by Jeff Love
Pastor Love continues describing the benefits of making the church Web site truly interactive. The principles employed to connect people to church and church to community are contained in the acrostic C.O.N.N.E.C.T. We continue with…
The principle for the first N is “need.” It stands for “need-meeting issues.” If a Web site is going to be interactive, it must meet needs. It is not news that the greatest need in the church is relationships. There are several tools we are using to connect people in relational ways through our on-line community. First is the Members Spotlight. We are able to spotlight a member’s profile for others to view. This gives people opportunities they may not otherwise have had to learn about other members. We change the spotlight every two weeks or so. We have discovered that this is a great way for people to get to know one another. There’s also a personal benefit for me, for I am able to get to know my people in a whole new way.
The second way we are dealing with the “need” of relationships is our Top Ten People Most Like Me location. In this area, our members can find people most like themselves in several respects—sports, spiritual, recreation, leisure, hobbies, general, family, events, education, and most-like-me-overall. Once someone finds someone like him or herself and wants to connect and make a friend, it’s a simple matter to click on that person’s email right from this area to begin to develop a relationship. I am hearing more and more people say, “Hey, I didn’t know we had so much in common!”
Recently, I was standing in the courtyard between services on a Sunday morning. While I was standing there, two men introduced themselves to each another. They had connected and decided to meet because they discovered they shared a lot of the same interests through the Top Ten People Most Like Me area. One of the men was a faithful attendee and the other was brand new to our church looking for a friend. It works! I would have never thought to introduce them.
The third tool for “need-meeting issues” that we use is called Find Someone at Our Church Who…. For instance, I love to golf. Let’s say I want to connect with some men in our church who play golf, too. I can simply tell the computer to find all the men in our church that play golf. At the click of a button, their names appear before me on the screen along with their email addresses. I can click on their email and set a tee time to connect with them. We have discovered that this tool is great for creating small groups or any fellowship gatherings.
Our Members’ Directory is another tool we use to meet needs. Many churches have members’ directories, but ours does not have to be printed out by our office, nor do we have to keep it up to date. Again like everything in our interactive online community, our people keep all of the information up to date for us through their Personal Profiles. I personally love this part of our online community. I don’t have to carry peoples’ numbers with me, nor do I get phone calls any more from people looking for a number of someone in the church. It is all there at the touch of a button.
To be continued
Jeff Love is senior pastor of Alive Church in Tucson, Arizona.
More information on the Web system used by Alive Church can be found at myflock.com