Meditations (Web)Church

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

Church community platforms are the next big idea

with 4 comments

If there’s one nit to pick about the techno-church’s embrace of the web as a platform for advancing God’s kingdom, is that our hunches, ideas, and theories about how that might work doesn’t have much of a foundation of data to support it yet.

That’s why I’ve been so encouraged by the work that Drew Goodmanson and his team at Kaleo Church. Their research into church web sites and in examining churches’ use of community platforms has been eye-opening.

The big takeaway for me from Wednesday’s unveiling of the early findings of its research on community platforms was that among church tech influencers, such as web pastors, tech pastors, and communications directors, EVERYONE seems to be eyeing some kind of turn-key seamless community platform.

And EVERYONE is worried about the potential for creating Christian subcultures, given the so far dismal performance of Christian social networking sites in making in roads into the church.

That’s a good tension.

Take a look at the top five features or functionalities for the community platform:

1. Ability to find, register, and/or get details for events.
2. Ability to post prayer requests or needs.
3. Ability to find serving opportunities at the church based on interest or gifts.
4. Ability to join and interact with home/bible study groups.
5. Integration with existing church website.

The list seems to confirm my own hunch that there’s a deep need for relational connection both within and beyond the community of God right now, and that our physical churches are obviously not empowering or enabling their congregations in this vital area.

A church community platform can and should be evangelistically powerful.

It would be a shame indeed if fear or generational guilt surrounding the church of the past that was evangelistically weak and missionally challenged were to stop the people of God from living in the fullness of Christian community using our currently blossoming social technologies.

What we see in Acts church is not a church scared of subculture, but a subculture that embraces its role as one that is to build itself up for the purpose of evangelism and outreach.

Church leaders need to be helping Christians recognize that community is a means not an end in itself.

That’s not a technology issue. That’s a leadership issue.

Agree? Disagree?

Download a PDF of the study.

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Written by NickCharalambous

April 9, 2009 at 9:39 am

4 Responses

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  1. I whole-heartedly agree! The web in general, and web tools specifically are only tools. Very powerful ones at that, and ones we should be careful to use wisely.

    In re: to leardership, I believe the main challenge is finding a framework for engagement. For example in political science, P.E.R.S.I.A is used to encourage study of the political, economic, religious, social, intellectual, and artistic spheres of a particular culture or country. In an age of info. overload, we need to find a framework for understanding whats going on in the world around us, and what resources God has specifically given us to pass on to others….and it has to make sense in the midst of daily life.

    Daniel Berman

    April 9, 2009 at 10:38 am

  2. while we’re just getting started, this is one reason we went with Church Community Builder. The product is strong to begin with, but the most impressive thing is the desire of their team to continue to develop and adjust.

    That and $3 will buy you a venti americano at Starbucks.

    Brett Crimmel

    April 9, 2009 at 10:45 am

    • Brett: I’d love to hear what your experience with that service is after you’ve used it for a little while.

      ipiphanist

      April 9, 2009 at 10:57 am

    • Agree – would love to know your experience with CCB.

      marybethstockdale

      April 12, 2009 at 8:36 pm


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