What exactly is a “group” and what does that mean to your church? Is it a ministry area, such as all your senior ministry? Or is it a collection of people on a similar life path, such as young adult newlyweds? Can groups be people focused on spiritual growth such as those who attend a weekly Bible study? I think the simple answer is “yes.”
Churches all over the world, regardless of their size, use groups to help connect their ministry together. Chances are, your church is no different. Interestingly enough though, depending on the church size, they may see them differently and how they’re built within the church. For example, larger churches don’t just have small groups; in many cases, they are literally a church of small groups and they make up the entire church body. In smaller churches, groups may be thought of more like classes or ministry areas, such as a Bible study group or a men’s or women’s ministry.
Regardless if your church puts intentional effort to grow and cultivate a small group community or it happens organically through meetings or ministry areas, groups are a great way to help make sense of your ministry.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of how churches use groups in Realm in different ways and how your church can do the same.
Groups in Realm aren’t built to box you in; they give you the freedom to build your group structures just as they exist in your physical church. For example, you may have top level ministry areas such as an adult ministry. And within that adult ministry, you may have small groups such as an adult men’s Bible study or a women in ministry group. You can not only easily build out these ministry areas in Realm, but you can also communicate with the entire ministry area or just an individual group.
Speaking of communication, Realm helps group members communicate with one another in their own private space. Each group has its own personal newsfeed where new communications, events, pictures, and more are posted for the group members to see. There’s also no fear of a non-group member seeing any of the posts. If someone isn’t a member of the group, not to worry; group conversations are housed within the group and you must be a member to take part in any conversation.
Realm’s groups are for more than just your outward-facing ministry areas; they can be used as internal tools for staff to help keep track of groups of people. For example, you may need a way to group all the people who have recently joined your church. You can easily create a group for that and with one click, add them all to the group. Similarly, your church might want a way to track everyone who hasn’t volunteered recently so you can reach out to them. Again, by simply creating a filtered list, they can all be added to your group and it can be labeled as “private” in case you want it to function behind the scenes.
Whether groups to your church mean small groups, ministry areas, or ad-hoc groups of people, Realm Groups are flexible enough to provide you with the tools your church needs to have success in ministry.
David is an Associate Product Marketing Manager and has been an ACS Technologies team member since 2011.