time for community
â€œdo i deserve community?â€?
why is it valuable?
An interesting pattern was uncovered during the course of the interviews. Staff members that hold the position of Pastor said they tend to feel like they have community amongst the staff. They also all seem to have time for it.
Is it possible to see the value of community being important for some and not for others? Is it more important for a Pastor to have community than an Administrative Assistant? Does a Pastor have more impact on the overall goal of the church than an Administrative Assistant, thus deserving more time for community?
What is the value of community and is it really needed amongst the staff?
However, people who hold a title below a Pastor felt they have less of a sense of community. They seem to have less time for it as well. Most do not feel as if their job would reward or praise time taken for community. When asked why, most of these individuals said they are too busy to have time for community.
When oneâ€™s value in an organization is seen to be higher than anothers, concession will be made for that person. In this case, these concessions may have led to some experiencing community as a staff, while others did not. Each department should evaluate how community is being fostered amongst all positions and levels.
The biggest value of community amongst the staff will come from its affect on its external counterpart. External community at the church will mirror internal community at the church. The value of community often parlays into personal productivity. When there is a thriving sense of community, there is a healthy degree of communication and an increase in communication leads to more collaboration. This type of environment is conducive to developing innovation, creative ideas and productivity.
“i desire to know my leaders”
“i desire to belong”
“give me a reason”
The lower level staff members do not feel as if they can approach the higherlevel leaders. Why is this the case?
Staff members at all levels have an intense desire to belong to something bigger than themselves.
The conversations do not show each person has a need for a deep personal relationship with those at the top. That would not be practical. However, most people do desire to know the leaders they serve and “to know them beyond a teaching session.”
This is why they are a part of a church staff. Belonging to the staff comes from an understanding of each individual’s importance to the vision of the organization as a whole.
People will commit to those they know. Commitment is a result of relationship and vision. Vision needs to be simple and continually re-enforced. “The people perish for lack of vision.”
It is important to know that bridging this relational gap is not a time intensive thing. There are simple ways to leverage technology and pre-existing structures to allow for increased interaction. Tools like Twitter.com and Yammer.com can help leadership personally connect with staff members they might not have otherwise been able to connect with. (further discussed under Technology)
If a person’s contributions aren’t valued, that person will never gain belonging. If a person’s contribution is valued, but it is not communicated to them…then their contribution is really not valued.
Is my church’s vision simple? (Could each person in the organization describe it and describe how what they are doing directly affects it?) Staff members need to understand why they are important. People need to know they are valued. People who feel valued and understand their importance will be committed and take initiative. While there is a hierarchy to the organizational chart of a staff, why can’t the communication of the organization be flattened?
communication between departments
ministry vs service
people vs programming
How could the success of a department be measured along with the overall success of a church? And, could that success somehow be intertwined with other departments?
The preceding point is more clearly demonstrated when comparing the ministry and service departments.
Many staff members were frustrated by the fact they did not know what was going on in other areas of their church.
Service departments, such as media and facilities, seem to have the best understanding of what is going on in a church because their job is to work with most all of the other departments.
It seemed that an understanding of other ministries was only as deep as the friendships that existed between those departments. Since there was not a great structure for developing those relationships, there was not a great way to ensure communication.
It seems as if there is a sense of competition between departments, rather than collaboration. Many departments work for their own good instead of a good that is bigger than themselves. (aka the church-wide vision) A key to tearing down this barrier is to open-up communication amongst the staff. The dissemination of projects, ideas and thoughts help to connect a team of people around a common vision.
One service staff member said, “It’s interesting to watch departments fight over resources and time, and to see some departments doing the same things as others and not even know it.” Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing? Is one trying to do the job of the other?
In fact, most people were fairly discouraged that they didn’t have an understanding of what the church, at large, was striving to accomplish. Clear and continual communication around the activity of a church is needed to keep a cohesive and motivated staff.
space and time
One of the biggest agents of community in corporate America is the concept of “Happy Hour.” This is an opportunity for people to socialize in a natural environment.
Healthy organizations have a continual flow of information and communication.
Staff members will get to know one another on a personal level
A small church and a large church staff will not face this problem in the same way, but both will face it. More often than not, a smaller church staff will have better communication simply due to the fact that it is relatively easy to communicate amongst a small number of people.
