Kingsview’s board and pastoral team have prioritized times of serious discussion and prayerful discernment over Studio 15’s future since it began to really struggle financially in 2013. As part of the ongoing evaluation of this specific ministry and our partnership with World Vision Canada, detailed reviews of its progress and effectiveness were completed every 6 months since its official start in 2011. As the ministry project’s sustainability began to diminish, we searched and searched for additional funding sources, but with only limited results. Programs were run as efficiently as possible on the limited budget. The board recently made the difficult decision to end our project funding agreement with World Vision about six months ahead of schedule. We can celebrate that Studio 15 has served over 350 participants!
- 62% of participants were equipped with personal disciplines for healthy engagement in school & the community, exceeding our target of 55%.
- 75% of the youth involved in Studio 15 demonstrated improvement in healthy social skills, exceeding our target of 65%.
What does the future of Studio 15 look like? That’s the question we’ve been exploring. One way that we can discern God’s direction is to ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us; and one of the best ways to do that is in a group, rather than individually.
So we organized a Focus Group to help discern the way forward. According to Wikipedia, “a focus group is a form of qualitative research in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards [something]. Questions are asked in an interactive group setting where participants are free to talk with other group members.” As Christians, we use this as a spiritual practice.
On November 3rd, fifteen Studio 15 participants, parents, volunteers and church members gathered to take part in the group exercise, facilitated by Nina Cooper and Pastor Darrin.
Here are a few summary points from our discussion. Studio 15 has:
- Connected children & youth with the gospel that otherwise wouldn’t have.
- Provided a safe environment for local children & youth to foster community connections, social skills, leadership development & new experiences.
- Offered quality instruction, from caring instructors in a variety of activities from arts to cooking to homework help at an affordable cost.
- Missed a few opportunities by not promoting itself and its program or connecting with the church/community as well as we could have.
Regarding a sustainable future, the Focus Group suggested that Studio 15 should:
- Rely more on partnerships & volunteers than our own paid staff.
- Discontinue the arts & recreation classes (which require a lot of resources).
- Nurture more ownership/participation from the church & community.
Stay tuned for more news about Studio 15 as we continue to discern God’s direction.