I was watching The Great Food Truck Race Sunday. Each team of 3 travels in a food truck competing for $50,000 over a period of weeks. One team (the Vegans), lost one older competitor who couldn’t handle the stress. The lead competitor was left with the help of her best friend who, at the next city, developed a kidney stone and was hospitalized. Obviously, the lone competitor didn’t have a chance at surviving the challenge, which meant the other teams were safe from elimination. But something amazing happened. Several members from the other teams left their teams to go help her chop vegetables, take orders and even yell out to potential customers to come to her food truck. I was stunned! Even in an environment of intense competition where there can be only one winner, they formed a community of caring people who responded to another competitor in need.
I have always felt like Christ Lutheran was that kind of community…one of caring people who respond and step up when someone is in need. But, as a large church, it’s easy to fall through the cracks, or for visitors to slide in and out unnoticed and therefore feel unwelcomed. As the Communications Director, I see all the opportunities to engage and participate at our church, but I also see many people who aren’t sure how to do that.
Realm is changing the way we do ministry. It is the single most exciting enhancement to our communications since we began a website more than 20 years ago. Case in point, an older member of the congregation who is unable to get to church anymore was not receiving emails from us, and it was distressing her. We suspected it was a setting on her computer, so another tech savvy member went to her house to get it fixed. While there, he got her connected to Realm and showed her how to use it. She was shocked and overjoyed to see news from all 5 groups she is in but hasn’t attended in a long time. Connecting her to Realm gave her a lifeline to the church and to her friends and groups. She is now able to keep up with what’s going on and doesn’t feel disconnected. She can even chat with them right in Realm and, more importantly, they can chat with her, checking on her and to see if she needs anything.
This example is one of many that I see every day where Realm is helping build community at Christ Lutheran. As we get bigger, we must find ways to get smaller. Realm provides us with a tool to connect with each other and care for each other…if we use it!
Another example is the ease of taking attendance at events or in groups and classes. Why is that important? We know when you are here…but we don’t know who isn’t unless we know who is. Attendance matters, and we are now able to pay much closer attention to it using Realm.
Convinced? I sure hope so! I encourage you to connect with your groups, post a fun picture in a group...maybe even an old one that others would enjoy. Oh, and make sure YOU have a profile picture.
Got a Realm story? Share it with me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need a login invitation? Email me for that too!
Building community; one Realmer at a time!