July 27, 2009
Kent Shaffer of the Church Relevance blog recently featured a new community management product named Cobblestone. I’m thinking that Rockbridge Seminary students who have finished the online course “The Theology & Practice of Fellowship” may want to take a look.
Here are the objectives of the software (from the product’s website):
Building Real Relationships
Cobblestone is designed to move people deeper into real relationships. Cobblestone automates much of the administration, for example it can automatically connect people into home groups based on your criteria, so you can spend your time in relationship not administrating.
Helping People be the Church
Cobblestone encourages behaviors important to your local community such as connecting people to volunteer opportunities, moving people into relationship, managing events and much more. Cobblestone is not a social network, it is designed for the unique community needs of the local church.
Prayer & Meeting Needs
Cobblestone is a powerful agent to help your community facilitate prayer, connect people to meet real needs in your community and encourage the one-anothering that every local church desires. The tools and resources allow you to track and keep the pulse on what is happening in your community.
READ MORE about the features of Cobblestone
VIEW a brief presentation
May 29, 2009
Here’s one pastor who would admit it- his church stinks at forming biblical community.
Matt Carter, senior pastor of The Austin Stone Community Church, realized that their small group ministry was not working at building biblical community. The challenge sent Matt and his leadership team back to Scripture to rediscover what formed community. The answer? Mission! Mission is what forms the bond of community.
Here’s how the Austin Stone website describes a “missional community”:
A Missional Community is a partnership of Christians on mission with God for our city, who demonstrate the gospel tangibly and declare the gospel creatively to each other, their neighbors, and to the world.
A Missional Community is not JUST a:
1. Small Group
2. Bible Study
3. Support Group
4. Social Activist Group
5. Weekly Meeting
It can involve these sorts of things, but it doesn’t stop there. Our missional communities Worship Christ, Live in Community, Get Trained for ministry, and Make Disciples together… over time. Being involved in community is critical to being in church rather than simply attending church. Missional communities are different from “small groups” or “community groups” that function as a program in the church; for us, they ARE the church.
Rockbridge Seminary students who have completed the online seminary course “Building a Small Group Ministry” may be helped by listening to Matt share about his journey in leading his church to form missional small groups.
Hat tip Learnings @ Leadership Network
The Show: Strategic Conversations on the Church takes a look each week at what is happening in the church world- the innovative, the provocative, the interesting, and the important things that are changing the way we all do ministry.