Lately I’m running across a number of companies that are building social networking sites targeted to the church market. A number that have set their sights at being the ‘church Facebook’. Yet, most of what is called ‘social networking’ is meaningless. They often offer me-too features that don’t add real value. For example, I’ve joined church-targeted community sites that allow their members to blog and even with hundreds of members, one site had three blog posts total. Or how many sites do I need to continue to add friends to? I believe a lot of the problem stems from trying to be all things to all people (a new Facebook or MySpace) or the lack of creative and difficult thinking around building for a specific community.
Zack Hubert a pastor at Mars Hill put it well when he spoke about a community network for Mars Hill that is “geared to build up a community of people and not the community of one.” This is right on. He goes on to say:
A social network is centered around the individualÄ¶my friends, my media, my blog, my connections, my thoughts, my experiences, my pictures, etcÄ¶whereas a Community Network is centered around the Community, groupings of people, real relationships forge the bonds, not imaginary ties that have aspirations to reality. My becomes our and I think thatÄôs a significant changeÄ¶
Churches who seek social networking should use existing mainstream sites. You should be missional using these social networks, go join an existing one like Facebook. In fact, you can become my friend at Facebook and I’ll join you. But I do believe there is plenty an online community can do to help promote the very activities that are central to being the church. Serving, community, mercy all facilitated by tools created to these specific needs. And it is because of this we will soon seek churches to use our beta of a Community Network from the people who brought you Ekklesia 360.
What do you think a Church Community Network should be?
It’s been too long so I finally upgraded my WordPress to Version 2.5.1.
One last reminder prior to tomorrow for you to join us on Shapevine June 24 at 4 PM EST (1pm PST) for an interview on Missional Communities, Total Church, Triperspectivalism & the Renovo Network.
There will be a time to ask questions and interact with David & I regarding what we've learned, where we've failed and what we see God doing at Kaleo as we've transitioned to missional communities.
I returned yesterday from the Seattle/Tacoma trip. Here are a few of the highlights:
Mars Hill Reunion
I spent Saturday night with Jamie Munson an elder and Lead Pastor (Mark Driscoll is preaching pastor) at Mars Hill in Seattle. Mars Hill has gone through a bit of transition and Jamie and I spoke about that. We also spoke about how to create systems that reflect an organizations vision/values. Through many seasons, Jamie has much to offer in this area of thought. Lastly, he showed me a demo of their site, "The City" which was exciting and good timing since we launched a similar set of features with Ekklesia for churches and their members.
Finished a week at Soma School. Capped the week with lunch with Caesar Kalinowski and Jeff Vanderstelt. I continue to grow in my appreciation for the friendship and shared vision between Kaleo & Soma. On Sunday I was able to spend the day with a family from Soma Community, Mark Tilden who took us (Bryce & Chad from Sojourn in Louisville pictured below, their wives inside in the warmth) on his yacht to Vashon Island. Mark has built and sold internet companies, his latest venture is FlightStats.com so he and I spoke about entrepreneurial things together.
Heather & Family
My parents flew up from Sacramento and we all spent Friday/Saturday together at my brothers. My wife, Heather and I took a walk around around the last place we lived in Seattle, Greenlake. As you can see we weren't quite ready for the 'summer days' of Seattle, having been spoiled by San Diego's weather. In all of our years in returned visits (we moved in 2001) we always run into people we know here, and this trip was no exception.
All-in-all a very profitable trip connecting and learning from others. I look forward to my next conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The purpose of this site is to help the Church catch up with the rest of the world in adherence to Web Standards given by the World Wide Web Consortium, the governing body of best-practices on the Internet. The majority of Christian web design agencies are using outmoded methods of coding to create websites that the rest of the world would scoff at. Basically, they are stuck in the 1990’s.