Staff and Leadership will be able to interact in an organic way
The point is that “time” and “space” are provided on a regular basis for co-workers to connect outside of their normal working environment. This is an opportunity for coworkers to meet each other and a chance for information to spread. Both personal and work-related conversations usually take place at such functions. A key point is that Leadership is generally present at Happy Hours. If the people are going to buy into doing something like this, the leadership will have to lead by example. But take a step back from an actual “Happy Hour” and look at it conceptually. What are we doing as a church staff to foster the “time” and “space” for our people to gather? How are we encouraging our people to gather outside of our working environment? When do staff members from different departments have the opportunity to mingle, connect and catch up?
An organization is made up of lots of small groups of people (departments) each tackling a piece of the big puzzle. As more people are needed to accomplish a vision, communication becomes more difficult and a lot less natural. The challenge is to create the “time” and “space” for communication among these groups as the organization grows. The Happy Hour concept is an idea that fights this tendency on several levels.
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Staff members from different departments will get to connect :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Work information will be spread throughout the organization :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Ideas will be shared and discussed :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Internal community will be fostered
a happy hour How often: Once a week How long: 1 hour (30 minutes company time and 30 minutes personal. The 30 minutes personal is not mandatory.) Where: Held off-site (ie - a coffee shop, lounge, etc…) What do we do: Be normal! Get to know the people you work with. Leadership: You are the leaders. Initiate the culture by starting conversations with people you may not know.
the 20% concept
Google requires its engineers to spend a day a week on projects that interest them, not necessarily within their job description. It has been dubbed as “the 20% concept.”
This concept is based on the belief that the best ideas can come from anywhere in the organization.
Most people working in a church staff have a passion for ministry; however they may not have the chance to run with those passions. Their job in the church may be media administration, but they may have the next best idea for local outreach.
This may seem like a waste of time and money, but several of Google’s top products have been developed during this allotted time (such as the popular Gmail). Another company that applied and actually originated the concept is 3M. They called it the 15% rule and it played a role in producing several popular products including Post-itNotes and masking tape. Many corporations are giving their employees paid time to work on things they like. This is a way to unleash the strengths of those in an organization that may have otherwise remained dormant. (We challenge you to research how these and other organizations have implemented such programs)
It is highly probable that someone on your church staff has the best idea for your organization, but who is it? It might just be the person who hasn’t been asked. Empower these people to step up and make a major impact. This is not a fairlytale concept; proven companies are already doing it. It is also a great way to communicate value to each person who works in the church. People who feel valued will give their lives for the vision they serve. The idea is less of a rule and more of a mindset. It can be applied in different ways (20%, 15%, monthly, etc…), but the benefit of this culture can be substantial.
Make time for people to run with their “God given” passions and the return in commitment, productivity, and new ideas will be high. Communicate to people that they are believed in. Let them be creative. Start small with something like a day each month and see what happens. Most people will end up working on solutions to problems that the church has already been trying to solve. Empower the staff to take ownership of the success of the ministries. “Give (your employees time to run with their passions) and it shall be given unto you pressed down, shaken together and running over (in the impact of your ministry).”
ideas for leaders
What is already being done to foster community within your church staff? What is being done that could be used to foster community internally? How could community be fostered around an existing program, initiative or structure?
Plan quarterly staff fun days where everyone mixes and does something social.
One of the most important pieces to all of the ideas presented is that the leaders lead.
If the staff goes bowling, the senior leaders should bowl. (And they should bowl with people they donâ€™t normally interact with)
What if leaders took 15 minutes a day to walk the halls and interact with people for a small amount of time?
Take advantage of the current opportunities such as staff meetings and luncheons to proactively build community. Add some intentional elements to help people connect such as randomly assigned seating at group activities. Have senior level staff sit at different tables and give each table a topic of discussion. This is a great way to start allowing the senior leaders to interact with other members of the staff. Continue to evaluate what is already being done and ask how community can be built off the back of it.
Incorporate open houses where departments open their doors for a day letting everyone else in on what they are working on. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Highlight different staff members each week through a short YouTube video that everyone watches. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: This is the fun part because each staff can figure out things that work for them. There are numerous possibilities that can work as long as they intentionally help people mix.
If the staff does a YouTube highlight video, the senior staff should watch them and make a point to seek-out those individuals letting them know they took time to learn about them. The staff will imitate their leaders.
During this time they could make it a point to interact with people that they normally would not. This is all about taking small steps to large goals. Take the time to evaluate your organization and your personal schedule to look for ways to be intentional about creating a culture within your current framework.
get cutting edge Technology can be a great tool for sustaining communication between departments, between staff, and between positional levels. It can enable senior teams to better communicate and become more approachable to people. Here are a couple of good blog resources to stay on top of how your church can best leverage technology: churchcrunch.com thedigitalsanctuary.org churchrelevance.com impellive.com anthonycoppedge.com churchtechreview.com gregatkinson.com collidemagazine.com/blog rhettsmith.com swerve.lifechurch.tv djchuang.com
senior leaders to staff Social media is a great way for senior leaders to connect more with those in their organization. By using tools (Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, etc), a senior staff member can quickly keep up-to-date on what people in their organization are doing. They can also show them they care by commenting on those activities. (Practical step: make a “Twitter list” of all the staff members at your church) Example: A senior staff member could spend 10 minutes a day reading the twitter updates of those in his/her organization and commenting back about something they did or said. Let’s say that in those 10 minutes the leader was able to directly communicate with 10 people. After a month, the senior leader would have been able to communicate with around 200 people. How many people in a large organization receive communication from their pastor every month?
a practical tool Different churches have different needs. While there are many tools out there, Yammer.com is a great one that effectively addresses the need for internal communication. It enables each individual to share “what they are working on” in 140 characters or less. These updates can be attached to different departments (groups) and include attached files. They can also be shared from the web, a cell phone or a desktop app. The goal is to enable organization-wide communication in a simple and non-obtrusive manner. (Which email does NOT do.) For large churches, it can be particularly effective in helping to increase communication between departments. When using Yammer, it is helpful to do the following: - Get people to help lead the charge in using it
Some people work for churches where they have never communicated directly to their Pastor. Think what this could do for staff buy-in. Think about the value communicated through this action and think about the fact it only took an extra 10 minutes a day.
- Educate everyone on how & why to use it
Technology can be leveraged to help leaders, and those who serve them, stay better connected without spending huge amounts of time.
Yammer can now also be used for external purposes at the church such as coordinating volunteers.
- Pre-install the desktop app on all computers - Have a meeting where people can come to learn specifics on how to use the tool
fact: we’re busy
time for community
making time: a process
myth: building community takes a ton of time
Actions reveal values. A pattern repeated in the interviews was the fact that church staff members felt too busy for community.
To create a heightened level of community within a staff, leadership has to make time for it.
Making time for community may seem to be a sacrifice and hard to do, but in the long run, it will prove not only to create a more efficient organization but a more vibrant and passionate one as well.
Building community is not about sacrificing output. It does not mean that an organization forgets time management. It’s about taking small, intentional steps toward cultivating and developing communication between people.
There is a need for community to be valued along with the output of the staff. Most staff members expressed a desire for more community and even hinted to the fact that more community/ communication within the staff would create more efficiency and productivity. However, most people felt there was so much to get done that taking the time for community would not be viewed as wise. Sometimes what has not been communicated to a staff is just as important as what has been communicated.
This time cannot come from people’s personal time but rather from company time. It may be argued that output cannot be sacrificed for community, but it may be important to consider that without community (communication, vision, team, etc…), an organization will only continue to fall deeper into a silo instead of fostering a family. A community that is tightly knit is a community that thrives.
Note, this is not a quick fix. But change has to start somewhere. Community needs to be a priority. And in order for there to be time for it, it may require cutting back on other areas of work.
This is a fundamental need for all human beings. Marriages fail because of a lack of communication. Churches and organizations are exactly the same. The truth is it takes less time than you think. It’s more about being intentional with the time you have. It means asking what’s already being done that could intentionally be directed towards community building.
identifying the pulse of a “culture”
the proverbial “revolving door”
how to change a culture
Church staff members were asked, “If you were to look into the future and there was a thriving culture of community at your church, what would be one example/picture/interaction of what that would look like?” A “culture” is often an ambiguous concept to define and an even tougher one to measure. Unfortunately, there’s no form of calculation or precise measurement where a person can gauge a culture and just say, “Here’s the type of culture that exists and the it’s current level.” This is why the mental exercise of asking this question was performed. It freed each person to imagine a future point in time and name a result or effect of the envisioned culture. So rather than saying, “This is exactly the type of culture we have,” they were able to work backwards by saying, “If we had a thriving culture of community, then these types of things would be taking place.” The process of reverse engineering proved helpful in allowing people to dream.
