In a recent post called Offer Multiple Connection Points, I discussed the important role that Sunday School and small groups play in connecting newcomers and new members to the church. I also recommended other ways to connect people since some will not become involved in Sunday School or small groups. In the comment section, Brenda and Jason suggested that Facebook and the internet, in general, can also be used as a powerful connection tool. Here are their comments:
Great post, Steve! Another place to connect is online. I’m a working mother of two toddlers, and I don’t have much time to socialize. But I love to keep up with friends on Facebook and via email! I love looking a the latest pictures my friends post, read their “walls”, check out the latest applications and quizzes they’ve added. It’s a fun way to stay in touch throughout the week. (Brenda)
Brenda and Steve,
Great point about Facebook. One of our deacons started a Church Facebook Group, and sent out a mass email to all of the known email addresses of members, asking them to join. To date, we have 41 members in the group, and it has been a wonderful way to stay connected to one another throughout the week.
Also, one of my Sunday School Teachers sends out an email devotional to members and visitors alike every day, and it helps us to keep in touch with one another throughout the day, including sharing praises and prayer requests throughout the week.
All of that to say that the online world is definitely a way to connect visitors and inactive members to the church, and it helps to keep that backdoor closed! (Jason)
I have some thoughts on how to use the internet in the areas of assimilation and discipleship, but before I start offering suggestions, I would love to hear your suggestions. Share your thoughts, suggestions, comments, and questions on using the internet for assimilation and discipleship. (The first time you leave a comment, I have to approve it. After that, your comments will post immediately.) Let’s hear it….what do you think?
Good point Brenda! Also, this approach fits “your” schedule! You can log on and log off at will. When someone “drops by” for a visit or calls you on the phone, even if they are genuine and sincere, it just may not fit your schedule.
Thanks for continuing this conversation, Steve!
My very first thought was that my desire to connect with folks online is driven by a very sincere desire to get to know them better, share a little bit of their lives, and build a genuine relationship with them. I want to build friendships. I think that’s what’s got to be at the heart of everything.
In the past, I’ve gotten the sneaking suspicion that folks make calls, visits, etc. out of a sense of duty or responsibility, rather than a genuine sense of friendship. I don’t want to be an item on someone’s “to-do” list, and I don’t really need anyone to be an item on mine.
The bottom line for me — whatever you do, MEAN IT.