6 Tips for Keeping Members Engaged in Online Communities is a great post with some very practical ideas. I love the simplicity of the concepts. You can implement all of the suggestions whether you are a larger or small organization.
I couldn’t help but see the similarity in keeping members engaged in online communities and what it might mean for churches who want to keep people engaged in generosity of time, talent, and treasure to increase their Kingdom footprint.
I would like to translate the six ways identified in the above post into the language and practice of the church, especially related to the conversation of church giving:
1. Make sure your mission is relevant. People want to invest themselves (and their funds) in places that are moving forward and accomplishing something they couldn’t do on their own.
2. Actively engage everyone. That may mean opening the door to new service opportunities outside the traditional roles of teacher, event director, etc. Discover the gifts the people in your pews bring to the church rather than looking for ways to work them into established positions. Get people involved (even before they are members) in service as soon as possible.
3. Create a safe environment for sharing feedback. If giving is an emotional decision grounded in a relationship with a person one knows, likes, and trusts, then their must be opportunity for conversation. The new normal has empowered donors to expect access to key information about the organizations they support and access to key leaders.
4. Provide relevant content delivered in the form of the reader’s choosing. The church no longer gets to determine how they will communicate with members. If you’re not communicating in ways that are native to the giver, then you aren’t being heard. No matter how much noise you make, you’ll be on mute.
5. Provide opportunity for spiritual formation. There must be a consistency between what we say about our churches and the behaviors and lifestyles of the leadership and membership. We must have a plan to move people from where they are today to what the community has defined as a Christ-follower. Engaging people in church funding is a spiritual endeavor and is grounded in the spiritual formation process. This isn’t restricted to lectures or on-campus events.
6. Find ways to help members connect and do life together. Relationships matter. No matter how compelling your vision and mission is, no matter how effective your service is to the community and the world, if you don’t care about me and if I can’t find people to do life together, I’m just passing through.
What others ideas would you add to this list?