We're not about global connection, we're about local engagement.
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Viewing entries tagged with 'tips'
As kids we learn how to share, but somehow we forget by the time we grow up. As a result our homes are packed with stuff we rarely use. Maybe we use it a few times a year or just once and then never again. Maybe it's time to start sharing again.
Here's how to do it:
- Take Stock: Walk around your house with a digital camera and take pictures of stuff you'd be willing to let someone else use: Tools, camping equipment, media (books/DVDs/video games), sports equipment, baby stuff, etc. (see 10 Ways the Serve App Can Get You Sharing). You don't need to collect stuff, you're just cataloging what you have available to share.
- Post It: Add those items to the Serve App. Include details and any helpful info.
- Start Sharing: As people respond and ask to borrow your stuff, coordinate and make it happen. The easiest thing to do is start bringing requested items to church on Sunday so nobody has to make an extra trip.
It's time for the church to bring back sharing.
The Table is designed to be a private, local community. While nothing online is 100% private, the Table offers smaller community that's more local, more connected, more trusting and more private than what you'll find on Facebook.
That means you can open up. Go ahead, be brave. Share your struggles with your small group. Ask your church for prayer about a sensitive issue that you wouldn't post for the world to see. It's not about gossip or sharing secrets, it's about opening up a little bit more. Not to tell the world and have people gather around and gawk, but to get help, to rely on our fellow believers to support us.
- Open Up: Share your struggles with your fellow believers. Ask your church for prayer about a sensitive issue that you wouldn't post for the world to see. It's not about gossip, sharing secrets or one-upmanship, it's about being the body of Christ and supporting one another. We've heard stories of how amazing it can be.
- Keep it Small: You can use groups to share your sensitive info with a select few that you trust. Your whole church doesn't need to know the ins and outs of your current trial to pray for you, but maybe you share more details with your small group so they can better support you.
- Post Anonymously: If you're really worried about privacy, you can always post a prayer request anonymously. You lose out on some of that relationship-building goodness (nobody will know it's you, so they can't come up and give you encouragement on Sunday morning), but you still get prayer.
Take advantage of the privacy inherent in the Table and open up to your fellow church members.
Our closets, basements, garages and storage units are packed with stuff we don't really need. Some of it's junk (your broken TV? Come on, get rid of it!), but there's a lot useful stuff in there that someone else could use. If you're never going to use it, maybe it's time to give it away.
You can use the Table's Serve App to post stuff you're willing to give away (read more about how the Serve App works). Not only are you cleaning out your own stuff, but you're helping somebody else out. Plus, the Table is a smaller, safer community than Craigslist, so you don't have to worry about the creepy stories.
Here's how to do it:
- What have you got?: Go through your closets, basement, storage unit, junk drawer—whatever—and see what you have that you don't really need. Grab a digital camera or phone equipped with a camera and take some pics.
- Post It: Add that stuff to the Serve App. Post the photo and any helpful details. We've seen all kinds of stuff posted—a laptop, rose bushes, old Christmas decorations, furniture, even dirt. Remember that one person's trash is another person's treasure.
- Give It Away: As people respond, connect to hand off your stuff. You can always meet up at church and save an extra a trip.
Your junk pile just got smaller and you met someone else's need. Everybody wins.
We're firm believers that church is not for spectators. The pastor is not the only who can preach. You don't have to be on staff to do ministry. The church is a body and we all have a role—spectating is not a spiritual gift.
Peter Haas, pastor of Substance Church in Minneapolis, tells a story about ministry happening all by itself. That's what the Table is here to encourage.
So get involved. One easy way to do it is by starting a group.
- Existing ministries: Start a group for an existing ministry. This is a good way to organize your efforts and create a consistent place to communicate and connect. Your church's bulletin may not have room for every announcement and update you have, but a group on the Table gives you all the space you need. Post your own updates, prayer needs and volunteer opportunities.
- Informal groups: Just because you're not a formal ministry doesn't mean you can't set up a group. Start a group for your book club or knitting group. Maybe it's a group of youth group guys who watch football together on Sundays or young adults who go out to lunch after church. Use your group to plan events, invite new people and share info.
- Non-existent groups: Maybe the group you need doesn't exist yet. You can use the Table to pull it together. Maybe you want to connect stay-at-home parents, bikers or musicians. Search the people directory for skills and interests and invite people to join you. Use the discussion board to get organized, post events, share stuff and serve one another.
