Archive for communication

Using Social Media to Reach and Minister to People with your Group

socmedWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Many are familiar with the idea of making contacts through cards, letters, phone calls, and visits for their Sunday School or Small Group.  We understand the value of a personal touch with face-to-face conversation, but we must not neglect the social media world that exists as well.

Making contact or connecting with those we have on our list is essential. Ask questions. Communicate events and information. Enrich relationships. Despite the proliferation of social media, many groups are still not using these tools connect with those on their ministry list and to others as well.

WHAT DO I DO? Here are a few things to consider when using social media with a group.

  • Understand what types of social media are used by your group so you can be the most effective.
  • Communicate weekly with social media.
  • Use social media to continue the teaching of the previous group experience or to prepare for teaching for the upcoming meeting of your group. This helps with application.
  • Use social media to promote group socials and update prayer requests and ministry needs.
  • If using Facebook, create a group for your group. Here is a video on how this is done and how it can benefit your group for both ministry to the members and reaching new people as well.

Stay in touch with your group. Use social media to complement your personal touch contacts. Doing so will enrich your communication and your care.

Communication Tools to Use with Your Class

communication-toolsWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Communication leads to community, an important goal for groups.  As the leader, ensure your participants hear from you regularly so they feel connected to the group.  This will also help group members keep up with group life when unable to attend, and it also allows you to communicate opportunities of connection beyond the group time.

WHAT DO I DO? Today there are many communication options…

  • Handwritten notes:  While some think that this option has gone the way of the dinosaur, many really appreciate the time, effort and sentiment that a note brings.  Invest in note cards and stamps. Send out a card or two to group members every week. It really makes an impression.
  • Telephone calls:  This method allows for a two way conversation that is personal. Calls communicate that you want to hear what is happening in your student’s life.  Carve out time to make 1 or 2 calls a week, and watch your relationships with students become stronger.
  • Texting:  Find ways to text very short but meaningful texts to your class members to let them know that you are praying for them and to remind them of brief, but important information.
  • Social Media:  This tool could be utilized to facilitate total class interaction.  You might use this option for digging deeper into a question from your group time or to share other information relevant to your topic.  You can also share information that people might have missed.

There are other ways to communicate, but the key will be practicing them. Find what works best for your group. Mix them up and avoid getting stuck in a rut.

3 Ways to Lead Your Group to Pray for Each Member

prayerWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Paul wrote in Colossians 1:9: “For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you.”  Every group needs a prayer strategy that encourages members to contact one another and to share special prayer concerns.

WHAT DO I DO? Here are three ways:

  1. Develop a Prayer Strategy. Three possible strategies:
    • A prayer chain. A member would contact the prayer coordinator.  The prayer coordinator would contact the first person in the chain and then the second person would contact the next person, and so on.
    • A prayer pyramid. A prayer pyramid is similar to a prayer chain. The prayer coordinator contacts the first two persons and they contact the two persons each, etc.
    • A prayer circle. The prayer coordinator enlists and maintains contact with prayer captains, who in turn enlist and maintain contact with other group members. Be sure that all group members are assigned to a prayer group.
  2. Use a Prayer Concerns Sheet. Pass it around at each group meeting. List specific concerns such as prayer for spiritual concerns, physical healing, family and friends, persons who are grieving.  Special needs and circumstances, unspoken prayer requests, other.  Email the list to each member following class.
  3. Text. Many groups use text messages to remind people to pray and to send updates on prayer requests.

A verse to remember: 1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.”

Using a Class Newsletter

newsletterWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? The list of ways to communicate are numerous.  The 21st Century has supplied us with numerous ways to communicate valuable  information to our group.  This information in many cases is quite important to our groups and also holds the key to make sure that people are taken care of through prayer & ministry.

This information communicated helps members know how they can minister and what they can do in their group to help others. This gives people in the group “buy-in” so they feel a part of the group and not just attend. Typically there are events or a “What is Going On” section.  You want to make sure the class stays active.

“WHAT DO I DO?” One of the easiest ways to start communicating and maybe the oldest is a Class or Group Newsletter.  A newsletter!!! Yes, people still use them and the are quite effective.

Newsletters can be mailed, handed out in class, or sent as a simple “E-Newsletter.”  You should include contact information for people to get in touch with leaders.

A group mission project should be at the forefront of most any Newsletter.  Prayer needs & some sort of upcoming events section always proves to be a good beginning.

People want to know that the group is “valuable” enough for them to be a part of it.  Add value to your group, start a newsletter and start communicating!