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Viewing entries tagged with 'round table'
If you're curious about the Table join us for next week's Table 101 webinar. We'll give a tour of the Table, talk about best practices for launching the Table and take questions at the end. It's a great opportunity to learn more about the Table and see if it's a fit for your church.
We offer the Table 101 on the first Wednesday of every month. The next Table 101 is Wednesday, August 1st at 3 p.m. CDT.
Register now for this free webinar.
(If you can't make it for the live webinar, check out the archived Table 101 webinar from May.)
Prayer is one of the most vital and most popular apps on the Table. We hear so many stories of people being encouraged, supported and lifted up through the Prayer Wall. For this webinar we walk through the Prayer Wall, talking about how your church can get the most out of the Prayer Wall. We talk about why prayer on the Table is so revolutionary and how you can do more with it. We talk about searching for prayers, exploring the history of prayers and notifications. We also talk about more involved uses, like integrating the Prayer Wall with your prayer ministry and using the Prayer Wall in groups.
For this week's Round Table webinar we brought in church consultant David Stark to talk about making the most of small groups on the Table. David has been a small group consultant for 17 years and helps start and grow small group ministries in churches all over the country. He's the author of Growing People Through Small Groups and LifeKeys: Discover Who You Are.
Watch as David talks about how to supercharge your small groups ministry with the Table:
Watch: Small Groups Q&A With David Stark (37:00)
- With the communication revolution we're more connected that small groups used to be. That means small groups can go deeper.
- Leaders: Create a group on the Table for small group leaders. Add a video training channel, share curriculum in the discussion board with file sharing, use the Prayer Wall to pray for one another.
- The Table makes it easier for leaders to connect with organic groups, not to control them but to offer support.
- The Table helps get the program side out of the way so the body can be the body.
- The next generation is already sharing like this, so if you're not doing it you're going backward.
- Frees up pastors to do more.
- Where do I start? Start with the tools that are most exciting for you.
Substance Church in Minneapolis was one of our early test churches and launched the Table back in 2010. This multisite church started seven years ago and currently offers seven services across four locations. Approximately 70% of the congregation is under 30 years old and half never attended any church before coming to Substance.
We sat down with senior pastor and Table project board member Peter Haas during our recent Round Table webinar to talk about what the Table brings to Substance. Much of the conversation covers the big picture vision for why to use the Table that a senior pastor has, as opposed to the specific, how-to details that a Table champion could offer (you can find that perspective in our webinar with Bethlehem Baptist).
Watch: Interview with Peter Haas (32:46)
Highlights from the video (click links to see short clips):
- Numbers: Over 1,500 members on the Table, 2,500 prayer requests (not including groups) prayed for 37,000 times.
- Why the Table?: As a church with a decentralized identity, Substance wanted something to enhance church in between the church services. More than metrics that church management software can offer, they wanted community.
- We Need Community: Today's generation is the most socially isolated generation in U.S. history. Typical sources of community (family, neighborhood, etc.) have fallen away and the church needs to fill the gap. Instead of focusing on church services, churches need to focus on building community. The Table is software that allows Substance to do that.
- The intimacy of a church has nothing to do with size. It's about what you value. Substance realized that as it grew bigger, it had to grow smaller. Substance needed a technology that encouraged connection outside of church.
- Friends Matter: The number one indicator of church satisfaction is friendships developed in the church. Even if people don't like a church service, they'll stick around for friends. The Table is a way to develop those friendships that keep people at church.
- The Table Loves Small Groups: Substance saw 116% small group attendance last quarter. That means more people attended their small groups than attended their church. "It's technology like the Table that's enabled our small groups to thrive."
- A senior pastor needs to constantly cast vision for the Table.
- It's Ministry, Not Just Technology: "It's not just software, it's a ministry." You need to treat the Table like launching a new ministry. It's going to take a lot of work and a lot of effort. It takes time for people to adapt to new technologies. But once people get it, once the momentum begins to build, amazing things can happen.
- Examples of prayer and service happening at Substance.
Every month our Round Table webinar offers the Table 101, an introduction to the Table for new churches. It's an opportunity to take a tour of the Table, check out some of the main features, learn best practices for launching the Table and get your specific questions answered.
We recorded and archived our November Table 101 so that new churches can always access a quick tour and overview of the Table.
Watch November's Table 101 (1:06:17)
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:
During last week's Round Table webinar we sat down and talked about the state of the Table. The Table leadership, including Executive Director Ken Finsaas and Vice President of Development (i.e. head geek) Josh Lewis, shared stories about how far the Table has come and talked about where we're going. They also answered questions submitted by the audience. It was a great chance to hear about the future of the Table.