Church isn't supposed to be passive. Get involved and start a group today.
Getting to know people in church has never been easier, thanks to the Table's directory. Click on ‘People' at the very top of the Table and down slides the directory. The first thing you should know is that people are sorted randomly—and that's on purpose. The directory is designed to help you connect with people in your church. Here's how you can get to know people:
- Learn Names and Faces: You can page through those random faces and start matching them with names. This is an easy way to learn names in your church, whether you're new or just have a hard time remembering names.
- Go Deeper: Click on any person to learn more. Table profiles are intentionally short (it's not about "me," it's about "us"), but you can get a snapshot of who they are. Take a look at their skills and interests (assuming they added that info) or check out their other social media profiles to learn even more.
- Drop Them a Line: You're trying to connect with people, not stalk them, so you need to get in touch. When you mouse over each person an envelope icon appears—click it to send them a quicknote. Let them know you're thinking of them, ask a question or just say hi.
Use the directory and get to know your church.
- All Prayers: You can search through all prayers, adding search terms to find specific needs that are on your heart to pray for. Maybe you search for "hospital" or "family." You could also search for people's names to find prayers posted by specific people. The results will show prayers over time at your church and show how God is working.
- Urgent Prayers: Use the dropdown to select "Urgent Prayers" and leave the search box blank to see all the prayers marked as urgent. This is a quick way to see the urgent needs in your church.
- Not Prayed For: Again you can use the dropdown, select "Not Prayed For" and leave the search box blank to see prayers that haven't been prayed for at all. This means that nobody has clicked the ‘Pray Now' button for these prayers. This is a great way to pray for some neglected requests and give needed encouragement.
Let's pray now.
The Table is all about connecting people. One simple way you can do that is by adding your skills and interests to your profile. This accomplishes three things:
- It helps people get to know you. When they check out your profile, they get a quick taste of who you are, what you like to do and what you're good at. It can be a helpful conversation starter on Sunday morning.
- It helps people find you. You can search the People Directory for skills and interests and see everyone in your church who likes biking or is good at gardening. You can search or just click on your own skills and interests to find other people with the same skills and interests. Suddenly you've found a bunch of book lovers in your church who might help you start a book club.
- It helps you find ways to serve. When you add the Serve App to your Me page it can pull up volunteer opportunities that might appeal to you. It does this based on location, volunteer categories you choose, and the interests and gifts you list in your profile. This can be a good way to discover more volunteer opportunities in your church and get involved.
But these things only work if you add your skills and interests. Go to your profile, click on "Edit Profile" and then go to "About Me" to add your skills and interests today (watch this video for more help).
The Table is a great place to ask questions and get to know your fellow church members. Sometimes people are eager to get to know one another, but they're unsure how to start. Throwing out a simple question can be a good way to break the ice and get people talking. Head over to the discussion board and post your question.
- Did you have a question about the sermon on Sunday? Posting a question to the Table is a great way to tap into the wisdom of your community, whether you missed something or you want to dive deeper.
- Have a good idea but you're not sure how to get started, if it's the right fit, if anybody would care? Crush those doubts by asking your fellow church members what they think. Chances are somebody will think it's a great idea and more than one person needs exactly what you were thinking about.
- Maybe you just want to get to know people. Ice breaker questions are a great way to learn more about people. You can ask what people like about your church, why they started coming, how they became Christians, etc. You could even make them seasonally appropriate: Ask about favorite Easter memories or advice they'd share with this year's graduates.
There's wisdom, support and community in those pews. Just ask some questions.
The Table's people directory has a handy map. Check it out to find people from your church who live in your neighborhood. It's a great way to make church even more local. First send them a quicknote and introduce yourself. Make a new friend. Then you can make local work for the both of you.
- Knowing some local church members is a great way to carpool. Maybe you're not ready to carpool every Sunday, but once in a while it could be convenient.
- Pick a local coffeeshop and invite several nearby church members to meet up. Get to know each other in person and share some neighborhood secrets (what's the best pizza, who has the best takeout, etc.).
- Fire up the Serve App and make it local. Sharing your weedwhacker with a church member across town might not make sense, but it works for your neighbor down the street. Share stuff from yard tools to DVDs and help each other out with babysitting and lawn mowing.
You're not alone: Church just got local.