Friday, February 6, 2009
Church launches their LifeGroups with Unifyer
View the video of Montrose Church members talking about what they have been able to accomplish with Unifyer at http://www.unifyer.com/.
Why would Montrose Church, one of the fastest growing churches in America, choose to bypass existing social networking technology like Facebook in favor of Unifyer, a highly functional and customizable web based networking tool? According to Cyndi Roberts, director of communications and technology at Montrose Church, it had everything to do with the many features that Unifyer provides, such as user generated content, subject matter sensitivity, and multi-group functionality. Unifyer has made such a difference at Montrose Church that Roberts calls it "the single most powerful tool that I have introduced to our church in the last ten years."
Montrose Church (located in Montrose, CA outside of Los Angeles), like many of today’s churches, faces the challenge of using technology to help connect people in a digital age. As print media becomes less effective, churches are scrambling to keep a busy and distracted society informed and intrigued enough to interact with their message. The leadership of Montrose Church knew that, as they introduced new ministries and continued to push established ones, the need for effective ways of inviting people to connect and engage with those ministries was more important than ever. That’s where Unifyer came in.
Unifyer provided Montrose Church an opportunity to produce updated messages and announcements, create ministry specific groups, provide social networking outlets that were safe and contained, and offer the kind of blogging, messaging, and chatting that our user-generated culture has come to embrace and utilize. Bob Roberts, senior pastor of Montrose Church, says that the church had put all the logistics in place to help foster an environment where God could work, but Unifyer helped "create exponential potential that we never knew we had." Since acquiring Unifyer, Montrose has seen that potential turn into an awesome reality.
C.S. Lewis once wrote, "Christianity is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If you can bring anyone into that hall, I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires... and chairs... and meals." Unifyer is providing churches everywhere with a "hall" and many "rooms" in which real ministry can occur. Facebook can give people a place to network and connect, but starting a group in Facebook is like hosting a party in an efficiency apartment—many will come, but there’s not much space to truly connect. Unifyer, on the other hand, offers a houseful of chances to engage in all that the church has to offer, and it does so in a way that is safe yet non-restrictive. As Corey Marquez, LifeGroups pastor, says, "It (Unifyer) is a centralized place for information, while at the same time being safe."
Perhaps the greatest impact Unifyer has had on Montrose Church is the fact that it’s caused people to bond through personal interaction. The people of Montrose have reported meeting others in person for the first time, only to realize that they have already connected through Unifyer. Herb Smith, a member at Montrose Church, recounts a time when he posted a note of encouragement to someone on Unifyer. Smith recalls the impact his comments had and says, "I realized I was making a significant contribution to that person’s life."
The Unifyer experience is bringing "exponential potential" to churches across the world. To find out more, visit http://www.unifyer.com/.