What percentage of visitors to a church end up making it their church home?
Can it be planned, structured or programmed? Does it need to happen organically?
How many of them would call it an extension of their family? While there are many variables that contribute to a visitor’s decision to continue attending a church, the desire to be a part of an authentic community is a strong one inside of us all. If each attendee experienced a warm conversation, if they experienced a genuine inquiry into their life and if they experienced the tangible love of Christ in the home of another person… how would that shape their church experience? When the pervasive nature of a church’s culture screams community, it’s time to say goodbye to the proverbial “revolving door” and hello to a thriving church.
Well, “yes…and yes.” The single most important characteristic needed to change a culture is intentionality. Creating structures that foster interaction amongst people: requires being intentional about doing it Challenging members of the church to be more community minded: requires being intentional about communicating that to them Cultivating an environment where people find it natural to connect: requires being intentional about seeding that type of atmosphere
Changing a culture does not have to be a complex thing. While it might take a lot of work and time, it is as simple as being intentional about taking steps towards the desired culture.
exercise: a use case
Let’s dream up a scenario where community is fostered from both an event and relational standpoint. In this case, a young adult group (“YAG”) will serve as the example department.
The staff for “YAG” plans a party
The purpose here is to gather a large number of young adults (say 500), connect them to one another and build community.
An Event and Relationally oriented approach will be applied to this scenario. Each route poses its own set of pros and cons. It should be noted that both approaches are useful; there’s no right or wrong way…only different outcomes and effects.
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::: They enlist the help of other departments (ie – events, media, support services, etc…)
500 people show up at a church facility :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Reflection: the church communicated with them via the process :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Reflection: evening was held in a church environment :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Reflection: the next event might be a few weeks or months out :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Reflection: it consumes a fair amount of time and resources from several staff members
The staff for “YAG” identifies 40 “facilitators” who attend the “YAG”
When looking at the vision of a growing church with multiple campuses, it becomes increasingly difficult to reach a significant number of the attendees via church-coordinated events.
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::: They cast the vision to each of them about doing a YAG-wide event, but in small clusters :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: During one week, the 40 facilitators each host a “potluck party” for 12 or so people at their own apartment or house :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ~500 people show up to an intimate setting :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Reflection: people communicated with them via the process Reflection: evening was held in a personal environment Reflection: these same individuals could plan the next one within a week to a couple of weeks Reflection: it consumes a small amount of time from a couple of staff members
Scalability becomes the issue. By developing a culture of community, people are encouraged to be the church instead of just attending the church. Relational strategies lighten the burden on the staff, are more costeffective and position the members to befriend one another in an organic environment.
community as a spectrum
the “church” and the “home”
When discussing the topic of community with people, each person seemed to define and identify with it differently.
Within the context of the local church, the church is on the left end of the spectrum and the home is on the right end of it. This visual represents a recurring theme mentioned by people, both staff and members alike, throughout the course of conversation.
This shed light on the fact that community is more like a “spectrum” than a concrete object. The spectrum has several facets (in this case, four) and is non-linear, (Meaning that a person can enter the spectrum at just about any place on it…rather than it being a progression). Understanding community from this perspective can be helpful when trying to cater to an individual or group of people that desire it.
What initiatives does the church currently promote around its physical location? In the local area? In peoples’ homes? Certain physical atmospheres are conducive to developing different facets of community. A conversation in a church lobby, a meal at a restaurant and an evening spent around a dinner table all foster different levels of interaction. Each is needed and each has a role to play within the spectrum. If the physical institution of a church (ie – its building, staff, etc…) was removed from its community, what would be left? Would the church still exist? Would the community from it still take place?
church and the spectrum of community The curved line and plotted points above the spectrum are an abstract view of the climate of community in churches at large per each facet of the spectrum. Most people spoke very highly of the “warmth” and “friendliness” of their churches…especially during a service experience. Their examples of First Impressions were likened to an off the charts level of “customer service.” When asked to gauge the pulse of social interaction amongst the church body, many people felt a low level of Connectedness. Nearly everyone expressed a desire to be in conversation with others following a service, to receive an invitation to join up with folks just to hang out, and to spend time with other people from the church between Sundays.
