If you are a Christian, without a doubt someone has stepped into your life to help you along with your journey in faith. As that faith matures, many enjoy a look back on their progress. With those reflections, we internally thank those that helped us. Someone, pastors, church staff, volunteers, parents, friends; someone invested in discipling you. This article will explore the idea of using technology to publicly and privately offer thanks to those that helped you grow.
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (ESV)
What tools can you provide people to say thank you to those who helped him in the Christian journey? Obviously this is push for interaction and socialization, but how should it be structured? Does it require any moderation? How should it be shared? I answer these and hopefully give you ideas on how to honor those who are discipling others in your church.
Remember back in my article on structuring forms, ask for the most emotional information first. Thus, ask what difference was made in the person's life. Next follow with the more personal information such as the person who made the investment. Lastly, an optional field of the person who's actually filling out the form. Some may want to publicly honor someone anonymously, and you should allow for that. Lastly, require an email address should be required so the person submitting the post can be notified when their statement is live.
All posts should be screened before going live. Yes this will slow down the process and delay our culture of instant gratification. Yet I feel posts should be screened to ensure this feature is not abused in any way. Another key consideration is to have someone moderating these posts on a regular basis as to minimize delays. Once the post is published, the person who submitted it should be notified. At this point you can ask them to share their submission.
If possible, integrate the post people create with social media sharing services. However, keep it as an optional action; as many may not want to remain less public with their thanks. Be sure to socialize on several networks, since not everyone is on Facebook and Twitter. For a more personal touch, invite them to privately send their post via email to the person they wish to honor. Not every social interaction needs to be public!
This is certainly is a secondary feature to a website. However, I just like the sermon series that inspired it; you may launch a feature like this to honor leaders in and around your church congregation. As you push to move people from church consumers to ministry producers, this can serve as examples of leadership and service.
Photo courtesy of Shmeljov at Stock Free Images