The Point Person Manual is the ultimate guide to running the Paradigm Shift program at your church. In our experience (King of Kings Church), implementing the program follows these steps:
Step 1. Nominate a Point Person (PP)
The church leadership identifies a Point Person (focal person) for this program.
Step 2. Involve the Church Congregation
The Paradigm Shift program and the Point Person are introduced to the congregation. This is to initiate and nurture ongoing support and buy-in from the church congregation.
Step 3. Train the Point Person
The Point Person (PP) familiarises him/herself with the details of the program. The Point Person Manual is a valuable resource. The Point Person may visit a church where the program currently runs, or has run in the past.
Step 4. Procure Training Kits
Procure the training materials for the BEC course and weekly trainings. This includes the ‘kits’, as well as the Trainer Manuals and Entrepreneur Workbooks.
Step 5. Select the Venue
Ideally the venue should be at church. Select a room that is suitable for the training sessions. The preferred configuration of tables and chairs can be found in the Point Person Manual.
Step 6. Create a Budget
Funds are needed to run this program. The biggest initial cost factor is acquiring the standard training materials (‘kits’) from Paradigm Shift. Other expenses include the services of an external facilitator (optional), printing cost, catering, communication and transport. Training materials purchased in the first year can be re-used in subsequent years (with some ‘topping up’ of disposables). The training is free. In our case, we only charged entrepreneurs a small fee to cover the cost of printing the workbooks (this enhances ownership and commitment).
Step 7. Network with Partners
Networking is essential. Identify partner organisations, supporters and donors. Use social media (see below) to ensure information sharing.
Step 8. Create a Donation Portal
Create a platform for supporters and donors to make a donation.
Step 9. Set Dates
The first year is a pilot year, whereby the church gains experience of running the program. Make a tentative selection of which ‘Modules’ to include in the training. Agree on a timetable, allowing for the recruitment of volunteers and entrepreneurs. As you set the agenda, consider Public Holidays and school holidays. Some churches do the training on Saturday mornings; others on a mid-week evening.
Step 10. Recruit the Volunteers (Trainers)
Volunteers are mature Christians with some experience in business and public speaking. Volunteers have a heart for training in business skills and/or discipleship. To run the programme, recruit at least 10 Volunteers. That is to ensure a sufficient number of available Volunteers for training days.
Step 11. Train the Volunteers
The Point Person trains the Volunteers (Trainers). Use the existing training videos for Volunteers. Consider inviting someone from Paradigm Shift, or from another church to co-facilitate the training, and to share experience.
Step 12. Recruit Entrepreneurs
There are different ways of recruiting entrepreneurs; see Point Person Manual. In our experience, active recruitment proved most effective. We asked two residents of the target areas (who were regular visitors to our church), to distribute flyers in the target locations. In our case, putting up posters in churches and community centres did not generate much interest from entrepreneurs. Also effective is putting announcements on existing community Facebook pages. We use a dedicated WhatsApp number, to which entrepreneurs apply. Ask entrepreneur some key questions, including whether they already have a small business or not. One option is to do a pre-screening of applicant entrepreneurs.
Step 13. Plan Transport for Entrepreneurs
Ideally the entrepreneurs find their own way to the training venue. When this is not the case, transport needs to be arranged.
Step 14. Arrange Catering
The BEC course is typically a full day. Catering covers breakfast and lunch, as well as tea/coffee. For the weekly meetings (Modules) entrepreneurs are given coffee and a snack (e.g. mini-donut) on arrival and registration. Catering may be outsourced, or arranged internally by the Volunteers.
Step 15. Use Social Media
For the purpose of information sharing and attracting potential supporters and donors, decide whether to create a website, a Facebook page, and/or a blog. Consider what other churches have done. Create WhatsApp groups to communicate with Volunteers and with Entrepreneurs. Practical applications of social media:
We will be adding to this list of steps as we gain experience. We have not yet started mentorships and micro-loans.