In the beginning…
Everything has a beginning and as we reach our fourth year we begin to look back at where we began, what we have achieved, and where we will be going next. It is now four years since Taketime began offering unique, accessible, online meditations. Whoever would have predicted what has happened over this last year. We could never have planned for it, and it has meant we have needed to adapt what we offer. Despite the challenges, we have continued to grow as more and more people discover the value of our meditations.
The number of people accessing our online meditations has increased tenfold. In 2017, 3,800 people listened online or using the app; in 2020 this figure was over 38,000. More and more people are changing their online habits and apps are no longer just for digital natives. We are seeing growth month on month which is encouraging as we reach people across the generations and around the world. We are always humbled however, by the number of people that reach us by recommendation.
Our New ‘Online Taketime’
During the lockdown, many groups couldn't meet in person. So, they used Taketime with online platforms, allowing them to still share the sessions together. Seeing the potential in this, we have gone further and developed a special format which we have called ‘Online Taketime'. These meditations use a new video format and will appeal to people who spend much of their time online.
We have commissioned special music and sound designs to engage more of the senses in the meditations. As with other Taketime Together groups, there is an option to stay at the end of the online meditation and share. But, unlike real life groups, the online meetings allow only 15 minutes for this – since everything online needs to be shorter and more focussed.
Taketime believes that many Taketime Practitioners will find this resource easy to use. Meaning that many new Online Taketime groups will start.
We now have trained over 300 people in how to use Taketime meditations (we call them Taketime Practitioners). Our new, highly acclaimed, online training course now allows us to train people all over the world. Those training with us have met other Taketime Practitioners, which grows our community and helps us grow together.
Training for Schools
We are currently completing our online training course for Primary School teachers. We will add an online training course for Secondary School teachers later in the year. These courses will allow us to equip teachers to introduce children and young people to Taketime. Where this has already happened, we have had amazing feedback.
We are also working with a school in India where they are going to introduce the older children (whose English is really good) to Taketime and then intend to translate scripts for use with the younger children. Click here for more details.
Taketime on Youth App
A youth app called 3Generate created by the Methodist Church of Great Britain now includes Taketime Meditations on Anger (Mark 11:15-18), Anxiety (Luke 12:22-34), Betrayal (Mark 14:17-21), Forgiveness (Luke 5:17-26), Frustration (Luke 9:37-45), Guilt (Luke 5:1-11) and Hope (Mark 10:23-30). Before coronavirus, Taketime was a regular feature of the 3Generate annual gatherings, so it is good to know that the young people can still access the meditations.
Taketime in Prisons
Taketime is available in six prisons now, with all prisoners in two prisons having access to Taketime in their cells. Taketime meditations are also sometimes broadcast on Prison radio. A few weeks ago, a prisoner wrote the following and wanted us to share them with others:
“In my first few months I was struggling with remorse, regret, fear, abandonment, loneliness and anxiety. These emotions bounce off the cell walls with nowhere to go and I realised that I needed help.
“Then chaplaincy gave me a CD labelled, “Taketime Meditations.” That night, struggling to sleep, I put on the CD. The voice, which was calm and gentle, invited me to have a conversation which was private and truthful. For me the conversation became a realisation that Jesus had never left me. He had just waited and walked silently next to me throughout the years and it was me who had ignored his presence and not trusted him to be in control.
“I’ve had many traumas in my life, including an abusive family member, abusive partners, and cancer at the age of 45. The negative effect of these things has been too much for me to face alone. But using Taketime, I have been able to revisit them, to walk back through them with Jesus by my side and to feel their destructive power over me diminish.”
Connexional Taketime for Chaplains
Within the Methodist Church it has been decided to offer a live weekly Taketime meditations (in the new video format) to all who work as chaplains. This will in both help them in their own spiritual struggles and introduce them to Taketime as a resource which they can easily share with those they minister to.
As we move forward in this changing world, we see how the changes we are creating are changing people’s lives. Meditations are helping people deal with the stresses they are facing. When you begin a journey sometimes you cannot predict the outcomes or where it ends. As new opportunities open up, we are excited about where we are heading. We would like to thank all those that have been with us in the first four years of this journey.