What does membership in the local church look like? You’re free to do it however you’d like in your church, I suppose… but here’s how we practice membership at Norkenzie.
Local Church Ministry Posts
Jesus came not to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45).
The church reflects Jesus through ministry.
The City is our church’s online tool for communication and relationship building. Here are the previous posts in this series:
A common question is how The City compares to Facebook. Is it just another social network that we have to manage? And if so, is it worth it? Why can’t we just use Facebook?
The City is a social network like Facebook, meaning people in the church are connecting (or networking) on The City, but it is different than Facebook in significant ways. While The City is different, it is not competing with Facebook. The City actually works well with Facebook, which I appreciate! You can share things from The Plaza, for instance, to your Facebook. Give it a try! Do it often!
I would have all of us be on Facebook for the fun of it but also to connect with people who need Jesus. You can encourage your Facebook friends toward Jesus by how you act and what you share.
It’s also true that most everyone is using Facebook. In 2013 Facebook crossed over the 500 Million users worldwide. By now there is probably twice the population of the United States logging in to Facebook on a regular basis. That’s a lot of people!
This doesn’t mean that I’m a Facebook fanboy. All of the changes and many of the settings are difficult to wade through at times. I also roll my eyes at the marketing that is sometimes targeted at me. Ugh. But to stay connected with friends near and far is pretty cool. I like that. And where else can I taunt my friends who are Denver Bronco fans?
Facebook and The City are both social networks, but that’s about where it ends. Here are 5 ways that The City is entirely different than Facebook.
1. The City was made for the Church
There were Christians way back when who saw the power of social networking to enhance the community that already existed in the Kingdom. They put their skills to work and created The City for the local church.
2. The City is group-based
Whereas Facebook is individual based, the majority of communication and relationship building in The City is circulated among groups of people. It’s about WE much more than ME.
3. The City is not trying to make money
While Facebook is free for us, clearly it’s a business. In the first 6 months of 2013 there were 1 Million active advertisers on Facebook that made 2 Billion (with a ‘B’) connections with people. We’re getting sold stuff all the time. The City is ad-free. We have promotions that you’ll see, but those are things going on in the life of the church.
4. The City helps us mobilize the Church
Whether it’s creating Events and parties, Service Opportunities, discussion Topics or sharing private Prayer Requests, The City has functionality that helps us be God’s people in this day and age. Facebook is great, but it’s not made for that purpose. There is also an administrative side to The City that helps us with discipleship tracking. We want everyone to have opportunity to know and be known and to grow in Christ! All of our small groups and ministry teams have groups on The City. If you have a smartphone, go get The City App!
5. The City doesn’t have ’Candy Crush Saga’
I wrote last month about what The City is and how it helps our church. Primarily it is a tool for relationship-building and communication. We are in the communication business, I said.
Along with the logistical stuff that being in a large community of people brings, there is also the strategical stuff. For me this answers the question ‘Why?’. Why would we use The City in our church’s life and ministry?
Jesus gave us our mission. We are to be disciples who make disciples (who will make disciples). Discipleship is all about relationships, communication and living out the life of Christ everyday. The City is a tool that helps us in this mission. The relationships that we are in can continue throughout the week. We may gather on Sundays and Thursdays, but we’re connected every day. This is fantastic!
In recent days I’ve been grateful for the amount of prayers being asked for and offered using The City. I receive the request through a notification on my phone (and email too) and often there is a response or two from others saying that they are praying before I respond. As a church family we’re able to pray ‘in real time!’ I know first hand how meaningful it is have people praying for me and my loved ones.
Disciples ‘give their lives away in meaningful service’ and our coordination of ministry together is done beautifully on The City. Beyond prayers, help and meals to those in need has been orchestrated using this tool. The City does much of the heavy lifting and we can focus on serving!
To grow in our relationships and to serve God and one another… all of this is living out the life of Christ everyday.