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As some of our ministry centers around the world have adapted their programs to virtual events, our headquarters location adapted one of our training events as well. What we initially hoped would be all of the international ministry center directors gathered in St. Louis for in-person training, became a special time of gathering virtually.

For five consecutive nights and mornings in October, LHM headquarters staff and members from 36 different LHM ministry centers around the world gathered virtually for training for the first time in the organization's history. To best accommodate the various time zones, the training, based on LHM's partnership with Barna Group, was presented in two-hour sessions during both the morning and evening time slots. The morning sessions began at 7 a.m. CST and the evening portions began at 8:30 p.m. CST each day.

The first two days of workshops covered training from Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age while the last three days delved into Households of Faith training. Presenters for the training included Dionne Lovstad-Jones, LHM's regional ministry facilitator; Rev. Dr. Chad Lakies, LHM's regional director for North America; Rev. Dr. Jason Broge, LHM's director of design and development; and Ashley Bayless, LHM's curriculum development manager.

Lovstad-Jones served as a moderator and helped monitor the questions and comments in the chat section, while Rev. Dr. Tony Cook, LHM's vice president of Global Ministries, led the attendees in opening and closing messages at the start and end of the week.

"As with many things during the COVID-19 pandemic, this has opened our eyes for possibilities to expand future training," shares Cook. "We do a good job of embracing our team locally in the United States, and these training sessions were a great opportunity for us to embrace our team globally. It really reminds us of who we are as two-thirds of our staff is located outside the United States."

Not including the LHM staff from the headquarters in St. Louis, more than 40 people attended each session. During the course of the week, more than 90 people, including international ministry center directors, audience relations staff, accounting staff, volunteers, and even a board member, participated between the morning and evening sessions. By having the trainings virtually, more people were able to attend, which extended our reach beyond just the international directors.

Overall, participants believed this was a positive experience and great learning opportunity as members of LHM's global family.

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