Viral church

Tonight history was made. I know that seems like a big statement, but tonight we had the first meeting of those interested in the Wallingford church plant. It was 13 of the most diverse people imaginable. It would have been even more diverse if it weren’t for the fact that a couple of people were unable to make it. Overall it was a great meeting. We discussed how we got to this point and where we are going from here.

Tonight was simply an informational meeting. It was just a “here’s the vision” what is God speaking to you about it meeting. Within the next week I have asked everyone who was there to let me know for sure if they are in or out just for communication purposes. I have been thinking that what I would like to do is have all of the meetings from this point out be totally voluntary and what we should do is let them come or not as they please until they are ready to committ. Then when they are they will tell us and we will then know they are in. Not a “tell me so I can start a team,” mentality but more of a Viral approach to this. I’ll be honest, it is very hard to do this Virally because I have never really started a team with a Viral approach. Yes I think that is what I am going to do. We’ll just lay it out and they can tell us when they are in. We’ll just keep having meetings and when they commit then we should have something for them that tells them what that committment means. But it should be Viral. The Principals of Viral are:

  • Gives away products or services
  • Provides for effortless transfer to others
  • Scales easily from small to very large
  • Exploits common motivations and behaviors
  • Utilizes existing communication networks
  • Takes advantage of others’ resources

So how can we apply this to our church plant team?

Gives away products or services
What kind of product or service are we giving away? I think the most obvious one is community. We really need to establish real community. Luckily we have kind of a head start as we have a group of people who for the most part already know each other. There are a couple of people who just met for the first time but 10 out of 13 is not a bad start. The secondary product is a church home. That will develop more as the process proceedes.

Provides for effortless transfers to others
Every person in on this team must see themselves as personally responsible. If they dont then they wont want to transfer it to anyone. I think the tone of future meetings will be to empower EVERYONE to give input. Whether it is someone’s first time or not, we all have something to offer the community. So how does this effortless transfer take place? I think by several means. First the prospectus becomes our field manual. Easily reproducable and downloadable. Second any member of the team has the option to begin another home group at any time. They can do exactly what we have (or will soon) start to do and have any of the resources we have. All of these resources will be available via the web. erspective.

Scales easily from large to small
We need to develop a community “style” of meeting where everyone is involved. It must be interactive from the get-go. When we start having “our big gatherings” then the same community “style” should be used. It has to be easily used no matter how big the group gets too. This is a detail that we will have to work on.

Exploits common motivations or behaviors
To me this is the easiest of them all. Common motivation: the desire to belong to a group of people that actually care about each other. Common behavior: Getting together to have (for lack of a better term) fellowship.

Utilizes existing communications networks
This one will be a little tricky because I need to know what existing communications networks exist first. I think this group would become like the inner circle of a spider’s web where I communicate with them, they communicate with those whom they bring, come in contact with etc. Or we could just base all communication around a website…..What if people actually went to a website to get on the mailing list…an egroup if you will, and then our communication became very viral. We could even offer email addresses for those who don’t have them. Like all 5 people left in the USA who dont have email would want one now….

Takes advantage of other’s resources
I think this one would come very easily as well. It would start with us using other people’s houses, money, time, talents, etc. But also we would have to give ownership to those with resources so they could get on board. What about some of the Christian business owners. Their resources, not just money but clout in the community for example would be a great asset. I will think about this further.

I think from now on it will be very viral in nature…but I have to figure out how exactly that works on a practical level….