AP/Class Staff Bulletin

November 2021

Mybsf.org Update!

Work is progressing on the transition from class.bsf to mybsf.org. We hope you will join us in our excitement as we look forward to streamlining BSF resources into one site. Once in place, ease in managing of the media and materials for your class should take a significant step forward. 

Reference Guides are being finalized and will be available to AP and Class Staff soon.  

Meanwhile, some revisions have been made since our October bulletin. The New mybsf.org section has been revised and is included below in its entirety. New information is in blue. 

Please pray for class data migration testing currently underway. The learnings from this test will be applied to the data validation testing we are asking you to perform for your class (November 30-December 7). 

We appreciate your prayers for the ongoing work on this massive project. We are so grateful for your willingness to walk this journey with us! Your partnership is so critical in this transition.

 

 

Happening Soon

  • November 8-9: OT/D-OT Orientation Dates
  • November 11: AP/OAP Global AP Training 
  • November 18: School Program Redesign Global Training for SP CSs/Asst. CSs
  • November 22: PAUSE begins for Mybsf.org, Class.bsf and BSF Online websites 
  • December 5-8: Next TL Orientation
    • Application Deadline: Applications must be approved by November 5

Prayer Requests

Praise God for: The unity and bond of love built among AP from all nations as they gather regularly to talk about God’s Word, in their discussion groups.  

      Click to Read More Prayer Requests

      Pray for: 

      • AP and Class Staff to embrace their God-given privilege of bringing His Word to their community. 
      • BSF members and leaders to continue to grow their passion for Christ, His Word and His Church.

      Praise God for: His guidance in redesigning the School Program curriculum. 

      Pray for: 

      Classes testing the new curriculum materials in November:

      • God to provide time and attention for leaders testing to prepare using the new material. 
      • God to give leaders courage to offer constructive feedback. 
      • God to show the Redesign team how to refine the materials to create the best experience to transition to the new curriculum next June – August.

      Praise God for: The excellence with which CAs and ALs serve in their classes. 

      Pray for: CA’s timely preparation for the transition to the new mybsf.org, including: 

      • gathering their database reports to be used for data validation.
      • timeliness and excellence of validation testing. 
      • helping class members and leaders with lesson and lecture support.  
      • sensitivity to the transition schedule. 

      NEW mybsf.org

      The New mybsf.org: What to Expect

      We are eager to unveil the new mybsf.org to the world in December! The upgraded website is part of the BSF 2.0 project that is enhancing BSF’s digital resources. The mybsf.org phase of this project will give the BSF member an improved online experience and continue to give access to lesson materials. The site will also be a streamlined gateway for Leaders, Class Staff and AP to access their class data as we retire class.bsf.

      The launch of this site does require a PAUSE, a shutdown from November 22 through December 7, of mybsf.org and class.bsf to allow for data transfer, testing and validation. This is where we need your help as we prepare for the new mybsf.org launch on Dec. 8.

      November 22 (CST): Shutdown (PAUSE) of mybsf.org and class.bsf

      Click here for what you need to do to prepare for the PAUSE.

      November 26-29 (CST): BSF HQ Verification and Validation

      This first verification will happen at BSF HQ. Our IT Department will lead HQ to verify and ensure a successful transfer of millions of records during this process and conduct final testing of the site’s functionality.

      November 30-December 7 (CST): Class Staff Validation

      Classes will receive training and validate class data, which was formerly housed on class.bsf, and begin using the new site. Classes will receive:

      • a Reference Guide to navigate the new site.
      • an instructional video on how to navigate the new system.
      • instructions on how to verify their data.

      CAs and ALs are likely candidates for the verification of their class data. Please determine now who will contribute to this important effort. The estimated time necessary to complete data validation is 2-6 hours, depending on class size and number of class leaders participating in the validation.

      December 8 (CST) The NEW mybsf.org launches

      • Encourage all class members and leaders to log in to mybsf.org soon after the launch of the new website to ensure user access. (This is important to prevent members from having to reset passwords in January.)

      Important! BSF HQ will be closed from December 15 to January 3 to allow HQ staff and Helpdesk volunteers to focus on celebrating the birth of our Unexpected King Jesus and to spend time with family. We encourage all Class Staff, leaders and members to take a full Christmas break.

