benyola.net

A conversation with Richard Pratt

BENYOLA: So what are some of Third Mill’s new initiatives? Teaching series, languages being translated, more geographical areas being covered. Anything you want to talk about.

PRATT: Right now, we are about to enter our 20th year. We are going to be celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2017. For the last year, several things have happened, but we are now transitioning to what we call Phase Three. Phase One for us was “proof of concept.” The reason for that was because everyone that I asked to help me do this said no, because they said it couldn’t be done. Almost every organization I went to, schools and other kinds of ministries, said, “No way, it can’t be done,” and they had four or five reasons why. So we had to spend the first seven years of Third Millennium proving that it could be done.

BENYOLA: What did you do for a living in the meantime?

PRATT: I kept teaching for a while, but after about five years, I stopped teaching and came full-time to Third Mill because the response to Third Mill was so overwhelming, both in terms of support and users, that the proof of concept was over. I then went back to these ministries and said, “Now that we’ve proven it can be done, would you like to take it over?” But you see, although I wanted to be involved, at a human level, I didn’t want the responsibility of doing this. I just wanted to see it done. But the response was, again, “No. Even though you’ve proven it can be done and should be done, no, we’re not going to do it.”

Then Third Mill entered into its Second Phase, which was what we call our “production phase,” which is when we emphasized increasing the speed and the quality of the curriculum. We were in that program for about another nine years. So for nine years, we worked very hard at creating the team and the techniques. And our quality was greatly improved. But all through those 15 or 16 years, our distribution effort was 99 percent passive. We did not go out trying to find people that wanted to use us. We just built it, and they came. But the demand, this passive distribution, this viral distribution was so great, that it was clear that it was meeting a need.

So, as we had always planned, once we came to the point that we could see the end of our basic production in view, once we saw that we could get this basic curriculum done, then we started moving toward Phase Three, which is now about two years old. And that is “active distribution.” So now, we do simply sit here and wait for people to contact us. We contact them, and we are actively creating a de-centered global network of people, schools, churches and individuals that use Third Millennium curriculum in the development of their leaders. And it’s absolutely phenomenal what’s happened. As soon as we cracked the door of active distribution, a tidal wave of demand rushed in. It’s unbelievable.

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