The opportunity to develop friends and gather in Fellowship with one another was pegged at a moderate degree in the culture of churches. Many people mentioned they found a good group of friends at their church but only after a considerable amount of time spent in attendance (typically a year or more). Roughly half of the people felt they had a deep sense of Belonging to other individuals within their church body. An interesting statement shared by a staff member was, “If I were to show up at the homes of a few friends from the church, many would be surprised to find me there.”
going to church -vsbeing the church
L.G. & L.O.
is the church upside down?
What is “church?” What was it like when it started and what is it like now? At some point in time, it seems as if the “church” evolved to mean…
Worship experiences and weekend services are chock-full of “loving God.” Which is a good thing, right? Yep. But it’s not the only thing.
Have church members been conditioned to only take action when challenged by their leadership to do so?
…a window of time on the weekends. …a focus centered around a stage. …a concert-ish performance of sorts. …a gathering where people seemed to gel more as a crowd than as a family. Was “church” intended to be something to “go to” or something to “be?” Church in the current, Western culture, has come to embody more of a weekly action than a daily lifestyle. But what should it be? And how can it change?
Matthew 22:36-39 says, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Simply put, “Love God and love others.” (LG, LO) So where has “loving others” fit into these same worship experiences and weekend services? Has it been reduced to a one minute “meet-n-greet” right before the message? Sure, there’s the rest of the week...but how is it being fostered during and around those times? Just because the service is over doesn’t mean that “church” has to end.
It is as if the congregants passively depend upon the church staff to do the brunt of the “work.” Albeit with the right intentions, a lot of staffs have communicated that members should only participate in sanctioned outreaches, series-based evangelism and event-driven community. Do church members feel as if they need permission to fulfill their callings? Should they? Our bodies use multiple limbs and an entire nervous system to carry out their tasks, yet as a church…it seems as if a couple of parts are trying to bear the entire load. Many pastors have pushed back with concerns of needing to “control or track” the activities of members. While measuring activity can be a plus, it should not be done via methods that stifle the work of the body. Let’s empower the people to lead, equip them with resources and encourage them to walk out their giftings.
measuring success in departments
empower the facilitators
enhance the existing programs and structure
“What if each department was judged by how many people we connect versus how many events we host?” – staff pastor
People who visit the church want to be engaged by others who have a genuine interest in meeting them and not solely those who have an obligation or job responsibility to reach out and say hello.
Identify the facilitators within each type of ministry or age group.
Communication is a prerequisite to community.
Many staff members voiced that they feel a sense of competition between other departments for media’s attention and other resources. Along with this, many staff shared how the departments hosting a frequent amount of successful events also seemed to attract more resources and attention from their senior teams. If the measuring stick for a department is based off events, then that will lead to an event driven church. If it is based off fostering relationships, connectedness and fellowship, then it will be a relationally driven church.
A key component to creating a culture of community is to identify the facilitators and empower them. These are the types of people who carry a burden for others, who are community minded and who like to coordinate gatherings or activities. Casting the vision to these people and seeding them with ideas on how to further create community will help empower them to be the agents for change. This type of strategy may fall into the realm of a small group…or it may not. It may complement a current church event…or it may not. The goal is simply to empower these individuals to use their giftings in an intentional way within the church. By enabling the facilitators within the body, it should lighten the workload on the staff overall.
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spend time investing in them and sharing the vision of community. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Communicate the value of community to the entire church body via the stage. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Strategically incorporate community into each event and program. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Create relationally oriented initiatives that can spread from within the members. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Conduct a church-wide challenge for several weeks that fosters social interaction following a weekend service.
This is where technology comes into play. The church can leverage technology to help its members better connect and to facilitate reallife activities. The most recent generations are growing up in a digital age where they are accustomed to expect to be communicated with on a technological level in some form or fashion. This topic will be covered specifically in the following section.
technology: a process
technology: mine vs ours
“Technology is community.” – Myth “Social networks are community.” – Myth
The nature of technology is change. Technology is in a constant state of progression and it will always be that way.
But what about the cost side of adopting or building technology?