      Class Information for the PAUSE

      While there will be a PAUSE in access to mybsf.org and class.bsf, November 22 to December 7, BSF will continue to carry on! In anticipation of the website shutdown, review your Class Calendar to determine which lessons, lectures and mini-studies will be impacted during this time. Consider these options as you plan for:

      Local Online Classes or Groups

      • Groups will continue to meet on Zoom.
      • Online giving will continue to be available by going to bsfinternational.org/support.
      • Remind and help members to download lessons before mybsf.org shuts down, to access lessons and notes through the BSF app, or to purchase a Matthew Lessons Book through the BSF Store. (See Helping One Another Through the PAUSE.)
      • Use channels currently used for lecture; use Facebook Live or post lectures on your private class Facebook page; or download sample lectures in advance from class.bsf to e-mail out.

      In-person Classes

      • Members will continue to attend groups and lecture as normal.
      • In-class and online giving (including Text2Give for US classes and local giving options outside of the US) will continue to be available. Online giving is available by going to bsfinternational.org/support.
      • Remind and help members to download lessons before mybsf.org shuts down, to access lessons and notes through the BSF app or to purchase a Matthew Lessons Book through the BSF Store. (See Helping One Another Through the PAUSE.)
      • Give a live lecture only; use channels currently used for lecture; use Facebook Live or post lectures on your private class Facebook page; or download sample lectures in advance from class.bsf to e-mail out.

      Classes Outside U.S.

      Some classes outside the U.S. may consider suspending class during the PAUSE. For some classes the PAUSE may coincide with a scheduled break. Two important reminders for these classes:

      • Make a plan to verify your class data during the specified dates (November 30 – December 7)
      • Make a plan to communicate with your classes before the PAUSE, encouraging members to log in to mybsf.org after the launch on December 8.

      IMPORTANT: Attendance and Financial Reporting

      Giving options remain the same during the PAUSE. Always offer in-class giving when meeting in-person. Please let members know online giving is also available during the PAUSE and through the end of the year at bsfinternational.org/support.  International local online giving options are also available during the PAUSE.

      • Continue to complete the Weekly Financial Record (F 101 USA/INTL) and make deposits to your bank during November and December.
      • Continue to write any necessary checks/cheques (Host Church remunerations, SDG remunerations, reimbursements, etc.).

      Complete the Monthly Receipt & Disbursement Worksheet Report (F 107 USA/INTL) (use paper copy or downloaded fillable copy) as normal for submission BUT follow this schedule for monthly reporting for November, December and January:

      • Submit November Monthly reporting for Attendance and Finances before November 22 in class.bsf. (Remember class.bsf will be SHUT DOWN November 22 – December 7.)
        • Include all banking activity prior to November 22.
        • Online Giving will be available on November 15 and must be used to calculate Host Church remuneration.
        • November monthly financial and attendance reports include weeks of November 1, 8, and 15.
        • Note that November financial reports will not be reviewed/processed by HQ until the end of the month even though submission will be earlier.
      • Submit December Monthly reporting for Attendance and Finance 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 Reference Guide).
        • Include all banking activity that was not included in the November report with the December report.
        • December financial and attendance reports include the weeks of November 22 and 29 as well as all weeks your class meets in December.
        • The Online Giving Summary WILL NOT BE UPLOADED for December Monthly Financial reporting! (December will not 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.
        • Keep a paper copy of weekly Class Day Leadership, Discussion Group and Children’s Classroom Attendance for November and December to go back and enter the data for the weeks your class met during that timeframe.  Attendance will be reported weekly in the new mybsf.org.
      • Submit January Monthly reporting for Attendance and 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.
        • Attendance will be reported weekly in the new mybsf.org.

      Helping One Another Through the PAUSE

      The shutdown of mybsf.org and class.bsf November 22 to December 7 is an opportunity to continue Helping One Another. We encourage you to welcome this opportunity as we prepare for and move through the transition to the new mybsf.org.

