GraceConnect E-News, No. 78, Week of December 15, 2014

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Community of Hope Church in Surrey, B.C., is a small church that prioritizes finding the best way to encourage communication between church and congregation.

Good Communication

Community of Hope Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Surrey, B.C., has a unique means of communicating with their congregation…with a smartphone app (application).
 
The surprising part? Community of Hope is a church of about 100 people.
 
“What we discovered is that email reaches about 30 percent of our congregation, and Facebook reaches about 30 percent,” said Community of Hope pastor Phil Bryant. “The bulletin communicates but is limited in it’s impact. There was no one tool that reached out to everybody.” But almost everyone has a smartphone or a tablet.
 
The app was launched about nine months ago, and Bryant reports that about 70 percent of the people in the church have installed the app on their devices. Community of Hope started brainstorming the project around the same time as The Village Church in Milton, Ontario. “We were all talking about it together,” recalls Bryant.
 
The app is intentionally simple and streamlined, including information about the church, sermon archives, and a "push notification" feature, which reminds people of important events in the church.
 
Bryant hopes to expand the functions of the app in the future, and is pleased with the results so far. 
 
"We feel like it’s been a good tool to get the word out and communicate. We put a lot of energy developing it and a decent amount of time perfecting it, and I think it was worth the investment. But we still have a lot to learn."
 
Bryant recommends a tool such as an app for other small churches. “For a small church in an urban area, an app would be a powerful mechanism [for good communication]. I’ve had several people really appreciate the app…often they are the people who are really keen to reach out to others. Sharing an upcoming event is so simple and accessible for people.”
 
“You just need to be ready to inform, train and excite your people towards whatever tool you’re using,” he stresses. “You can have a great communication tool, but if no one it accessing it then it won’t be used...and that takes time, energy and creativity.”  
 
For a preview of the app or to contact the church for more information,
 click here

From Around the Web...

Here are a few links from Grace Brethren churches that you might find of interest…

Check out this month's Pastorpedia, a monthly resource for pastors and church leaders from CE National. This month, pastors Knute Larson, Jeff Bogue, and Jim Brown present "Personal Stamina -- Help for Pastors," a presentation on preventing burnout. You can download the content and watch the video by clicking here

Dario Joseph Agnolutto of The Grace Brethren Church of Calvert County is to be ordained this coming January. Click here for more details or send a note of congratulations to dario.agnolutto@comcast.net.

Events in the FGBC

January 16-17 WLS Class: Soul Care, Winona Lake, Ind. (WGUSA)
January 23-24
– WLS Class: Spiritual Formation, Long Beach, Calif. (WGUSA)
January 23-25  Kalahari Winter Retreat, Sandusky, Ohio
January 26-28 –  Southwest Focus Retreat, The Oaks, Lake Hughes, Calif. (FGBC)
January 28-30 – Fellowship Council, Seal Beach, Calif. (FGBC)
March 16-18 – South Focus Retreat, Florida FFA Training Center, Haines City, Fla. (FGBC)
March 20-21 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Frederick, Md. (WGUSA) 
April 24-25 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (WGUSA) 
June 21-27, 2015  Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Ontario (GBC)
June 21-27, 2015 – Encounter Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga. (EWP)
July 14-19, 2015 – Momentum Youth Conference, Marion, Ind. (CEN) 
July 23-26, 2015 – Flinch Conference (national conference), Newark, N.J. (FGBC) 

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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