AP/Class Staff Bulletin

December 2021/January 2022

Advent

Dear Friend,

Advent is a season of activity. Family gatherings, gift lists, cooking, celebrations, and party planning seem to fill every available moment. It can feel like the much-needed and well-deserved break from your BSF leadership role is overtaken by extra activities.  

A few years ago, we had a newborn at our family Christmas celebration. His parents brought him in a car seat and placed him in the corner of the large room, where he slept through the entire celebration. He was so quiet and content that many in the room forgot he was present. I remember looking over at the baby in the corner and wondering how many people get so caught up in the busyness of the season that Jesus ends up forgotten? 

May this Advent season be one of anticipation, not just of activity. Jesus is not the “baby” in the corner; He is Immanuel – God with us.  

May you find hope in the One who is before all things and who holds all things together.  

May you find wisdom as you spend time with your Wonderful Counselor, who has given Light and Life to the world.  

May you glory in His majesty as the King of kings and Lord of lords.  

May you bathe in His love as you reflect on his willingness to come to us as God’s Son and live among us as a man.  

May this season of activity be transformed into a season of rest as you accept His invitation to come and find rest for your weary souls.  

And as you encounter others this season, may Jesus be the One you proclaim. Ask God to show you how and when to share with those you encounter this season the hope, wisdom, joy, and love that King Jesus brings.  

 By His grace and for His glory, 

 Hollie Roberts
Executive Director, Bible Study Fellowship 

 

Happening Soon

During the third week of January, approximately 20% of members will receive a request to complete a survey to help BSF HQ understand member engagement and connection through BSF in-depth Bible study methods.  

Prayer Requests

Praise God for: 

  • His guidance through the second test of the new SP curriculum and training materials 
  • Providing test classes and leaders who graciously participated and provided valuable feedback 
  • His unity given to AP and SP CS/Asst. CS on recent global trainings for the SP Redesign 

Pray for: 

  • God’s wisdom and discernment through data and feedback to lead us to what He has planned to train School Program leaders globally 
  • Clarity in the design process of much needed resources to support online SP leaders 

Pray for: 

  • The Holy Spirit to help us see Jesus at work redeeming, restoring, and loving people through the many difficulties that surround us  
  • God grant rest to family and friends as we rejoice over the gift of His Son this Christmas season
  • God’s guidance as classes assess regathering in-person 

      NEW mybsf.org

      Status on Data Migration

      We are grateful for your excellence, commitment, and participation in the data migration from class.bsf to the new mybsf.org! Thank you for verifying, validating, and even re-creating your class data during the past few weeks. 

      We understand the challenges and frustrations with moving your class data. We know you are seeing errors and bugs that you are unable to correct at this time. We are here for you! Please click on Leader Support on the leader pages in mybsf.org to report defects that you may be noticing.

      Please note that Placement Comments will not be visible to class members in their User Profile in the Placement Information section. For now, HQ is removing the comments from member view, but they will be saved and made available in March. Teaching Leader Notes are not visible to class members.

      On the preview site, Distance Online Leaders Meetings (DOLMs) could not upload lectures. This issue has been resolved in the new mybsf.org.

      Look forward to more functionality and future enhancements that will streamline data management for your class in the coming year!

       

      Lecture Upload

      There are some new changes to how and when lecture videos can be uploaded to mybsf.org.

      • A lecture can now be uploaded for any week. 
      • The lecture outline and video can be added/modified independently.
      • The lecture outline can be up to 4,000 characters.
      • You can assign members and/or leaders to have the Lecture Uploader (LU) ministry role.

      The Reference Guide contains instructions for how to assign this ministry role and how to upload the lecture. 

      Attendance  Reporting

      Edits to Attendance can be made at any time. Attendance is tracked on an individual level by group/meeting. All Class Staff plus Admin Leaders can enter attendance for a group, seminar and Class Leaders. CLs and GLs can enter attendance directly. For more information on GL and CL database access, refer to the Job Aids and Reference Guides in the Matthew Resources.

      Use the paper copy of weekly Class Day Leadership, Discussion Group, and Children’s Classroom Attendance for the PAUSE weeks in November and December. Retain your paper copies in your Class File. Going back to enter those weeks into mybsf.org is optional.

      Take Leaders Meeting attendance using the Attendance Record – Leaders Meeting (A-105) that you printed/downloaded from class.bsf at the beginning of the Matthew study.

      Attendance will be reported weekly in the new mybsf.org. There is no longer a monthly attendance report to submit.

      Financial Reporting

      Note that there will not be access to financial reporting until January.

