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Viewing entries tagged with 'ministry'
You probably already knew this but the Table Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. That means whatever money we make from this platform gets poured right back into making the Table better.
Today is Give To The Max Day, an event to help schools and non-profits based in MN generate some much-needed donations. You know where this is going, right? Before you roll your eyes, hear me out!
We have been giving the Table away to churches for almost 2 years now. We have a team so small that people have laughed at us. Yes, we run lean but we pour everything we have into transforming the Church we love dearly. We've seen relationships blossom, generosity boom, and communities change for the better. We know that our Creator has special plans for this ministry and we feel up-to-our-ears blessed to be a part of those plans.
So, do you want to be part of it too? GIVE NOW. Or keep reading...
Not quite convinced that we're worth some of your hard earned cash, eh? Here's 2 more reason.
1) In the past 2 years we've release the Serve App, the What's New App, Email Digest, Table Pro, and much more. We've released the Table internationally and are now in over 60 different countries. We also built iOS and Android apps. Every dollar we get goes into cool new features that further this ministry.
2) We integrate your feedback (that's what that green tab is for!) into every decision we make. Whether or not you choose to support us finiancially you can always support us with your ideas and help us continue to tailor our decisions to meet your needs.
Still not convinced you should give us a few sheckles?
Ugh. Fine. I wanted to avoid this but you've left me no choice. Time to pull out the big guns! Here's a cute picture of my kitten.
(DISCLAIMER: The car was parked.)
Do it for Ira?
A few weeks ago, our VP of Development Josh Lewis sent me a voice memo that he recorded on his phone while driving home. He didn't intend for anyone else to hear it, so he ranted a little, but his passion gave me the chills and I want to share that with all of you. It's important that everybody can see the hearts of the people working here. Our entire team at The Table Project is deeply motivated to help the church be the church, and we think about these things all the time, even when we're driving home on a noisy highway.
I encourage you to listen to the whole recording.
If you're unable to listen, below are some paraphrases from the recording to help you get the gist.
"One of the things I wish people knew about the Table is that when a church rolls the Table out to their congregation... part of what they're actually saying to the congregation is, 'You are all in ministry now'". A lot people don't really get what that means.
"We're Christians. All of us are in ministry. It's not just your pastor's job, it's your job, because it's your faith.
"So now (with the Table) we can see who we are collectively, and we see what the needs are, and we see where the pain is, and we see all of these problems. Generally speaking you'll get two kinds of responses. The first response is, 'I didn't realize there was all this ugliness, and all this pain and all this difficulty. What can I do?' The second response is, 'Be quiet, leave me alone, I'm busy, I'm not interested.'
"That second response is not ministy, it's not church and, pardon me, but it's not Christianity. That's not what Jesus says to people who need him. And we're his disciples. They will know we are his disciples by our love. Not by our ignorance or by our 'leave me alone', but by our love. So make the time, because you are in ministry now."
Watch Substance: Prayer Story (1:02)
As Peter says, "It's happening all by itself!"
The Table is designed for the people in the pews, not the staff. We think it's a ministry tool, not a management tool (that's why we don't replace but integrate with management tools like Fellowship One). The Table empowers the people in the pews to connect and engage with one another.
Did you hear that, church staff? Good news! The Table is not one more thing for you to maintain and control. It's something that can enable your congregation to do more of the heavy lifting. The Table gives ministries the tools to get organized. Ideally the Table should take work off your staff's plate, not add more:
- A volunteer need can go up on the Serve App, not interrupt your admin's day.
- Instead of e-mailing the pastor with a prayer request, it can be posted on the Prayer Wall.
- Don't pester the youth pastor for event info, find it on the calendar.
- The directory can give a phone number faster than the church admin can look it up.
Of course it's important to have the staff on board and the Table has plenty to offer them as well, but it's really about the congregation. We think it's important to have some staff involvement, especially at the beginning. Staff can be a consistent presence to keep things flowing and encourage ministry, but it shouldn't be something more to manage. In fact, heavy users of the Table make prime candidates to be volunteer SuperAdmins and take over some of those staff duties (you can even use the Table to recruit them).
That's why we emphasize launching the Table to your whole congregation as quickly as possible. Don't drag out the testing phase because it's really about the people in the pews. The sooner you can get them using the Table, the more quickly it will take off. Because in the end the Table doesn't work with just the staff. It craves the community-building power of your entire congregation.
And that's why we think the church staff can be so happy with the Table. It's not one more thing for them to maintain and control. The Table empowers the congregation to do things for themselves. That's not management, it's ministry.
The Table does a lot of amazing stuff for your Church. The people directory brings together faces and names, as well as interests. The prayer wall enables the community to lift each other up in the moment of need. The small group tools make communication easier and a little more fun. I am sure you have found all kinds of useful ways to use the Table but we wanted to get your mind going even more. Here are 10 unique ideas to facilitate community on your Table.