      We need your help! While the BSF HQ Helpdesk team is eager to provide support, it is not possible for them to do it alone. Class members will receive the most efficient help and best care possible from those they know best – leaders and members in their classes. (Use the PowerPoint slides in the MyBSF Pause Communication Kit for the PAUSE on your Downloads to recruit Tech Helpers.)

      The September Bulletin suggested obtaining a Tech Helper for each group. While this suggestion would be optimal, it may not be feasible for all classes. Class Staffs are encouraged to determine how best to help class members through the PAUSE by creating a team to assist with accessing lesson questions, notes and lectures. Encourage GLs to connect with each Group Member to ensure every person has what they need to fully participate in the life-changing study of Matthew.

      We are grateful for you and the way you continue Helping One Another!

      Tips on How Classes Support the PAUSE

      Class Social Media Administrators received a mybsf.org social media package – MyBSF Pause Communication Kit that includes suggested posts and PowerPoint slides for your classes and their sites, along with posts to help recruit tech helpers.

      The Join Feature

      Join a Group – The Join Feature will continue to generate e-mails to CAs when people are interested in joining your class during the PAUSE.  The only information CAs will have access to during this time will be the e-mail.  Information entered (age, phone, children, etc.) through the Join Feature will not appear on the Website Pre-Registration log on class.bsf (or in mybsf.org under Join Requests after the data transfer) even if entered.  It will be lost – you will only have an e-mail.  Follow up on all JOIN e-mails received during the PAUSE (November 22 – December 7) promptly to ensure accessibility to your class by those desiring to join!  

      Online Giving

      Give to BSF will continue to function throughout the PAUSE. Those donating gifts will have the ability to identify their class in order for host churches to benefit from giving. 

      Need to Know

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

      Matthew Lessons Questions in Additional Languages

      Last month we announced the availability of lesson questions in 12 different languages.  Class Staff access those questions through this link:  Curriculum – Materials in Additional Languages – All Documents (SharePoint.com) 

       This is a ministry opportunity for class staff to download the lesson questions to share (print or digital) with your leaders and members as requested. Since access is through Class Staff, please do not share the SharePoint link noted above. We are so grateful for our volunteer translators! 

      Matthew Lessons Books

      Matthew Lessons Books (16-29) in Chinese and Spanish are now available on mybsf.org and in the BSF Store. 

      International Finance (For International Classes Only)

      We are thrilled to introduce Stephanie Wong and Sandeep Yadav as our new International Controllers at Headquarters. We want to invite all our international classes to send finance queries and information to a new email inbox intlfinance@bsfinternational.org. We look forward to working with each of you in the days to come. 

      SP CL Blog

      The School Program CL Blog will be released to Class Staff and AP through the Downloads and to CSs, Asst. CSs, and all SP CLs through email. The blog will be accessed through the Matthew Resources Link for SP leadership. Second edition coming soon! 

      New! Podio Resignation Form

      Coming soon! A new resignation process for outgoing TL/D-OT/OT is in the final testing stage and will soon be managed through the Podio Application Process. When an AP or OAP completes an Open Position Form to replace an outgoing TL/D-OT/OT, a Resignation Form will be automatically sent to the resigning staff for completion and submission through Podio. This will replace the requirement for a resignation to be sent to HQ. We are grateful for this process improvement to serve you more efficiently.

       

      Global AP Training Sign-up

      AP/OAP: Have you signed up yet for the November 11 Global AP Training?  

       An e-mail was sent to you on October 12 with instructions on how to sign up. Contact events@bsfinternational.org if you did not receive this e-mail.  

       The training is designed to help AP/OAP understand the School Program Redesign. 

      You are up to date and doing great work!

       

      International CAs

      International CAs: be sure to use intlfinance@bsfinternational.org for any financial communication or inquiries.

      Certificates of Insurance and Facility Agreements

      BSF classes do not approach Host Churches about Certificates of Insurance (COIs) and/or Facility Agreements. Rather, we respond to requests from the Host Churches for these documents. CAs please keep HC information (address, church contact name, and contact email) updated as these are renewed annually! Check out the information in your CA manual on COIs and Facility Agreements! 

       

      Global SP CS/Asst. CS Training Sign-up

      School Program CSs/Asst. CSs: Have you signed up yet for the November 18 Global Training?  

