I am spending my day in Wichita at a professional development experience – Disney’s Approach to Employee Engagement. It provided by the Disney Institute and hosted by the Wichita Independent Business Association.
The concepts planned for the day, include:
- Fostering a Workplace Culture
- Selecting the Right-Fit Talent
- Training the Culture
- Communicating to Inform & Inspire
- Creating a Caring Environment
I am interested to see how these concepts apply to Berryton United Methodist Church and the Great Plains Annual Conference. The engagement level of the current congregation today is evident to people who may visit the congregation for the first time. Engagement also makes a difference in how readily someone is to share with others about their experience with God and the local church. I am looking forward to more today and will be paying attention to how we can make progress in congregational engagement.
I continue to consider what is the best way to measure the effectiveness of the Facebook Page for Resurrection Online in the church. Ultimately, effectiveness would be living out the purpose of our church – to build a Christian community where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. I hope that Resurrection Online will be a part of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
One tool that I found to be interesting was the Social Page Evaluator. (Thanks to SmartBlog for Social Media for the tip.) Based on this tool, the Resurrection Online Facebook Page has an annual page value of $1,667 based on the last 30 days of engagement.
While it may be a bit arbitrary when compared to the metric of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, it does provide a clear number that can increase or decrease over time.
How do you find the value in your church’s facebook page?
On June 3, 2006, Nicole Scherle and I were married. It has been a great journey.
This is one of our engagement photos at the bench where we were engaged by the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC.
Our friend, Kim Jackson, did a great job taking the photos.
I recently finished reading The Rabbit and the Elephant: Why Small Is the New Big for Today’s Church by Tony & Felicity Dale and George Barna. This book offers the perspective that the church may be more effective in making disciples of Jesus Christ by multiplying rapidly rather than seeking to grow larger. The authors offer both practical tips and a thought framework for launching house churches and creating networks.
Tony and Felicity Dale share their stories of house church planting in both England and the United States. Some of their reminders include listening to God, focus on prayer and to model a simple pattern so that it can easily be repeated.
An outline for engagement in a house church is taken from Acts 2:42 – apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking bread together and prayer. Each gathering includes conversation, a meal and prayer. None of these are to be the best possible (for example a gourmet chef) to encourage the participation of all. The authors suggest a framework for teaching which involves studying the scripture in a community and using symbols as a guide to the conversation.
- Question mark – “something we don’t understand”
- Lightbulb – “something that sheds light, either on that passage of Scripture or something going on in a person’s life”
- Arrow – “represents God piercing a person’s heart – he or she has heard from God and needs to do something about it.”
The authors suggest that it is important to consider starting new groups with new people rather than assimilating others into existing groups. They suggest looking for a person whose leadership could be key in influencing a new circle of people to start the next group – a “person of peace” (see Luke 10:5-6). Finding this person of peace may be accomplished by telling one’s story as this can be a key opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ. They suggest this simple pattern for sharing (pg 135):
- What was life like before you became a Christian (or before your faith became real to you)?
- How did you meet Jesus?
- How has Jesus changed your life?
I found particularly important the reminder that there will be a difficult time of transition for persons who are moving from a more traditional form of church to a micro church. It will not be what it was, nor will it likely be exactly what is envisioned when first starting out.
Many of the themes in this book were quite helpful for those considering the possibility of living out one’s faith in a micro church. Unfortunately, the book did not flow smoothly from beginning to end and there were parts of several chapters that did not add to the advancement of the thesis. Nonetheless, this was a solid book and I recommend it for anyone considering a life of faith in a micro church.