      From the November Bulletin (updated information in blue):

       

      • Submit December Monthly reporting for Finance in early January, dates to be determined only the week of January 3 and no later than January 7 through the new mybsf.org site (instruction will be provided in the CA, AL, D-AOT Reference Guide).
        • Include all banking activity that was not included in the November report with the December report.
        • December financial reports include the weeks of November 22 and 29 as well as all weeks your class meets in December.
        • December will be listed in the Online Giving Summary, but will show $0 for all classes. For this December report, Host Church remuneration is based upon in-class contributions only.
      • Submit January Monthly reporting for Finance only after the last class day of the month.
        • Both December and January online giving will be combined in the Online Giving Summary for January. This online giving amount should be used in the calculation of the Host Church remuneration and be included in your January Monthly Financial Report.

      CAs, look for important information needed to submit your financial reports in January.

      Meetings

      Examples of the different types of meetings are the Base Class Meeting, Leaders Meeting, and Satellite Meetings.  Each meeting has a nickname that can be edited. Groups, Locations, and a Calendar are assigned to each Meeting. IMPORTANT: Currently the Leaders Meeting calendar is not updating correctly. This issue is being worked on.

      Meetings Management is where you go to change the Leaders Meeting or Class Meeting day and time, request bank documentation (base class only), add bank information, edit church remuneration, and add location notes. 

      Satellite Meetings are meetings at a specific location that is not the Base Class. Satellite Meetings contain adult Discussion Groups and possibly a Children’s Program. Each Satellite Meeting is assigned its own calendar. Lessons and attendance for the Satellite Meeting depend on the Satellite Calendar.

      Groups

      In the new mybsf.org, Class Staff can create Discussion Groups and Classrooms without leaders and members. Each group must have a group name and is assigned to a meeting. Groups can have up to three leaders assigned.  

      Locations

      Locations are associated with meetings. Each meeting must have a location. Some locations are maintained by the Class Staff (satellites) and some by HQ (Base Class host churches). Class Staff may create a location for their satellite if it doesn’t already exist. Location Notes show up on Find a Group 

      Change Requests (formerly G110 notice)

      In class.bsf, Class Staff submitted a G110 notice to submit personnel changes, update treasurer, update bank information, request bank documentation, update class or Leaders Meeting church information, update class or Leaders Meeting day and time, or to change church remuneration.

      In the new mybsf.org, only personnel changes and church changes need to be submitted through a Change Request. All other changes are made by Class Staff. Bank documentation requests are made through Meetings Management. See the Reference Guides for instructions on how to make these changes.

      Troubleshooting Tips for Accessing the New mybsf.org

      • When accessing the site: enter mybsf.org into the address bar of your browser. 
      • Type your existing email and your password (your Remember Me may not work). 
      • You may need to reset your password – click Forgot Password and a link will be sent to you. 
      • If you are not seeing what you need to see then you may need to change your role. Click on your profile in the upper right corner and click Select Role (if available).

      Children in Find a Person

      A feature of the new mybsf.org is a single database for all participants in BSF. As such, children were included in the database.  

       The “Find a Person” link is featured on the “main page” of class staff websites. Children are not searchable on their own.  However, when the Registering Adult is searched, some child information is viewed. 

       A concern over the availability of this information has been raised. BSF is committed to protecting member and children’s data.  

       To protect the data of the children, children have been removed from the “Find a Person” search results. As a result of this change, children cannot be transferred between classes at this time. A permanent solution will be implemented to protect the data and transfer children soon. 

       NOTE: Children can still be added to a class through the Registering Adult’s profile by class staff. 

      Need to Know

      Be sure to read across all positional buttons related to your class.

      BSF App Update

      The BSF App is receiving a big update for the new year. This new version contains enhancements that integrate the app with the new mybsf.org. The biggest change to expect is the app now allows you to log in to your mybsf.org account. 

      Enhancements include:  

      • Log in using mybsf.org credentials  
      • Encrypted lesson answers synchronize across multiple devices and new devices 
      • Listen to audio Lesson Notes 
      • Listen to, watch, or download lecture audio/video 

      MyBSF Learning Updates

      The launch of the new mybsf.org brought some changes to MyBSF Learning. 

      1. Existing MyBSF Learning users now log into the site using the same username and password used for mybsf.org. It is necessary for Class Staff to use the OPENID CONNECT button when accessing MyBSF Learning. Impacted Class Staff were notified about this change in November. 
      2. New AP, TLs, D-OTs, and Asst. CSs will be invited to MyBSF Learning when they are added to their new role. Content for these roles is under development. Watch future bulletins for updates as training content becomes available.

      BSF is Hiring!

      BSF is hiring, please check our Careers page on bsfinternational.org. BSF is a great place to work! Please let your leaders and class members know! 

      School Program Redesign

      Want to know more about the School Program Redesign? Watch these videos!