      An e-mail was sent to you the week of October 25 with instructions on how to sign up. Contact events@bsfinternational.org if you did not receive this e-mail.  

      The training is designed to help SP CSs and Assistant CSs understand the School Program Redesign and will focus on the first component of Transformational Discipleship: Build Community. 

      You are up to date and doing great work!

      BSF Online will also PAUSE

      BSF is updating technology for our classes and merging accounts across our websites.  To do so, the BSF Online website will be shut down November 22 8am CT to November 29 5pm CT. During this PAUSE, the BSF Online website will NOT be available to you or to your members. Leaders and members will have two options during the PAUSE:

      Meet as planned.

        • Go to zoom.us and copy the invitation to your meeting.
        • Send this invitation via email or group chat.
        • Download the questions, notes and lecture for Lesson 10: Matthew 9:1-34 and Lesson 11: Matthew 9:35-10:42 before November 22.

      OR

      Take the week off. Combine lessons for discussion the following week.  Remember that our Flex week is November 25-December 2.

      Just as a precaution we recommend that all leaders and members download needed materials for Lesson 10 and Lesson 11.

       What to expect when we open up:

      1. To sign in, re-type your email and password.
      2. Some of you may need to reset your password.  Click Forgot password and an email will be sent with a link to reset your password.
      3. If you have an account on MyBSF and BSF Online, you will be able to go from one website to the other by using the Navigation menu.

      This functionality begins the merge of all BSF websites and accounts to make it easier for you.  Thanks for your understanding during this transition time.

      Matthew Lessons Questions in Additional Languages

      Last month we announced the availability of lesson questions in 12 different languages.  Class Staff access those questions through this link:  Curriculum – Materials in Additional Languages – All Documents (SharePoint.com) 

      This is a ministry opportunity for class staff to download the lesson questions to share (print or digital) with your leaders and members as requested. Since access is through class staff, please do not share the SharePoint link noted above. We are so grateful for our volunteer translators! 

      Matthew Lessons Books

      Matthew Lessons Books (16-29) in Chinese and Spanish are now available on mybsf.org and the BSF Store. 

      New! Podio Resignation Form

      Coming soon! A new resignation process for outgoing TL/D-OT/OT is in the final testing stage and will soon be managed through the Podio Application Process. When an AP or OAP completes an  Open Position Form to replace an outgoing TL/D-OT/OT, a Resignation Form will be automatically sent to the resigning staff for completion and submission through Podio. This will replace the requirement for a resignation to be sent to HQ. We are grateful for this process improvement to serve you more efficiently.

       

      Starting New Online Classes 

      As new OGLs are added, BSF Online classes move toward the recommended capacity of 20-30 OGLs. As a class approaches 25 OGLs, OAP have conversations with the OT and AOTs about starting a new class. 

      1. Seek out OT candidates from within the current OLM.  
      2. Be mindful of the upcoming orientation deadlines. Working ahead in Podio is a good idea! 
      3. Once an OT is approved and trained, a new OLM can be set up near the time of the current OLM. 
      4. Mission-minded OGLs are encouraged to join the new OLM. 

      OTs and AOTs may be identified throughout the study year. Having a growth mindset and establishing new classes provides more options for OGLs to be led, shepherded, and trained. 

      Global AP Training Sign-up

      AP/OAP: Have you signed up yet for the November 11 Global AP Training?  

      An e-mail was sent to you on October 12 with instructions on how to sign up. Contact events@bsfinternational.org if you did not receive this e-mail.  

      The training is designed to help AP/OAP understand the School Program Redesign. 

      BSF Online Continues to Grow

      God continues to add members each week in BSF Online. As you see a group exceed the recommended capacity of 15-18 members, OTs and AOTs have the opportunity to raise up a new leader to start a new group.   

      1. Seek a leader from within the group. 
      2. Follow the PARIS process. 
      3. Train the new leader. 
      4. The new leader sets up a group at a new time that is close to the current group time. 
      5. Willing members are asked to join that new group. 

      New OGLs can be added throughout the study year. The more groups that are available the more opportunities members have to easily access BSF Online.