WHY SETTLE FOR VIRTUAL COMMUNITY WHEN YOU CAN HAVE THE REAL THING?
The City is web-based software that takes a big church that meets all over the place and brings it together in one small place where we can communicate, connect, help, learn, and grow. But… how?
- The City doesn’t replace real community; it fosters deeper community by enabling everyone at Westside to share our daily lives with the people that make up our community. It takes the best aspects of social networking, and reinforces and enhances the real relationships, conversations and interactions that make up the life of Westside.
- The City is made up of groups, and there isn’t one group on The City that isn’t made of real life, face-to-face friendships—people who also meet together physically, who will now easily be able to connect every day of the week.
- Not only that, when new Westsiders want to get connected, but are not sure where to go or how to get plugged in, The City gives us a reliable, measurable process for making sure people don’t fall through the cracks.
- Westside has been using technology to reach out to people through our website, podcast, Facebook, Twitter and email, but there is more we can do. We want to use technology in a spirit of service as we continue to seek Christ-likeness, not just for the sake of efficiency or as a shiny new plaything.
- We want to live as a gospel-centred community, every day, and we believe The City can help move us toward that goal. The result will be a church community that better know each other, better care for each other, and better serve Jesus.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The cool thing is that our City is only for Westsiders, so you have to be invited in or sign up using our kiosks on Sundays. You sign up for an individual profile using your email address (if you don’t have one or currently share one with your spouse, we recommend Gmail for free web-based email), The City walks you through creating your profile, and then you join groups based on the groups you’re physically in at Westside (CGs, ministry teams, areas of interest, etc.).
DO I HAVE TO USE IT?
We strongly encourage you to, and here’s why: The City will quickly become the main channel for church-wide and group-specific communication, so opting out of The City would be opting out of staying connected to what is happening around the church. This is where we can build community even when we're not face to face.
We know it might require a little investment of time and effort as you learn a new system. We’re confident, though, that you’ll have the same overwhelmingly positive experience we’ve had as we’ve begun using The City: this is a system that is intuitive, useful, and a lot of fun to use. We know you’ll love it as you discover all that The City has to offer.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS THAT YOU, THE WESTSIDER, WILL REAP FROM USING THE CITY
- EASILY FOLLOW UP WITH NEW FRIENDS: When you meet a new friend at church but don’t have their contact info, find them on The City. Search by first name, find their photo, click, and send a message.
- UPDATE EVERYONE AT ONCE: There’s no need to find email addresses for everyone in your CG or ministry team; simply post your comment, event, prayer request or need in the appropriate group.
- FIND OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE AT WESTSIDE: Respond to serving opportunities posted by leaders in the church, and list your skills so that others can find you when they have a specific need.
- FIND A COMMUNITY GROUP: Search for groups in your neighbourhood using The City’s group mapping tool.
- GET MORE INVOLVED IN CHURCH LIFE: Know what’s going on throughout the church and get involved.
- CUSTOMIZABLE EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS: Stay informed without having to log in to The City, but also without being inundated with emails. You choose how many emails you get.
- DEEPEN YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH & PERSONAL DISCIPLESHIP: Use the online Scripture memory tool, Bible reading plan, and journal—accessible to you anywhere you can get online, and as private as you want it to be.
- A MARKETPLACE TO BUY, SELL, OR TRADE WHILE BLESSING OTHERS IN THE CHURCH: Post job openings or look for a job, find a home, rent a room, recruit a roommate, sell your car, advertise your home business, and so on.
- CONNECT YOUR CHURCH COMMUNITY AND YOUR FRIENDS OUTSIDE THE CHURCH: The City offers tools to use Facebook and Twitter to connect with your non-Westside friends with events, community needs, status updates, and more.
If you have any problems, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and request an invitation. We’d love to have you join us!