Watch the State of the Table (38:24)
Some of the topics we covered:
- Why is the Table free and how will it remain free? Answer: Licensing the software to other industries and transactional revenue within the Table. We're strongly committed to never having ads.
- How do we decide what gets developed when? Answer: Balance. We try to find that fine balance between fancy new features, system speed, monetization, etc.
- Why hasn't Google Calendar integration been developed yet? Answer: With each feature we're trying to benefit the most people as quickly as possible, and we see mobile strategy as being more important. We're a small shop and we can only do so much. We have to find a balance between being reactive to user needs and proactive to the changing landscape.
- Why not create a web app instead of a native app? Answer: Web apps work, but they're not as useful as a native app built specifically for iPhone/Android/etc.
- What's happening behind the scenes that we don't see? Answer: A lot of things are still in the works and not released yet. We're often working on performance upgrades that you don't see but make a big difference.
- What big changes are coming down the development pipeline? We can't commit to dates, but here's what's in the not-too-distant future: Facebook integration, Google Calendar integration, better email integration (be able to respond from an email within the Table) and opening up our API to third party developers.
- How do we make the Table more sticky? Answer: Help people see the potential in the Table. It's a different kind of interaction than most social media. It's more personal. Showing people those interactions can help them get it. Getting a handful of people to model that behavior can also help engage others.
This spring Bethlehem Baptist Church came to the Table. The Minneapolis congregation, led by John Piper, has had tremendous ministry success with the Table. We've pointed to them for examples, including welcome videos, website links & help, and even their own help videos.
In this edition of the Round Table webinar one of Bethlehem's Table champions, Jonathan Davis, joined us to share their journey with the Table. He explains how they got leadership on board, the things they did to launch it as well as the impact the Table has had already with their community. This is a must see for any church on the fence about launching the Table!
Watch: How They Did It: Bethlehem Baptist Church Case Study (1:09:31)
Highlights from the Video:
Jonathan says that Bethlehem draws 4,000 to 5,000 people every weekend to nine services across three campuses. At the time of this interview they were at 1,700 members on the Table and steadily rising, which was surpassing their launch expectations.
Why a social network?
Bethlehem wanted to do social networking because they realized that it's a big part of people's lives and they want to redeem all things for God's glory. They also recognize that it's easy to be anonymous in a large church and this is another, less intimidating way to encourage interaction.
Why the Table?
Bethlehem took their time getting on board with social media because they wanted to get it right the first time. They explored a number of different options, including building it themselves, but ultimately settled on the Table. They thought it was simple, worked well and being free helped with the budget.
What helped secure leadership buy-in?
Three things made leadership buy-in easy:
1) An online picture directory that people kept updated themselves was a huge draw.
2) The way the Prayer Wall allowed people to engage with one another was a massive part of convincing leadership.
3) The Serve App was the final piece. For a big church it made it easy for people to make real life connections.
One surprise with the Table?
That so many volunteer needs have been posted in the Serve App. Jonathan expected to see a lot more items given away or shared, but the volunteer needs have surpassed giving or sharing stuff by far.
How many staff hours did it take to launch?
They had four people (three staff, one volunteer) spending roughly an hour a day to prepare for the launch. So it doesn't require a full time person, but it was still a significant investment. Jonathan comments that he appreciates how the Table runs itself once it's launched.
What are you doing to keep the momentum rolling?
Campus pastors shared personal stories from the Table. They also plan to do more videos to highlight testimonies of how the Table has helped people.
Advice for churches getting ready to launch?
Take your time and do it right. You can literally set up and launch the Table in minutes, but you need to put a lot more work into it. Do your research and when people aren't on board answer their questions and help them see the value. You may only get one shot to show them how the Table can be effective, so do it right.
So you love the Table but you're not sure how to get your church on board. We can help. In our recent Round Table webinar we explored how to get leadership buy-in. We'll outline the strategic benefits of the Table and show you how to pitch the Table to your church leadership. We'll talk about getting the right people in the meeting, the main points to communicate and common questions that church leaders ask.
Watch: How To Get Leadership Buy-In (40:21)
In the latest Round Table webinar we dive into the user profile, one of the basic components of the Table and how you can make the most of it. We cover all the functionalities and settings, the design philosophy and how to get your community to complete their profiles.
You can watch the archived video here:
Watch: How to Promote Profiles (27:06)