Are you making it as easy as you can for unconnected people to connect with a group? Have you removed every unnecessary obstacle? Are you taking advantage of advances in plug and play matchmaking? Or are you spending valuable time and energy on things that could be automated…while opportunities that only you can do are left undone? That is the underlying issue here, you know. Since your time is limited, the things you (or your assistant) do that could be automated are done at the expense of other opportunities.
So what’s out there that you could take advantage of? Here’s an incomplete list from the rapidly developing group related tech landscape:
ChurchTeams: One of the few applications that offer a “search for a group” tool. Also integrates nicely with a number of church management systems and provides one of the best reporting functions.
GroupInteractive: a powerful tool for your organization to create an online community. Perfect for small groups, GI is easy to set-up and use. The system can be added to your existing website or as a stand-alone. GI is another tool that provides search.
Unifyer: a very interesting tool that provides an interesting communication advance. Rather than waiting for next Sunday’s bulletin or for your main website to update, Unifyer allows small groups or individual ministries to build subscribers and then publish updates to communicate more effectively with participants.
LiveKite: Think facebook and you’re close. LiveKite provides a free service (ad supported) that allows each of your groups to develop their own webpage, post pictures and upcoming meeting info, and update their members easily.
MemberHub: provides a single place where organizations can connect with their members. As a individual you can connect with all the groups that you’re affiliated with through online “hubs” and as an organization you can use MemberHub to connect with your members and manage the various groups that they are affiliated with.
WordPress.com: offers an easy-to-use blogging platform that can provide a great communication tool for your group system. A simple link from your church home page to the blog allows you to easily update information without waiting for your webmaster.
Typepad.com: another easy-to-use blogging platform. I started with Typepad but now prefer WordPress. Both offer advantages over Google’s Blogger.com. Although Blogger is a free service, there are some limitations that make a little expense worthwhile.
Are there other applications that you’re using or know about? Take a minute and add others in the comment section below. Thanks!