Happy First Birthday, Dwell Digital!

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We want to recognize the first anniversary of a valuable Children’s ministries resource that churches across many denominations have been using. Here’s the story behind Dwell Digital and the plans to assist churches in the immediate future.

Labor
Over a year ago, Faith Alive realized the need for online curriculum and started to convert all of the Dwell leader resources to the digital format. The endeavor was the most significant upgrade to the Dwell children’s ministry curriculum since its inception in 2011. Many long hours of labor went into reviewing, formatting and tweaking the pdf files that are now available to all who subscribe.

Birth and First Steps
Dwell Digital was introduced last year (July 2019). We had created it to make our successful Dwell curriculum more accessible and convenient. Through the digital format teachers could easily share Dwell sessions with substitutes and team-teach without having to share printed resources. The problem of lost or forgotten leader guides became obsolete with instant access from any device. And planning a Sunday session could be done from anywhere. One director had this to say about Dwell Digital:

Planning with Dwell Digital is simpler as well, because I can preview lessons as I plan without having to order 6 months of curriculum.” 
~ Director of Children's Ministries at Pleasant Street CRC (Oct. 2019)

Baptism by Fire
During the recent months of church shutdowns, the flexibility of the Dwell Digital online platform has been tested and proven to work well for at-home Sunday school. Over 70 churches have signed up for a Dwell Digital subscription since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Children’s Ministry coordinators have easily switched to emailing lessons out to families for homeschooling. Some parents have even signed up as teachers to get instant access to the leaders resources.

A Free Gift to CRCs
Thanks to CRC ministry shares, we announced back in March that a subscription to Dwell Digital is now available for FREE to all CRCs. Many took advantage of this and we still encourage CRCs to explore this valuable option. Children’s Ministry Coordinators can call (800-333-8300) to establish a free account for their CRC.

Growth & Adapting
What’s in the future for year two of Dwell Digital? We recognize the importance of connecting with and getting input from “teachers in the trenches.” We plan to continue building on the established Dwell curriculum in Dwell Digital by inviting Dwell leaders to collaborate and submit activity suggestions and/or lesson feedback in a growing online community. Even now, we are adding new activities to many of the Dwell sessions and will have them ready to roll out in the fall.

And during the current complexity of physical/virtual church gathering hybrids, we’re introducing new adaptable Dwell sessions. We’re calling these special sessions Dwell Flex. They are one-page Dwell session plans that require no other materials and can be easily tailored for online, video or in-person interactions with multiple age groups. Thanks to the convenience of the (one-year-old!) Dwell Digital platform Dwell Flex is built on, these downloadable, printable files can be shared electronically with anyone, and viewed from any kind of device. Check out a sample here!

Happy First Birthday, Dwell Digital! Most everyone can say it has been a year unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

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