Technology in and of itself is not community. It simply helps to foster communication that leads to community. Does it enable interaction? Yes. Does that lead to community? Yes. But it is not the end game. Web applications, mobile platforms and other forms of technology should be embraced as means to further facilitate communication that leads to offline connectivity. Let’s help people get online to get them offline. Online behaviors and issues will only mirror real-life behaviors and issues. It is as simple as that. For far too long, the church has thrown the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to leveraging technology. Communication is a prerequisite to community, and technology helps to facilitate that communication.
That being said, the role of technology in the church is a question that needs to be continually addressed. Pastors should always seek out better ways to communicate to, empower, and facilitate those entrusted to them. A church will not solve its technology challenges in one swoop, not two, and not even three. It will be a continual process just as preparing to preach a sermon is continually necessary for effective communication. Again, technology is not the whole pie, but it is definitely a piece.
Indeed, it can add up quickly especially when developing new tools. This is where a Kingdom mindset is critical. Many tools created or purchased by churches can be partially or fully used by other churches with only minor adjustments needed. In order for the church to further its mission and pioneer technology that aids such, it will need to take a family-based approach of working together. Instead of building the coolest castle on the block, why not lock arms to advance the entire Kingdom?
vision of a church
technology and â€œthe kingdomâ€?
The vision of the church is extraordinary and an incredible vision of God. The desire to reach mass numbers of people has always been the goal. But with these numbers come questions.
Whether it be for multi-site campuses, online campuses or a local campus, technology can be leveraged to aid many initiatives within the church.
While technology can be leveraged for the local church, the great thing about it is that it can just as easily be leveraged for the entire Kingdom of God.
Many churches have adopted the latest tools for broadcasting their messages and content. This has tremendously helped churches spread their content, reach more individuals and do so in a timely manner.
Many churches have mistakenly looked at technology only through the lens of their own church, but why?
However, few churches have embraced technology from the standpoint of leveraging it for connectivity.
How does the Church, with a capital C, play into the bigger picture?
How does a church scale beyond the proportional size of its staff? How does it facilitate a culture of community amidst tens of thousands of members spread across multiple campuses? This is where technology can lend a helping hand once again. The churches that effectively leverage technology over the coming years will be well positioned to reach an extraordinary amount of people for Christ.
Under the banner of community, technology can help to facilitate the ministries of the church and empower the individual members to gather, communicate and connect with one another. It is this lateral form of connectivity that is seriously needed within the church.
What about a local area, city or region?
Connecting like-minded believers from multiple churches in a city could revolutionize the way outreach impacts an area. The flexibility of technology makes it one of the few tools that can be leveraged by a church as well as the entire Kingdom.
promoting social media
social media and the church
“Please follow our senior pastor, ministry or whatever else on Twitter or Facebook” is NOT a strategy. Tell your people WHY they should do that. Show them the PURPOSE. For example…
Social media has rapidly become a staple in today’s culture. Tools such as Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone have expanded the communication possibilities for both individuals and groups of people.
“Follow our @seniorpastor to see a glimpse of the passages he will be teaching on every weekend.”
But how do these tools pertain to the church?
“Become a Fan on our Facebook Page to be informed of church events and community-oriented gatherings.” It’s not about just BEING ON social media…it’s about HOW they can be utilized practically. Each church, ministry, etc should evaulate these tools and find ways to use them that will encourage more people to participate. Promoting social media is about providing value not spamming.
Do these online communities actually foster community? While Facebook and Twitter have excelled at better connecting people with their existing circle of friends and even new ones. It’s the people who are the true factor in fostering new community/relationships within the church. We as a church need to embrace these tools and the people who know how to use them. We should encourage our members to learn, try, and even fail at fostering community with new methods such as soical media.
facebook and twitter Integrate Facebook Connect with an online church experience Use Facebook events for church events Create a Fan Page for the church and a custom, welcome tab on it Encourage leaders to use Facebook as a means to stay connected with those they meet Create Twitter accounts for: - The church - Each individual ministry The leadership can Twitter about upcoming sermons before the teaching (ie – scripture references, quotes, prayers, etc…) Congregants can tweet in prayers or other needs to the church Applications such as ParaTweet.com can be audience interaction at services/ gatherings Create Twitter lists for: - Volunteers in each area -and- Attendees of different ministries (ie – young adults, church staff, etc…)