Are you going?
That is the question you want your people to ask each other. How do you facilitate that conversation?
In my first job as a youth intern, we held a car wash. The day before the car wash, I got on the phone and called every kid in the group. Later, the youth pastor told me that the attendance for that event far exceeded his usual results, and the reason was simple – I’d taken the time to connect.
In today’s hectic world, you might not have time to call your group. In fact, many in your ministry might not answer the phone, and preferring texting. I’ve been collecting ways to communicate online and through technology to keep abreast of current trends. The first thing I found is that social media has replaced the Sunday bulletin for our social calendar. Here are a few examples from just this week:
- Today, I discovered an event that I thought sounded interesting. Instead of signing up, I connected to Facebook to see if any of my friends were going.
- My friend Krista Dunk is having a great event this Saturday in Olympia, WA. This event has been on my Facebook calendar for a long time, but it wasn’t until she started sending out updates, and I realized that this event would be great for a friend that I really contemplated going.
- Last night, our youth pastor sent out a Facebook invite to his new sermon series. Until he sent the message, we were under the impression that youth group was on hiatus the rest of the summer.
If you use technology right, you can multiply your reach without spending more money. Here are some fun connection ideas I have discovered:
Facebook – On Facebook, you can create an event or connect on a page. In their event planner, you can invite as many people as you want, and you can have other people invite their friends.
Doodle. Doodle allows you to connect a group of people and determine the best date for everyone. Just input your choices, invite people to the page, and they can each check the dates and times that are best for them.
Twitter. I asked my 21 year old what social media to use for an event, and she says Twitter. Other than a hashtag, someone wiser than me will have to chime in here on how this works.
Meetup. This is a fairly new system that will help you connect with people in your area.
One thing I realized about five years ago – every neighborhood has their own “bulletin board” system. For some, it is literally a bulletin board at Starbucks; other neighborhoods might use a local paper. The neighborhood I lived in used IRC channels (think chat programs before “chat” was an online term). I have several friends that do all of their event planning via texting, while I prefer google calendar for most of my daily planning. Find what works for your neighborhood and organization, then use it.
If you would like more information on online modes of event planning, here are a couple articles that might help: