Thank you for your part in leading a ministry of our church! The following tips and info will help you understand and maximize the benefits of the Community group you oversee.
Once you’re made the “leader” or “assistant” in your group, you’ll see new menu options appear. Click on those and explore. Most of the tools and options are self-explanatory, and oftentimes the groups settings are pre-set for your particular ministry (or have already been set by the leader who led the group before you).
Customizing Your Group
Hover your mouse over the “3 dots” in the upper right corner of your group. In the drop-down men, you’ll see all the ways to customize your group. Explore! But… DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY DELETE YOUR GROUP. This will permanently remove the group, and the only way to recover it is by doing a full site-restore of the Community from one of our backup versions.
The “About” Tab
This is one of the most important tabs in your group. Access this editing tool by hovering your mouse over the “3 dots” in the upper right corner of your group. Click on “About.” Add important details and introductory paragraphs here. This is where people get to know your group and can find the essential info they need to participate. Look at other groups on the Community and try to follow a similar layout to what they have in their About tab. This will give some consistency to the look of our groups site-wide.
Group Communication through the Community vs. Personal Email Lists
- When you post something on your group wall, it automatically gets kicked out to everyone’s personal email. They do not have to sign in to read your post or see if something’s there.
- All of the messages you post on your group wall are archived right there. Anyone can find them any time (versus trying to save them or find them down in their Inbox).
- This process of having a central hub for communication in organizations has proven to be much preferred over individual emailings from personal email accounts. If someone joins the group after you’ve sent a direct email out, you often have to forward them all your prior emails. This gets cumbersome. In the Community, all new workers can simply read your prior posts on the group wall!
- All of the groups in the Community work the same. By utilizing the Community with all of your workers, you’re helping your workers to familiarize themselves with the other Community groups and engage with them as well. (Picture every ministry leader in the church collecting all the email addresses of everyone in their ministry, creating personal contacts for each one, and putting together their own ministry email list. This is quite redundant. Instead, you can just instruct everyone in your group to hit the “join button” on your group, and boom—your email list is instantly created and available to you any time, any place. Not only is this instantly ready for you—it’s available to your assistant, as well as the next leader and assistant who step into your shoes later.
- Similarly, if a leader uses a personal email list and someone changes their email address, you have to make the change on your personal computer. Same for every other ministry leader they serve under in the church… versus the user just updating their Community profile info—and it’s automatically good for all the groups they’re part of in the Community.
- This also minimizes the potential for hacks of email address lists on people’s personal computers.
- If you only need to reach one or a few people, feel free to contact them directly via phone/email/text using whatever program you like. It’s primarily the mass mailings and doc archive that we use the Community for.
Files and Photos
- When you upload an item to your group’s “Files” or “Photos” tab, an email notification automatically gets kicked out to everyone’s personal email letting them know you uploaded the doc. (They do not have to log in to periodically check if something is there.) Also, instead of them trying to keep track of an email with something like a schedule attached to it (or whatever doc it might be), they can always find it in the group File or Photo tab. No one has to save the doc to their personal hard drives unless they want to. (Tip: Save and upload your Word docs as PDF’s. For computers, it’s one click to open it. No downloading needed. Very handy for all your workers!)
New Member Recruitment Tip: This point is especially true if you oversee a “Worker” group, in which case it is essential that every one of your workers joins the Community and joins your specific group. One approach that has worked consistently well for this is contacting your new workers with a message along these lines: “Welcome to the ____ ministry! Please be sure to join the _____ group on the Community or you will not receive any of our important announcements and instructions. ALL communication goes out through this group -- and gets sent straight to your personal email account. Very handy for all of us!”
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any leader in the church who’s used the Community. You can also reach out to Pastor Chris, Pastor Enriko, or members of our tech team. If you have suggestions for the site, please contact Pastor Chris or Pastor Enriko.