Recently, my friend John Saddington invited me to consider becoming an advisor to a new software startup call SoChurch. John is one of the most tech-savvy people I know. He is the Creative Web Director of North Point Ministries and the owner of Milk Engine, the Web design firm that built my blog. So when he makes a request, I listen.
John described the company’s mission and then sent over an introductory packet to review. After reading it, I thought, this is exactly what churches need.
As the CEO of a large company, I know that effective communication is critical. You can’t maintain organizational alignment without it. And if you can’t maintain alignment, you will fail in your mission. Period.
But so often, churches don’t have access to the technology and tools that for-profit organizations have. Many are still printing and mailing newsletters. Some more “advanced” churches are using manually-maintained email distribution lists to communicate. And social media? Forget about it. Most have no idea what to do with that!
SoChurch is the answer. It has the goal of leveraging web technology and making it really, really simple. So simple, in fact, that non-geeks—real people—can use it. It is not something adapted from the corporate world or cobbled together piecemeal from other sources.
Instead, it’s been built from the ground-up with a completely different paradigm based on how local churches really work and how they are different from secular organizations. And it will also scale—meaning it will work with small churches and mega-churches, and everything in between.
I am also pleased to announce that I have come on-board as an official advisor to SoChurch. In fact, I am one of several people—bloggers whose names you will recognize—who will be working together to ensure that it achieves its mission.
The product is still in development, but here are some of the things we envision:
- Individual church branding
- Customization, configuration, and control, including worldclass privacy and security
- Simplified church directory functionality
- Group, resource, event, and content management tools
- Twitter and Facebook integration
- Mobile phone access and syncing
- Prayer information and reporting, as well as needs and classifieds postings
- A variety of tools, integration options, and settings to manage the flow of communication
Primarily, it will focus on communication, providing tools for managing events, gathering RSVPs, sending out updates, and hosting multimedia content. I promise, you will be impressed.
I will provide more detail when we get closer to our launch date. In the meantime, you could do us a huge favor by taking this brief survey.