1. Organize a neighborhood potluck
The Table makes it easy to find people in your neighborhood that go to your Church. As a church, you could promote a "Meet your neighbors" weekend in which you encourage everyone to find their neighbors on the Table and host an event. Here how:
1) Go to the People Directory
2) Click on the map icon
3) Zoom in on your neighborhood
4) Create a neighborhood group
5) Invite everyone in your neighborhood
6) Use the Calendar app to schedule the event
2. Share Christmas cards on the photo app
Many of us send out Christmas cards to our friends and loved ones. Why not share them with each other at Church? Encourage your community to add their family. Here's how:
1) Go to the Photo App
2) Click Add photo
3) Add your Christmas card and create an album entitled "Church Christmas Cards"
4) Promote it at your Church
3. Encourage a stranger
The Table gives your community the ability to send notes of encouragement to people they may not know or have contact information for. Ask people to Quicknote 5 people they don't know and to encourage them in some way. These short messages can help people in your church meet someone new. Here's how:
1) Got to people directory
2) Find 5 people you don't know
3) Click on the "envelope" icon under their name and give them a word of encouragement
4. Organize a prayer movement
Choose a specific event, country, mission or people group to cover with prayer for 30 days. For example, 30 days of prayer for South Korea. Challenge your community to really learn about what is going on there and for them to post different prayer requests for that country. Ask your people to come around that country during it's time of need. Think big. Can we do 1000 prayers for South Korea as a community, 5000...10,000? Make a goal and ask everyone to pray daily and display what they are praying for on the Table to show the momentum.
5. Flash Christmas Carol performance
Flash mobs are performances or events, usually coordinated through social media, that get a large group of people to do a random act at the same time and same place. If you are unfamiliar with Flash mobs, check out this example:
See if you can use the Table to orchestrate a flash mob. Maybe you do it just before the church service or at the local mall. Think beyond Christmas carols. What would it look like for your church to do a monthly flash service project?
1) Use Quicknotes and the Broadcast Message tool to get the word out
2) Create the event on the Church tab so people can RSVP
6. Start a "My Story" Wall
We all have a story. A story when God really did something in our life that changed us. It may have been a miracle or even just someone that spoke God's truth in our life. Use the discussion board to learn your communities stories. These are the stories we don't hear about in the local news. God is moving, but it's sometimes hard to see it. What an encouraging thread this could be to hear all the work that God does and has done in your communities life. Here's how:
1) Go to the Discussion App.
2) Click on "New Topic"
3) Create a title such as "Our Stories"
4) Add any further guidelines you want, such as character limit
5) Get a few people you know to add their stories first so it isn't blank when you promote it
6) Get the word out
7. Awkward Family Photos
We all have at least one awkward family photo right? Have some fun with this one and ask your community to post theirs. Here's some inspiration and now how to do it.
1) Add the photo app if you don't have it already
2) Add your awkward family photo and create an album entitled "Awkward Family Photos"
8. "Lift up the pastor" month or day
Pastors often do so much for the community and yet often we are all so busy we don't thank them or encourage them. Ask your community to shower your pastor or pastors with words of encouragement on a specific day or even for a specific month. Church leadership is so vital to overall community health and it is essential that they feel supported. Here's how:
1) Go to discussion board
2) Create a new topic entitled something like "Words of encouragement to Pastor __________"
3) Announce the day or month during the Sunday service and encourage people to log-in and share.
9. "Christmas Tradition" videos submissions
Everyone celebrates Christmas a little differently in their families. A lot of people have quite a few unique traditions that they do during this time of year. Ask your community to send in videos documenting their unique traditions. The two keys to this one are setting up the submission instructions and promoting it. Setting up the submission instructions can take a little time but once you do this, you can host all kinds of video contests!
1) Create a Dropbox account (to host big files) - its free at Dropbox.com
2) Create a SendtoDropbox account - free at Sendtodropbox.com (this will give you a unique email address that people can send large files to.)
3) Post email link such as firstname.lastname@example.org via the "Broadcast a Message" tool, and print it in your bulletin. People can now record themselves talking about their tradition, and email it right to you.
4) Upload the videos you received to your Youtube channel
5) Add youtube videos app on the Table and display this channel. Title the video app "Holiday Traditions"
10. "Pay it forward"
The "Serve App" is coming along nicely and is really built to do this exact thing. But in the meantime, you can use the discussion board as a place for people in your group or church to post needs. Ask your community to post a need and when someone completes that need, they can post another one. See how long your service chain can go. Can your church complete 50 needs in one month?
Have you used the Table in a unique way already? Or do you have a story about how the Table has impacted your church? Email it to email@example.com