Meditations (Web)Church

A year (and a bit) in the life of NewSpring's first Web pastor

Notes and reflections on my Unleash soapbox

with 10 comments

I’m new to speaking gigs. Kinda funny really, given that I’ve always liked to be outspoken.

It was a huge privilege to have the attention of about 50 to 100 folks for 5 minutes during Unleash, NewSpring’s balling church conference, on the subject of “How to Build Community.”

It was fun to have a box to stand on in the middle of the Anderson Campus courtyard with a bullhorn in my hands. And nerve wracking too.

Here are my notes, with a few more lines of explanation that I never got to give to my live audience. You can compare that with the video of the soapbox and tell me if it translated. (And you can be honest with me. Jesus would want that.)

My Challenge to the church: Build Community!
Everyone else is doing it
Jesus wants it (Matt. 5:14)
People crave it

What is community?
It isn’t affiliation. It is participation (1 Cor. 12) Community as a “goodness engine”

Three things you need for community (and one if you want to call it a success.)
1. Identity/Culture
Tell stories, encourage conversations; establish membership value to self, others
2. Interdependency
Create transparency about member resources; offer mechanism to exchange social value (Acts. 2/4)
3. Purposefulness
Leverage resources through collaboration, crowdsourcing (Ex. 25); embrace innovation
4. Legacy
Transfer value to succeeding generations; across different social spheres. (Matt 28)

For Church to be the hope of the world:
Message and people=open, attractive
Praxis=dynamic, integrative

My take-away message in three paragraphs:

1. We have the will of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, the best news anyone could ever receive and all the social technology imaginable to build powerful community everywhere that creates disciples of Jesus. So let’s do it!

2. It happens by the massive, web-enabled network effects of gathering the people of God and sharing their knowledge, resources and time with the world to create attractive, unimaginable, unbelievable social value. We can’t let the church sit on the sidelines while the world manufactures fake community for distraction, entertainment or financial gain.

3. The church cannot be afraid to harness the tools in its own way for its own people and its own purpose because it worries that we will create a subculture. Christians have always been a subculture. The difference is whether that subculture hides from the world or aggressively pursues the transformation of the culture. Doing community well will always add to our number daily from the lost, the oppressed and the dispossessed in our culture.

Do I hear an amen?


Written by NickCharalambous

March 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Posted in ruminations

Tagged with , ,

10 Responses

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  1. love the soapbox idea for a conference

    and thanks for the way you are challenging the Church to embrace technology and the power of the internet

    you and your team obviously recognize that the opportunity is two-fold

    1) reach non-believers and the unchurched
    2) build well-connected communities of believers within the Church that can more effectively and more efficiently share knowledge and collaborate to change the world

    exciting stuff!


    March 13, 2009 at 1:07 am

    • couldn’t have summed it up better myself! i’m hoping to move from ideation to experimentation soon. i hope we can collaborate.


      March 13, 2009 at 9:00 am

  2. Spot on Nick! Sorry I missed it but cant wait to see the video! I see how much time college students alone spend on twitter, myspace, facebook, etc. That leaves the Church with some big shoes to fill! We need to set up a community that people are visiting more than the facebooks of the world! The message of Christ is so much more powerful than the minifeed of who did what this weekend! Social networks and communities are a huge opportunity for the Church! I can’t wait to see what God lays on the heart of you and your team!!! You rock bro! Much love!!! Please let me know if I can ever help!


    March 13, 2009 at 11:31 am

    • word. Always need help. Won’t hesitate to ask. I’m hoping to get a chance to try out some things soon …


      March 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm

  3. Nick, great meeting you at unleash, loved the soapbox session dude. Thanks for posting the notes, I’m going to be chewing on these for a while!

    Mario Hood

    March 13, 2009 at 9:20 pm

  4. The video of this soapbox session is available here:

    Chris Hill

    March 14, 2009 at 12:13 am

  5. Amen Brother! You said it all in Takeaway message paragraph 1!


    March 16, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    • “Walking call to action.” Love it!


      March 17, 2009 at 8:26 am

  6. […] haven’t done one of these in a long time and came across Nick Charalambous’ Notes and Reflections on his Unleash Soapbox post. This guy is a walking “call to action”! It’s amazing! We have the will of […]

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