We're not about global connection, we're about local engagement.
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Teaching pastor Rob Wegner introduced the Table during the Sunday service, explaining why they're using it and what it can accomplish. He did a powerful job casting vision for the Table and giving people a reason to use it.
Check out the video. We couldn't have said it better ourselves:
Watch Granger Vision Video (5:52)
We have new churches joining the Table every day so we offer an introductory webinar—Table 101—on the first Wednesday of every month. The next Table 101 webinar is on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. CDT.
It's an opportunity for churches new to the Table to get a demo, learn about best practices for launching and ask questions. Join us and learn how the Table can help your church get connected.
Register now for this free webinar.
stories of the Table at work or share your own!
You can specifically target messages to your church on the Table. No more lobbing messages to your entire congregation and hoping the right people in the crowd catch it. Target the exact people you need to reach.
- Got a message about the men's lunch next week? Hit up the men and don't distract the women.
- Need to reach the youth group? You can target based on age.
- Start a new small group by reaching out to people in a specific area.
These messages appear in the "tip bar," which is the yellow bar below the menu and above the content, where SuperAdmins can post targeted messages. These are short messages that can link to other content.
Here's how to set them up:
- In the SuperAdmin Manage screen, go to the "Promote" tab and the "Broadcast a Message" section.
- Click "Create New" on the right side.
- At the top you can create a new message, including the text of the message (no HTML allowed), an optional url for the message to link to, and the start and end dates for the message.
- Then you can target the message. You can throw out general announcements to your entire church, like a service cancellation, a new event or tips on using the Table. Or you can more finely target your message based on gender, age, location and interest. You can even send messages just to your staff.
- A general message for your entire church: Don't forget to bring your donations for the Haiti Scholarship Drive on Sunday.
- A targeted message for people in their 20s: Good movies, good conversation. Join our young adult ministry for our movie night.
- A targeted message for men within a certain ZIP code: Join us for the men's bike ride in the Como Park neighborhood on Saturday.
- A targeted message based on interest: A new knitting group is getting started. Join us on Sunday to find out more.
- A targeted message for your staff: Don't forget that timesheets are due on Friday.
- A general message about how to use the Table: Getting too many emails from the Table? Here's how to change your preferences.
We'll also add general Table announcements to your tip bar, so even if you don't program any messages, one will show up. We try to keep our announcements minimal so your church's messages will be seen more often.
During this week's Round Table webinar we talked about the Table and Facebook. From the beginning we've always said that churches should use Facebook and the Table together. The Table is not an alternative or replacement for Facebook. We talk about using the two together and the specific roles each social network can play in the life of your church. We also explore our recent Facebook integration and how your church can get the most out of it.
The first 30 minutes of the webinar include the Table/Facebook presentation. The last hour of the webinar features questions from the audience.
Watch Using Facebook & the Table Together (1:25:29)
You can check out the slides used during this webinar and below is one of the charts used during the webinar that will help illustrate the differences between Facebook and the Table:
We love sharing stories of how people are using the Table. This week it's even better—Table users spreading the word:
Do you have your own story about using the Table? Share it!
Tech writer Jolie O'Dell interviewed our own Josh Lewis about the convergence of technology and religion that we have here on the Table.
"The biggest churches are the ones that it's easiest to hide in," said The Table [VP of Development] Josh Lewis. "My church has 4,000 or 5,000 people. You go in, you sit down, you listen to the sermon, then you drive home. You can get lost in the crowd so easily."
It's a problem tailor-made for a social media solution. But churches can be backwards on the tech front, and technologists -
Well, in Lewis' words, "I worked at Apple for six years, and there's a lot of... Well, it's hard to generalize, but the tech sector is not super religious. There's kind of a schism."
So it took a special group of tech folks to make a proper tool for religious organizations. ...
"Using something like this makes it harder to be a stranger and makes you feel more connected," said Lewis. "We're all about slaying anonymity and killing apathy."
The story was then picked up by the Washington Post blog, Ideas@Innovations, which started with a story on the Pope's first tweet and segued into the Table:
The Table was created to cut down on anonymity, according to an Oct. 11 report by Venture Beat's Jolie O'Dell. Attendees of larger churches can easily come and go without making community-building connections within the organization. The Table draws on the underlying principles of existing social media platforms, with a few tweaks in order to increase users' personal accountability.
Apparently religion is getting a digital upgrade, as evidenced by the Pope's tweet and the Table, which may lead to "even greater engagement by Christian Church attendees online." The story also points to Twitter's efforts to reach out to the religious community, with the company noting the high levels of engagement from religious users.
"Religious organizations have been relying on word-of-mouth marketing and relational marketing for forever, so they take to social media well," said Twitter's Claire Diaz-Oritz, author of Twitter for Good.
The Pope and Twitter are some nice company. We're stoked about the coverage and the opportunity to bring more churches to the Table. We hope we can be a part of helping Christians to engage more online—and offline.
We added a slick new feature to the Serve App you might have missed: You can now add your own custom posting guidelines.
You can give users specific directions about how to use (and not use) the Serve App. They show up on the bottom of the Post page, just as users are deciding which type of Serve item they're going to post.
We've provided some default text, but it's completely editable. Just click on the arrow to the right of the Serve App header and click "Edit Settings." Then you can tweak the default guidelines or add your own.
Now you can give clear guidelines about how your church uses the Serve App. Maybe you'll point people to your discussion board for job help or items for sale. Or encourage people to "share" their skills as well as their stuff. It's up to you. If you need more ideas, you can always point people to 100 ways to use the Serve App.
We recently released our Facebook integration and next week we'll talk about how you can make Facebok and the Table play well together. Join us for our Round Table webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m. CDT.
We've always said the Table is not an alternative to Facebook. Both networks have their own place. Facebook is an ideal place to reach out to your wider community. But as a smaller social network, the Table allows for more personal interaction. People open up on the Table in ways they rarely do on Facebook. So we encourage churches to use both Facebook and the Table. We'll talk about how that works, including getting the most out of the new Facebook integration and what activities work better on which platform.
Register today for this free webinar.
We love stories of how people are using the Table. This one comes from a church that launched a few weeks ago and is seeing community happen right away. Here's a portion of their story: