Bible School
About six months ago, I got a bit of training on building online courses, and discovered the importance of simplifying our site. Rather than loading up every possible resource to increase our value to members, I learned the importance of focusing on our members' experience. The simpler and more streamlined things were--the better.

That resulted in a drastic reorganization of our site, cutting out about 2/3 of our site. We eliminated anything that wasn't absolutely essential, and focused on doing just a few things well. That site rolled out early October, and our ministry has been growing dramatically ever since. No one missed a thing.

Your success is in your simplicity. (T5, 667)

Now, simplicity is almost our mantra. In fact, we just got through trimming down our site even more. We've eliminated more than half our navigation, and hundreds of pages. Everything now revolves around just 3 main services: our challenges, the journey, and church training. And we're making each of them better than ever before!

So here's the executive summary:

  • We're going to offer a different short challenge every month. They'll be short, quick, and FREE! And you'll be able to start them any time you want during that month. We're starting with our familiar Crash Course just to work out the kinks (ready in a few more days)--but May opens with a brand new intensive on time management called the Life Focus System. And if you are in the Journey, you'll be able to take any challenge at any time, and even invite friends to go through them with you, including friends who are NOT in the Journey! Can you believe it?

  • The Journey is now fully self-paced. Which means it will be possible for new people to join at any time. We've also simplified the structure from seven modules to three, while adding tons of new resources. And we've added new ways to facilitate communication and support. Best of all, we've linked it more closely with our church training curriculum--so any member in any registered church, can do the entire Journey for FREE. Yep, you heard that right. Training Center members, not just sponsors, can do the Journey, right now.

  • We didn't do much with the Church Training area, besides slim things down a bit. But we've got some plans for that section as well, rolling out this summer or early fall. In particular, we'll have tools to make it possible to do Dashboard Rallies, local Challenges, and Journey promotions in your church--with full tracking and support. These tools will make Church Training sponsorship even more useful, and it's all coming soon.

I know it sounds more like an April fool's day joke than anything. How can you cut out half the site navigation without losing anything, and at the same time add all these amazing new benefits and features for members? I can't explain it--but there is power in simplicity. And it is not a joke--it is real. And it may just result in another round of even more exciting growth for FAST! Don't you think?


Have you had a chance to look around? What do you think? Does the navigation seem simpler? Do you find it easier to get around? Please feel free to leave feedback below.

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Posted by Dan Vis on 04/06/17 - Coach
Just another quick update. I've got the live feed working in the Journey area as well as all the discussion areas. Still testing things a bit--but it all looks good. Also, finally have our challenge system setup--and reopened the Crash Course. Not promising everything will work perfectly the first time, but we're live!
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/06/17 - Coach
Great! Glad to hear you are enjoying our tools Ann!

And Cheryl, always good to hear from an old student. Hope all is well!
Posted by Cheryl Baveghems on 04/03/17
Thanks Mr. Dan Vis for the good work. Much simpler and easy for me.
Posted by Ann Lavenburg on 04/03/17
Simpler is always better. I am using the Bible reading record every day and the memory engine. Both are extremely helpful and I am looking forward to participating in a new class.
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/02/17 - Coach
Change is hard enough to start with. So when I hear positive feedback about a change, I feel pretty confident the change was a good one. Thanks everyone for the feedback!
Posted by Qing Ling on 04/02/17 - Coach
I just checked out the links for journey pages. I'm seriously blown away, Dan. Double thumbs up!!! It's a lot clearer now how everything that FAST has always had (various resources,study booklets,sermons,conferences) in place, actually fits in under what used to be MAP...the M-trilogy makes better sense. Well done on coming up with that one :)   
Posted by Qing Ling on 04/02/17 - Coach
Excited for LFS too ... I'll be overseas and out of my home environment for that entire month,but am going to try my best to participate!
Posted by Carole Bliss on 04/02/17
This sounds very good. To the point, more streamlined.

Blessings to all who join

Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 04/02/17
Sounds very exciting, Dan! :-)
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/01/17 - Coach
The LFS challenge will be open to anyone who wants to take it, and we'll have suggestions for how to promote it. That won't be till May 1 however. :) In April it will be the Crash Course again. It'll just be a few days until I get that all revamped properly... Thanks for sharing Aurora!
Posted by Aurora on 04/01/17
Amazing! Can we invite those who was once in the training centers? I love love this Pastor! I am posting on my fb status and would personally invite friends. I am so grateful that time management will be taught. It has been my failure and I had observed that most of my churchmates had the same problem. Thank you so much!

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