One of the biggest concepts we’ve covered already is that social media is here to stay. The Church cannot ignore this growing part of any given individual’s daily routine. Your people are using social networks to manage and grow their relationships right now.
The question then becomes, how do you integrate social media technologies and frameworks into the social fabric of the church or ministry? Is it too early to try and adapt or integrate the social web into how we do church?
The answer is a clear no, it’s not too early. In fact, the time is ripe to seriously embrace social media into the relationship and communications flow of your community. And there are a bunch of options available that are ministry specific so that you don’t have to cobble together your own solution if you don’t want to.
Here’s one example: the Table Project. It’s a non-profit ministry group that is producing a robust, customizable social networking platform specific to churches. Take a look at this overview that covers the philosophy/approach to TableProject:
This video above leaves you wanting for a peek at the actual nitty gritty of the TableProject experience for users, right?
Here’s just one example of how the TableProject is utilizing mainstream social web assets so that users don’t have to adopt another entirely new social networking platform. Your community members already know how to use these features, they’re comfortable with them, and by taking this approach, TableProject aims squarely at the problem of adoption and usage uptake for any new system.
One of the strengths of this entry into the social networking platforms for churches market is how it integrates 3rd party sites and content. For example, you’ll find fluid use of Facebook, Twitter, blog RSS feeds, and other web apps.
Here’s another video covering some of the basic features inside the platform:
It’s not open source, but it’s free (for now). It’s certainly an interesting platform to consider for most ministries.
The question to ask would be just how customizable is it — especially for larger 1000+ person communities that usually need more tailoring to their communities’ needs in managing groups, sub-groups, etc.