We're not about global connection, we're about local engagement.
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Viewing entries tagged with 'story'
But none of them turn on the light bulbs like telling stories. When we tell people stories about how God is using the Table, people get excited. When we point to the examples of what people have done with the Table and how they're using it, that's when people start nodding and asking questions.
- People are filling needs to the point that the one asking is now giving?
- A missionary borrowed a car?
- People are praying more?
- Somebody found a roommate?
- People are finding church members in their neighborhood?
- Someone started organizing church suppers?
- People are finding jobs?
- Somebody shared their airplane?
Stories make it real and show us what can be accomplished. They capture our imagination and make us wonder what else could happen.
When you're trying to launch the Table at your church, tell stories. Tell stories of what happened at other churches. And as soon as your church starts using the Table, tell stories of how it's working. Those stories will turn on the light bulbs.
That's why we're asking for your stories in our Birthday Video Contest. Those stories are powerful. We want to use them to help other churches see how God is working through the Table and imagine how it could work in their church.
If you've got a story, tell it.
One of the reasons I like working for the Table is because social networking is a prime way for your church to tell its story (I'm Kevin D. Hendricks and I do customer service and marketing here at the Table—I write blog posts like this one). The Table gives your church a place to live out its story online, in a way that's different than Facebook and Twitter. We love hearing those stories and we share them every week.
Unfortunately churches aren't always very good at telling their story and they need some help (in some cases, lots of help). That's the idea behind another blog I write for, Church Marketing Sucks. Last week Church Marketing Sucks released a new book that can help your church tell its story better. It's called Outspoken: Conversations on Church Communication. It gathers more than 60 experts and dispenses advice on marketing, outreach, design, leadership, technology, creativity and more. It's been featured in the Christian Post, Rick Warren's Pastors.com, the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and more. I edited the book and contributed two chapters (you can read one of them here and download a free preview of Outspoken).
If you're a church using the Table, you get that communication is important. Outspoken can help you do it better. We hope you'll check it out and tell your story, both through the Table and your other communication channels.
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).
"Even more than the fancy wigs and high protein clothing, it's the name that makes Lady GaGa" Chip and Dan Heath (Fast Company)
If you have ever named a business or product, you know that it is a taxing and exhausting process. It's not just coming up with a name that fits your organization and product but also finding one that is available for trademark and even more difficult one whose URL is available.
The story of naming the Table Project is no different. In the concept phase we didn't want to get held up by our name or branding so we just used one of the first ones that came to mind. For some reason, that name was FaithBox. Yeah, go ahead and snicker, we do too. There were many problems with this "working" name, one being that we could never get it right around the office. While discussing the product we would often refer to it as "Faithbook" or "Facebox", which was troubling since a goal of ours was to avoid being a "Christian version" of Facebook. It's funny to look back on it, but in the long run this was a great lesson. If the name doesn't stick within your team, it definitely won't resonate with your customers.
There is a lot of advice out there on naming your business or product.
- It should begin with a letter early in the alphabet (For alphabetical listings)
- It should have verb qualities (Google it.)
- Avoid being trendy (Flickr)
- Make it meaningful
- Make it unique (memorable and findable on Google)
This creative process led us down numerous rabbit holes. Some of the concepts thrown out included Kinfetti, ChurchVines, ChurchFlocks, and Zeel (family of zebras). The lack of URLs and trademarks available really hindered us. It's easy to get caught up in URLs and being different, but when we took a step back and thought about what we were really trying to do, it finally clicked. What is something simple and iconic that represents our mission? How do we convey in our name that this is not about software, but instead about helping people get together in person? I will never forget when the idea of "The Table" was thrown out by one of our team members. Everyone just kind of looked around at each other and said, "Yeah, that works."
A table is the most physical representation of people coming together. In Jesus's day, they called the community time around the table "symposia." This was the term for the 2-3 hours each day that the disciples and others would talk and hang out around the table after dinner. It was a large part of Jesus's ministry. It was perfect, simple, intimate, symbolic and iconic. The "project" portion of our name was added to breathe in the missional personality of our brand. This "project", this "mission", is to deliver the Table platform with no strings or barriers to every church in America, and eventually worldwide.
We had the name, but how would we create an iconic, vibrant and simple logo out of an everyday piece of furniture? Round 1 gave some promising options as we asked a "mob" of crowdspring.com users to help us design our logo. We thought their submissions could work, but something was missing. Finally, after trying many logos on for size, nine simple shapes came together in harmony to make us smile. We knew it was the right one when one of our developers, Josh Lewis, wanted it emailed to him because he “missed it.” We love it because it is delightful, minimalist and symbolizes community and family.
The logo represents a round table in an iconic and distinctive way. The table is round because no one individual is put ahead of the others. We are all a part of the Church community equally whether you are a pastor or a travelling salesman. The color palette of eight bright colors speaks to the fun and delightful personality of the Table Project. The font type chosen is Helvetica Neue (Roman 55). Helvetica is a very simple and familiar typeface and we chose to put it in lowercase to demonstrate the supportive nature of our brand.
Our tagline has remained the same from the start: "Live Church Together." All of our team members have experienced church at one time or another as an event instead of community. We really want to help church communities live out this thing called "Church" together in an intimate and daily way. Acts 2 speaks clearly about this, and we believe the Table can help make this a reality at your church.