This weekend at the Verge Conference in Austin, TX Downline Ministries unfurled the new version of its customizable discipleship curriculum, the Downline Builder.
The vision for the Builder has always been to help disciple-makers “meet people where they are.” We wanted to produce a curriculum for worldwide use, but didn’t want to make something that would be a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach. See these interviews here and here for more of our vision from the original launch.
So, what’s new in the new Builder 2.0? Here’s a taste:
The new site has the built-in functionality to transform the webpage and the curriculum lessons into foreign languages. The first language we will have available (Spring 2013) is Spanish. Subscribers will be able to translate the whole site into Spanish or, if you are an English speaker working with Spanish speakers, you can access your leader guide in English while giving out the student guide in Spanish. Next up: Korean, Mandarin, Arabic, and Hindi. If you would like to fund a new language, please send us an email!
Greater Personalizing Intelligence.
The new site will serve up more specific, customized results to meet your discipleship needs. If you’ve never used the Builder, just know that we’re constantly evaluating how we might provide the right material in the right format at just the right time. We encourage you to watch our animated intro video on the site as well the live demonstration video on the site. For those of you who are already subscribers, the “tell us about your discipleship relationship” page is one with which you’re probably familiar. Now, once you mark all appropriate selections to customize your curriculum, the results will be organized in a way that takes into account lessons you’ve “favorited” and will rank the lessons that are suggested to you.
Interactivity for Leaders as well as Students.
Leaders will enjoy forums where they can ask/answer questions and dialogue about discipleship topics with other leaders around the world. Also, access to the “old Builder” was only for leaders who had paid for a subscription. Now, students will be able to login in (with restricted) access for free so that they can download their materials, get info on meeting times, and talk with other people in their group, if applicable.
Much, Much More.
There are many more features that we could highlight here: greater functionality on iOS… the development of an iPhone & iPad app… the ability to interact with (taking notes, highlighting, etc) the PDF curriculum directly from a mobile device… the ability for churches and organizations to see reporting/statistics on those who are signed up using their group discount… the opportunity to load your own curriculum into the Builder to supplement the lessons we’ve put together… new sections of curriculum from authors/publishers that you can add into your curriculum library for a small fee… the ability to upload your own written or video testimonial about the Downline Builder to be displayed on our site… and so on.
As always, we ask that you follow our Builder Twitter feed and like our Builder Facebook page for more updates. We look forward to seeing what God will do in and through the church as we partner with and equip people just like you!