      Upcoming OT/D-OT Orientation Dates

      • February 28-March 1, 2022 

      Application deadline (application must be approved): Wednesday, February 2, 2022. 

      • August 1-2, 2022 

      Application deadline (application must be approved): Wednesday, July 6, 2022.  

      Upcoming TL Orientation Dates

      • March 27-31, 2022 (details to follow) 

      Application deadline (application must be approved): Wednesday, February 23, 2022 

      • April 24-28, 2022 – Online 

      Application deadline (application must be approved): Wednesday, March 23, 2022 

      •  August 14-18, 2022 

      Application deadline (application must be approved): Wednesday, July 13, 2022 

      You are up-to-date and doing great work!

       

      Adding an Address for Child Registration

      To add or edit a Child Registration, the Registering Adult’s (RA) address is required in the system. If this address is unknown or not provided by the RA, you may enter “not provided” in the Street Address field of the RA’s registration to create the Child Registration. 

       

      School Program Redesign: Build Community

      CSs and Asst. CSs, you are leading through a time of change during the SP Redesign.  We want to strengthen and encourage you to be an agent of change in your local class. A recording of the CS/Asst. CS Global Zoom meeting on November 18 is posted to the CS/Asst.CS Matthew Resources page.  

      Redesign & Build Community Training 

      There are two new videos and a training resource for use with your CLs. The training introduces them to the new Build Community component.  

      The videos and the training document can be found on the CS/Asst. CS Matthew Resources page 

      Lead this training during the 10’ of flex time at Leaders Meeting. Consider asking CLs to access and watch the video (on the CL Matthew Resources page) before the LM to enhance discussion.  

      We are praying for you and value your contribution as agents of change for the SP Redesign in your class. We are committed to equipping you one step at a time to lead through this change. The next global Zoom meeting will equip you for the Discover Truth component and the third one will be Live Differently  

       SP CS Global Zoom: Discover Truth – February 24 

      Look for instructions in the February Bulletin to sign up for this training.

      You are up-to-date and doing great work!

      BSF App Update

      The BSF App is receiving a big update for the new year. This new version contains enhancements that integrate the app with the new mybsf.org. The biggest change to expect is the app now allows you to log in to your mybsf.org account. 

      Enhancements include:  

      • Log in using mybsf.org credentials  
      • Encrypted lesson answers synchronize across multiple devices and new devices 
      • Listen to audio Lesson Notes 
      • Listen to, watch, or download lecture audio/video 

      MyBSF Learning

      AOTs continue to log in to MyBSF Learning with your existing username and password. Future enhancements are planned to include BSF Online AP and Staff in the single sign-on process.  

      Rest and Reconnect

      BSF Online has scheduled three weeks of rest and refreshment with your family and friends over Christmas. January provides the opportunity to reconnect with leaders and members. Begin reconnecting on group chat over the joys and the challenges of the holidays as well as the times God showed Himself to you. (Consider scheduling fellowship time to continue your conversations from group chat and from the lesson discussion.)

      BSF is Hiring!

      BSF is hiring, please check our Careers page on bsfinternational.org. BSF is a great place to work! Please let your leaders and class members know! 

      Upcoming OT/D-OT Orientation Dates

      • February 28-March 1, 2022 

      Application deadline (application must be approved): Wednesday, February 2, 2022. 

      • August 1-2, 2022 

      Application deadline (application must be approved): Wednesday, July 6, 2022.  

      Leader Group Management

      Leader Groups can be designated and assigned to OTs and AOTs in the BSF Online website. This powerful tool allows your leaders to easily transition into two Zoom meetings and then back again during your OLM by clicking the Join button. Consider using Leader Groups to increase leader engagementClick here to read the Support Article on best uses of the Leader Group tool. 

      Inspiration

      Encouraging Stories From Japan and Northern Ireland

      Japan 

      For years, language has been a challenging barrier to inviting Japanese men and women to Bible Study Fellowship. In 2018, there were only 25 Japanese-speaking women in the first Japanese-speaking Online Discussion Group. Today, God has grown this group into 220 women sitting at the feet of Jesus every week studying His Word in their heart language. Removing the language barrier has opened wide the doors for many believers in Japan who hunger and thirst for God’s Word. May this encourage you to continue to remove barriers that hinder accessibility to the study of God’s Word. 

       Northern Ireland

      “I have been blown away by how God is using BSF to provide a safe place for wounded people to open their Bibles and slowly open their hearts to Him. I have two in my group – one who had been traumatized and couldn’t open the Bible for 10 years without shaking. And the other who became disillusioned with church and God, due to mistreatment by church leaders. I met the second who admitted the need to get things sorted out with God. It is wonderful to see how God has led them both to BSF and they are finding healing from His Word.”