Volume 2, Issue 1 - January 27, 2016
Something So Good...Gone So Wrong...So Quickly
Let me start by saying "I am so soo sooo sorry" to those of you who were added to the C2 Family GroupMe Text Messaging System this afternoon without explanation. In hindsight, I should have explained on a Sunday what we were doing before we did it so that you would know what was going on or, at the very least, I should have sent the information by email before adding you to the C2 Family GroupMe (hereafter referred to as simply "C2 Family").
I had an informational paragraph constructed and ready to post to "C2 Family", but in order for you to receive it, I had to add you to the GroupMe first. Before I got everyone completely added, people who had been added first started blowing it up with "hello's", Chit Chat and questions. No one's fault but mine. However, before I could stop it and explain, some of you already started removing yourselves from "C2 Family".
This is an absolutely incredible tool to help the church feel more like a COMMUNITY, providing ease of access and ability for the leadership to communicate to the entire church from virtually anywhere. I hope we have not killed the opportunity before it ever got off the ground.
Again, please, please forgive the lack of information before being added and subsequently BLASTED. I take full responsibility.
Love. Live. Serve
What I had wanted to share BEFORE GroupMe "blew up":
A NEW Text Messaging System for Crossroads Church - GroupMe
We are going to test drive this new form of communication, an app/website called GroupMe, in hopes of solving 5 issues:
- It will include folks that prefer not to use FB or other social media venues. Several of our folks are not fond of social media and shouldn't be forced to use it in order to stay connected to their "C2 Family".
- A few of our folks are not able to get SMS text messages thru our Elexio Texting System (the issue seems to be with specific carriers and characters used in text messages).
- People in "C2 Family" will be able to post and reply to messages sent to the Group (please use extreme caution when doing so...see below for rules of etiquette).
- We can post images to the Group when necessary.
- Using an App such as GroupMe is much less intrusive, intuitive and interactive than receiving messages by SMS text message.
GroupMe is basically a "group texting" app thru which you can have two-way communication with everyone in the group, regardless of their texting platform (Apple, Android, Windows, etc) and it doesn't blow up your phone's SMS Text Messaging (if you download the app, which we HIGHLY recommend) and people don't lose/get left out of communication, as happens sometimes when communicating between Android and Apple Devices or when using a Bulk Text Messaging System.
You can download the app on any and all of your mobile devices and/or use it in your web browser (I use both). If this test group works and we can get a majority of our members subscribed using the app, we will get rid of the closed FB Group, and only post MAJOR ALERTS thru the Elexio Texting System...everything else will come thru "C2 Family".
If you do not download the app, then the messages will come to you by SMS text message (not advised), which is far more INTRUSIVE (as some of you have experienced) AND functionality is greatly limited.
Many of you were added by mobile number and received an SMS text message letting you know that you had been added. If you didn't already have the app or install the app at that time, all further posts to the group came to you by SMS text message, thus "blowing up" your phone and requiring you to reply to one of the messages or you would cease to receive the messages. If you did not reply to one of the messages you received, you will no longer receive alerts, reminders, updates or requests UNTIL you either reply to one of those messages (not advised) or download and log in to the GroupMe app.
Many in our church already use GroupMe as a way of group communication, so feel free to ask me or any of our teens, Deacons or Staff if you have any questions. Each of our Deacons will probably create a GroupMe Group for their own family group as well.
Rules of Etiquette, When Sending a Message Using "C2 Family"
- IMPORTANT: Within the GroupMe app, "C2 Family" can be muted and umuted, by you, at will. This means that you mute the Group, you will not get a notification of new messages, BUT you can still view all of the new messages when you open the app. This is very helpful while you are at work, in a meeting, etc...just MUTE the notifications. When you would like to hear a notification of posts to the Group, simply "unmute" the Group.
- "C2 Family" is for communicating alerts, reminders, updates and requests to the entire church family (over 100 people and counting) at this time. Every time you post something to "C2 Family", it is received by every person in "C2 Family". Please be sensitive to others' family time, work, school and sleep schedules.
- Do not use "C2 Family" to communicate to/with an individual in the church. If you and the person you'd like to communicate with are using the app, you can Direct Message one another. See a current user for help with how to do this. Otherwise, please text or phone them individually.
- Do not use "C2 Family" to carry on a conversation with the church or someone in the church. It is not a place to post ideas, preach, teach, make suggestions, register complaints, etc. It is a place for us to communicate alerts, reminders, updates and prayer requests to the entire body and for PERTINENT questions to be asked that benefit the entire body. This might be possible if your LIFEgroups or Deacons set up a GroupMe.
- Within the app, there is a heart icon next to every post. If you want to communicate that you have read a post, agree with a post, are praying for a post, etc., please click the heart icon to indicate that you have read it or agree with it. Do not post comments of agreement, affirmation, etc. REMEMBER: every comment/post goes to every person in the church, and some receive them as SMS text messages...this is VERY INTRUSIVE if we are not respectful of that.
- If these rules of etiquette are not followed, then members of the church turn off C2 Family or leave the Group and then they miss out on important information sent out by our leadership. Do not let this happen.
- Offenders will be warned privately and if warning is not heeded, they will be removed from "C2 Family".
- Exception: one thing for you to be aware of. If for some reason a new person is added by their mobile number and they choose not to download the app or cannot (they do not have a SmartPhone), GroupMe does require that they reply to one of the first five messages that they receive or they will stop receiving messages. If you see a person reply to a message that breaks the rules of etiquette, this could be the reason, but it will happen very seldom.
- Please show a little grace as people learn how to use the app. Remember we have middle schoolers and maybe even some elementary students all the way up to senior saints (and every other "techie challenged" person in between) who will be navigating thru this app for the first time as part of our church body.