Cobblestone Blog

An Easy Way to Get Your Church Engaged Online

posted by Justin Wise on July 14, 2011 in Company

Special Offers

Your favorite online community platform, Cobblestone, just got a little bit easier to use. Effectively immediately, you can get a steal on Cobblestone one of two ways:

  1. A free month of Cobblestone for current Ekklesia360 clients, or
  2. Six months of Cobblestone for free to all churches and communities with less than 100 members!

If you're wondering what Cobblestone is, let's take a minute and look at what this platform can do for you.

  • Group Management. Manage small groups, classes, discipleship groups, leadership groups, projects and more through Cobblestone.
  • Member Management. Cobblestone allows an easy-to-use place for people to update their contact information, add personal information and create a profile for use throughout the system.
  • Prayer Module. Allow people to share prayer requests and pray for one another. Include prayer urgency or tag others to include them in prayer needs.
  • Event Management. Create events, discuss them, volunteer to bring needed items, see who is attending and manage re-occurrence with ease.

You can read more details about this special Cobblestone offer here. We'd love to talk to you about this flexibile, fast and feature-filled platform that's just waiting to serve the needs of your community. Think fast! The offer only goes through the end of September.

Cobblestone: Be the Church. Deepen relationships. Know your people!

If you have a story of how Cobblestone has helped shape your church and deepen relationships, I'd love to hear from you! Please contact me at wise(at)monkdevelopment.com. In exchange for your story, we have a gift we'd love to give you. You'll like it. Trust me!

Church Website Wisdom and Your Community

posted by Drew Goodmanson on December 10, 2009 in Company

Pick up a copy of Your Church magazine, part of Christianity Today in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue to read Website Wisdom - New research, cooperative reveal best practices for churches written by Monk Development CEO Drew Goodmanson.

The article touches on developing a community engagement and reasearch from congregational and church studies.  It reads:

Your Web Strategy Should Integrate With the Online Communities People Already Use.

After "I'm New" information, the second-most popular content category that people visited online was group information. People sought out ministry groups, home groups, and other communities to connect into the community and serve.

When asked to select the top five features or activities they would like to see in their church websites, 39 percent of people selected "connect with other members," which ranked highest. And in the congregational survey, more than 70 percent said the website was important in facilitating participation in their church community. People desire ways to participate online with others from the church.

The rise of social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, has trained users to seek online interaction with friends and family. Church members now desire this online experience for church. Respondents said the following features, listed here in the order of their popularity, appealed to them in a private, online community:

  • Ability to post prayer requests or needs (with appropriate permissions);
  • Ability to find opportunities to serve at the church, based on interests or gifts;
  • Ability to access a phone/email directory;
  • Ability to join and interact with home/Bible study groups;
  • Ability to share resources.

Read the full article: Website Wisdom

Cobblestone on Facebook

posted by Drew Goodmanson on December 10, 2009 in Company

See the latest announcements, view screenshots of Cobblestone and much more when you join the Cobblestone Facebook group.

Cobblestone on Facebook

 

The State of Social Media, Part I

in Company

Drew Goodmanson, from Monk Development writes a two-part series on social media for Christianity Today's Your Church Blog.  It begins...

The social nature of media will continue to converge in ways we cannot imagine during the next five years. As church leaders, it is important to understand the state of social networking, and the directions of these participatory technologies. These tools may promise significant benefits to churches, who seek to build community, mobilize congregations, and offer greater interaction with unbelievers. And an understanding today leads to better action today and better planning for tomorrow.

To gain a full understanding, though, it’s critical that church leaders learn both the benefits and challenges of social media sites. Earlier this year, Monk Development set out to discover some answers to these questions through a “state of social media” research project, surveying hundreds of church leaders about the social media sites they’re using, what features and functions their church members seek, and what benefits and challenges they face using open source solutions or “church-only” ones.

We first shared the results of this research in a webinar entitled, “Church, Christians, and Social Networking” (you can watch an archived recording of the webinar). I’m the founder of Monk Development, a web consulting firm, and I’m also co-founder and pastor of Kaleo Church in San Diego. Cynthia Ware, who has two decades of pastoral ministry experience and a master's degree in new media, helped me present. She helps Christian leaders use their online presence to enrich and expand their ministry reach, and she actively speaks and writes on the subject.

Read the whole article: The State of Social Media, Part I

Cobblestone in Collide

posted by Drew Goodmanson on November 23, 2009 in Company

Park Community was featured in Collide Magazine, here's an excerpt from the article Church Spotlight: Park Community Church

COLLIDE: How does Park utilize social media in its ministry and communication?

Schraeder: In services texting plays a couple of different roles… we use it for people to text in questions about our messages and also have used it to take polls to get a feel for where our congregation stands on different current events or controversial issues.

We only print a bulletin once a month since a majority of our congregation is hyper-connected to the Web and social media. Throughout the week we depend on Facebook and Twitter to communicate upcoming events and opportunities for people to connect. But we also use it to see and hear what people who attend Park are talking about. Social media enables us to maintain a pulse on what people in our church are talking about and lets us know what they are thinking and how they are responding to our services. And in many cases, it has introduced us to people we had no idea attended our church.

With the launch of our new website we’ve also launched a private social network for our regular attendees with the help of the Cobblestone Community Network (www.cobblestonecn.com). Most of our 200-plus small groups have private groups on the network where they are able to communicate with each other, post prayer requests, and share a calendar. Different ministries in the church are using it to communicate news and information, and it enables us to have classifieds, job postings, a volunteer board, and other things that we wouldn’t necessarily want on a public site or on Facebook or another social network.

The key in all of this is that we’ve found a way we can best communicate with our congregation and we’ve put a lot of time and energy into ensuring we’re doing that to the best of our ability. We have a church that responds to media and technology, so we use it. For other churches that might not be the solution. It’s all about discovering who your people are, how they best communicate and receive information and creating a strategy around that. Not every church needs a killer website or Twitter, but if that’s a key way people in your church communicate then by all means you need to get involved in conversation with them where they are talking.

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