The following was written for our 20th Birthday celebration in August 2017.
Rotation.org: The Next 20 Years
A message from Luanne, Carol, Jaymie, Cathy, Amy, and Heidi --
your volunteer Board of Directors and Wormy
Looking back is fun, but Rotation.org has always been about looking forward. Like the Model itself, our site is about exploring new and better ways of sharing creative lesson ideas and resources with each other — so that we can do a better job of sharing the Good News with our kids,
As exciting as that sounds, it can also be a bit scary at times. For the most part, we're the only Sunday School ministry out here that's "crowd-sourcing" and crowd-funding Sunday School resources. Dating back to 1997, Rotation.org was also one of the very first online Sunday School resources. ...and twenty years later, we continue to invent our way forward. Not only are we exploring what creative lessons can be, we continue to explore and expand our potential as an online community of creative Christian educators. This is all made possible by our Supporting Members and by everyone who takes the time to post their creative content and questions.
Here are some of the commitments and challenges we believe will shape our next twenty years of ministry:
Rotation.org is committed to Sunday School AND to creative Sunday School lessons, even if your Sunday happens to be on a Wednesday. We are committed to being a creative resource for all types of teachers, churches, models, and teaching times, while keeping our eyes on the challenge of Sunday morning, and maintaining our passion for the Rotation Model as a fantastic way to organize and teach God's Word to children.
Rotation.org is committed to being an online community. More than just a lesson source, we're committed to being a place where teachers can get personal help with lessons and issues, and find resources. We don't want to be a face-less source of lesson plans, and that's why we have a community platform at the center of our ministry, instead of just being a "drive by" printable lesson site. We believe in our community model because that's what the Church and Sunday School is -a community.
Rotation.org is committed to a web platform that allows us to collect, improve, and save great lesson content. Our "message board" format allows us to create a deep collection of great ideas and lessons. It gives members the tools to drill down and find exactly what they need, ...and leave feedback. Rotation.org asks "how good is it?" and "how can we make this better?" — not "how old is it?" or "Is it still selling?"
Rotation.org is committed to producing exemplary lessons, as well as, collecting and improving on them. Our commitment to the Rotation Model and the improved Writing Team Lesson Sets are two great examples of our desire to be a site where creative teaching is the norm, not the exception. We will continue to strive to be a leader in lesson design and creativity, instead of being another ad-driven, "quickie lesson," coloring page and craft site.
The future of Rotation.org will require more technical, editorial, and volunteer help. Our desire to grow and improve, along with the increasing technical and managerial complexity of our site will also require us to keep exploring "how" we work, as well as, who will do the work. Being a virtual online organization adds to that challenge, but it is a new frontier our Board has some experience with!
One of our past and future challenges is that of encouraging teachers and church staff to take the time to share their ideas, feedback, photos, resource suggestions, and volunteer time. Being a virtual organization that already has a lot of content, can make people think their contributions or ideas aren't needed. Moving forward, we need to do a better job of inspiring talented teachers to share their gifts with other churches.
Another challenge we face is how to pay for the growing technical and editorial needs of our site. In the future, our site and mission will not get simpler or less expensive. Historically, about a tenth of our registered users are also supporting members. In the years ahead, we'll need to solve that funding puzzle, while staying true to our sharing vision.
Three Ways You Can Be Part of Rotation.org's Future
...and post responses and "likes" to things you like. If every Registered and Supporting Member posted just once a year, we'd have a wonderful problem! Find a topic and add your great idea.
2. Share Rotation.org with Others
Share "rotation.org" with other churches, your friends, and via your church website. One of the best ways to share Rotation.org with the world is to ask your church to include a link back to us on your church website. This improves our visibility on the web to people searching for lesson help.
3. Be a Supporting Member
Give, Pray, Share
Our budget depends entirely on our Supporting Members. If you're already a Supporting Member, and we're saving your curriculum budget hundreds of dollars a year, consider making an "over and above" online donation too. And finally, pray for our ministry, and for the tens of thousands of teachers who find their way to your content.
Happy 20th Birthday, and here's to the next 20 !
*Wormy is Neil MacQueen, our founder, and now our webmaster and lesson editor.