair about how we charge small and large churches for access to our resources.
So we decided to take the plunge and began working on replacing our Training Centers tab with one called Training Teams. It didn't hurt that our four tab sections (Free Account Students and Teams) makes a nice acronym!
What's Different?In many ways, things will stay the same. When you click on the Training Teams tab you'll see a familiar but slightly redesigned teams area you can use to find and recruit members for your team. Once a member joins your team, their account gets unlocked and they have access to pretty much all the training resources on our site--just like before.
Our focus in the redesign was to simplify the interface and make it much easier to use. Everything is now focused on one task--managing which members are in your team. And using the "Recruitment" link you can now easily upload your list of team member emails and get an instant report of the status of each account. And even add them automatically. You'll love it.
The main difference however, is that now our teams come in three levels: a family plan, a small group plan, and a church plan. The family plan comes in at a significant discount and allows you to accept up to 4 other family members to your team at a price under $4/month each. Less if you pay annually! The small group plan allows you to accept up to 10 additional members, bringing the cost down to well under $3/month each. And for those who are serious about mobilizing and equipping their entire church, we'll continue to have a church unlimited plan, but at a small increase in price.
Here's how it looks in a nutshell:
|Type of Plan||Members Allowed||Monthly||Yearly|
How Will This Affect Me?How this will affect you will depend on your situation. First and foremost, if you and your spouse, and maybe a child or two all have individual accounts, it will be cheaper and simpler to register a team for your family and add all your family members to that one team. If your family is larger than 5 reach out to us. We can talk.
All current training centers will continue on the unlimited plan at their current price until September 1. And after that, they will continue under the unlimited plan until their next renewal. For training centers on an annual plan, that means there will be no increase in price for months. And if your training center has less than 11 members, you will automatically be downgraded to a small group plan--so you won't see any increase in price even then.
For large training centers (more than 11 members), your next renewal (after September 1) will see a slight increase. Fortunately, this only affects a small percentage of our training center partners (less than 7%), and in those cases, some may be able to trim inactive members of their team and stay on the small group plan. Even with this increase, we are still 50% to 70% lower than other comparable programs we've researched. And it certainly feels more fair to our large and small church partners.
If you are the pastor of a multi-church district, we are also going to be throwing in a special option for you. You can register your entire district under the church plan, and allow up to 20 members to join from any of those churches--rather than having to register each church separately. Small churches can have tight budgets, and sometimes there are only two or three members in a church interested in training. Combining them all into one team just makes sense.
And last, I should note, in one final effort to make things more fair, we're going to be updating all our training teams to the same price schedule. Some of our older training centers signed up under a slightly discounted rate, and we've never updated them. That change will come at your next renewal after September 1 as well. If you are on a discounted annual plan, you will, of course, be able to continue at that rate through the rest of your year.
What Do I Need To Do?First, you don't have to do anything. If you don't make any changes, things will continue along just as they are with the exception of a few teams having a slight increase in renewal fees in the coming months. I'll be notifying them directly to explain those changes.
But, there are a couple things you may want to do. If you have multiple individual accounts for family members and want to switch to a family plan, please send me a note via the Help Hotline and I can get you setup for that. Also, if you are a pastor of a multi-church district with multiple training centers, please let me know that as well, and I can get those combined for you before your next renewal.
If you are a large church, or your training center is on our old discounted rates, you may wish to renew before September 1 when the new prices go into effect. You can add up to 1 yr to your training center at your current rate and stay on the same unlimited plan--but you have to let me know your intentions by September 1. Just use the Help Hotline and I can give you the exact details.
If you have questions or need clarifications about anything we're doing, please reach out and let me know. And as usual, if you spot bugs or something doesn't seem to look right or work right, please let me know. This transition actually involved hundreds of changes on multiple pages all through the site and numerous scripts. If everything works smoothly from the start, it will be a miracle!
ConclusionI'm really excited about this new approach. The importance of teams and teamwork has been a foundational part of our ministry from the beginning. There's something about the accountability and exhortation of a small tight-knit team that changes lives. We're thrilled to be able to provide better support for families on the one end, and better support for pastors working in multi-church districts on the other. It wasn't an easy upgrade, but it feels good to know this approach makes it all much more fair to everyone involved going forward.
At FAST, our longing is to spark a revival here and there among God's endtime people, and see it spread from person to person until the whole earth is lit up with the glory of God. We believe that revival will be kindled in small teams of dedicated believers. It's exciting to restructure our ministry, even if only in a small way, to better facilitate that. Maranatha!
CommentsWhat do you think of the change of name? And more important, about the new options for individuals who want to share FAST with others? Any questions about how it all works? And ideas for how to make our teams even better?
|Posted by Dan Vis on 09/14/19|
|Yes, there's no change in the rate for individual members Denise. Though a senior or student discount might be interesting to try. I'll think about that a bit!|
|Posted by Denise Buglino on 09/13/19|
|I was going to request consideration for singles and seniors then read your reply to Ellen's comment. So is the rate for a single person &/or senior going to remain the same as before at $120/yr ? Denise|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 08/10/19|
|I'll try to reach out to him directly next week, and share his new options...|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 08/08/19|
|This should work out to be a much better option for your pastor I think! :) And yes Patricia, that's the goal, to get people sharing.|
|Posted by Patricia Jones on 08/08/19|
|Love the options, Pastor Dan. I think it will make it easier for more people to share, and that's a good thing! 👍|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 08/08/19|
|I'm sure you are right Carole, that prayer has a lot to do with things going smoothly. That's why we so solicit the prayers of our community for us. Prayer support makes a huge difference!|
|Posted by Carole Bliss on 08/08/19|
|I can see alot of work has been put in the New changes. Sounds good. I know prayer is your way of having things work His way.
|Posted by Clara Peredo on 08/07/19|
|Awesome!!!! Praise God. In the small group or family team we can invite neighbors who are interested in the word of God and have them joined.|
|Posted by Lynn Badger on 08/07/19|
|Thank you for making these changes. I love that the teams will have access to everything just as the leaders did in the past.|
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