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Viewing entries tagged with 'conference'
A couple weeks ago we sponsored the Speak conference in Minneapolis. Our customer experience/marketing guy Kevin D. Hendricks (that's me!) spoke about sharing your church's story and our product VP Jason Wenell gave a short pitch for the Table. But more than just offering a commercial, Jason talked about how social networking is a chance for your church to live out your story.
Jason introduced the Table and shared our intro video, but then went on to give three real examples of people using the Table. There was a woman asking for prayer as she undergoes cancer treatment, a couple facing infertility that asked for prayer and people came up to them on Sunday to pray for them, and a blind man who needed help moving and people stepped in to help. All examples of people needing help and their church community reaching out to help them. All examples of people getting help without the church staff needing to waste time and resources passing things along or recruiting people. That's the power of social networking within your church.
Watch the video from Speak as Jason shares these examples (feel free to skip past the intro video if you've seen it before):
Highlights from the talk:
- The Table is a nonprofit organization that was birthed from a missions organization and not a corporation. This is one of the favorite parts of our story and impacts our decision making. Point one in our manifesto is "Mission First."
- The Table is not as much about communicating your message but is more about writing a more impactful and authentic story as a church.
- Jason was the biggest skeptic. He met with 100 churches and pleaded with them to see if Facebook and Twitter would work. Instead it revealed a large gap between global networks and what the church needed.
- We are at over 1,800 churches now and thousands of people log in every day. Not to update their status, but to pray for a stranger and serve their neighbor.
- Story about a woman going through cancer treatment asking for prayer. Praying for each other in a moment of need: She didn't need to wait until Sunday to get support from her community.
- Story about a woman being prayed for at her church for infertility issues. The special thing about this story above and beyond 48 people praying for her need is that no fewer than 15 people came up to her at church and told her they were praying. Virtual communication turned into physical relationship.
- Story about blind man getting help moving: His friend saw the need and posted it to the Table. It wasn't from the church but from a member. Five people signed up and the need was met. This empowers the congregation to serve their community by mobilizing them in an easy way.
- We've gotten the event down. Churches have great music, motion backgrounds and facilities. But are we missing the hundreds of opportunities between Sundays to write our story and to be the church.
- A recent quote hit Jason hard this past week. Biz Stone said, "For Twitter to be successful, it cannot be a triumph of technology but instead a triumph of humanity." Jason would say the same for the Table: For it to be a success, it will be a success of Christianity not technology. The Table just acts as a catalyst to help us be a more connected and impactful faith community.
Many churches are starting to see the power of mobilizing the community to help make church happen. Few do it better than Granger Community Church (GCC). GCC is always looking for ways to plug in people with capacity into roles that are generally taken by full-time staff.
This not only helps them do more with less overhead but also invites the community into the story.
During this session at the And Conference, Don Reynolds, who was a volunteer worship leader at GCC, mediated a panel of current and former volunteers from the Granger team.
There were three big questions during this session that struck me. I wanted to raise my hand and say "the Table can help with that!"
1) How do you find people?
Until now, finding volunteers has been a completely manual process. But the Table gives each ministry team a network to post volunteer opportunities to. It then notifies potential volunteers and even is smart enough to suggest opportunities to people based on their location, interests and skills.
2) How do you approach potential volunteers?
If they don't take initiative to commit to opportunities, the Table allows you to communicate with people, how they want to communicate. You can send them a quicknote, and they will receive that via the Table, text message or email. They choose how to get contacted.
3) How do you get to know the strengths and giftings of potential volunteers?
Use the Table directory to search for the strengths and gifts that you are looking for. Looking for help with graphic design? A search for graphic design pulls up everyone at your church who may be interested in helping.
Finding the right people, matching their giftedness to an opportunity and reaching out to them are keys to a successful volunteer strategy. The Table can help.
The And Conference is underway this week in South Bend, Ind., at Granger Community Church. We're sponsoring the conference and our own Jason Wenell is blogging the event, along with a crew of other bloggers (including Tim Schraeder of Outspoken).
Stay tuned for more updates and shared learning from And. Plus, you can glean your own wisdom by checking out the live stream.
Update: Here are a few of our And Conference blog posts:
This week we attended Converge, a conference near Kansas City, Mo., for United Methodist churches. Our own customer experience guru, Caleb Rotach, led a breakout session introducing about 30 pastors to the Table.
The group asked all the right questions and had a lot enthusiasm for what we're doing. Many came from smaller congregations, so the conversation covered the benefits of a social network for small churches. We often say that the Table makes big churches feel small and small churches feel big.
We also had a booth at Converge and answered lots of questions and showed off our iPhone app. It's always great to interact with people, answer questions and explain the Table firsthand. Thanks to everybody who attended our session or stopped by to talk.
Your church has a story. You share it when people walk in the door. You show it when you work in your community. You tell it through communication efforts, from your Sunday bulletin to your Twitter feed and website. What story are you telling?
Speak is a free conference coming to Minneapolis (and streaming online) on Sept. 8 that will explore how your church communicates online. The Table is sponsoring Speak and the guest speakers include our own Jason Wenell and Kevin D. Hendricks (that's me), as well as an impressive cast of folks including Carl Nelson from the Minnesota Association of Evangelicals, social media expert Justin Wise, Moody Bible professor Bobby Moss and YouVersion's Adam Bouse.
We think this is an important event because it can show your church how to make an impact online. Research shows that online connections translate into real life connections. Those connections and conversations can become community and eventually there can be conversion.
So how you tell your story is important, even online. It's the command Jesus left us with: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel," (Mark 16:15) "and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19).
How does the Table fit into all of this? Good question:
Preaching the gospel is what your church should be doing on Facebook, Twitter and your website.
Making disciples is what your church can do on the Table.
The Table really isn't on the front lines of your church telling its story online. That's what Facebook, Twitter, your website and all kinds of other platforms are for. But the Table is a place where that story can be lived out. You can share your testimony in the discussion boards, your Prayer Wall is an on-going story of God working and the Serve App tells a story of need and provision.
Let's live our story online. Check out the Speak Conference. It'll be streaming online on Sept. 8 for free. And if you're in the Minneapolis area, you can register for free (physical space is limited, so register now).
Last week a group of us attended the Echo Conference in Dallas, a church conference for artists, geeks and storytellers. We had a swanky exhibit, met a lot of people and had good conversations. The speakers and breakout sessions were challenging and encouraging, and we got to eat some In-N-Out and a good helping of Tex-Mex. You can't ask for much more.
If you met us at Echo, thanks for checking us out. If you have questions you didn't get to ask in Dallas, we're doing a Q&A webinar on Wednesday so bring your questions then and we'll get them answered.
Here are some pictures from the trip:
The industrial-strength packing crate our booth travels in.
Our exhibit up and running.
The Table team: Jason Wenell, Josh Lewis and Kevin D. Hendricks (photo courtesy of Smilebooth)
We're off to the Dynamic Church Conference in Texas this week, an event hosted by our friends at Fellowship One. We'll be rubbing shoulders with some incredible church leaders, like Church Diversity author Scott Williams, Cultivate Her founder Jenni Catron and designer Michael Buckingham.
We'll be doing a session talking about the Table. We'll cover why having a community tool matters, how the Table works, as well as current and future integration plans with Fellowship One.
In addition to the session, we'll have an exhibit and are looking forward to connecting with church leaders. Check out our swanky Table Project display that touts some of the benefits of the Table:
A free gift to...
and squash apathy.
If you're planning to attend, be sure to drop by and say hello.