Over the last year BCM has gone from a traditional model of a single staffer, a building as the central meeting place, and a budget funded by the denomination to a multi-staff, decentralized, support-based organization. There is much to share about why this transition happened, growth points, and what we’re learning along the way. I want to do a better job of sharing the things I’m learning and the resources I’m using.
I’ve written a little about decentralization here, here, and here. Without a single time and place where our ministry “happens,” we have discovered some pain points. It is rare for us all to be on the same page with what is happening in our ministry naturally. We are learning how to be a (somewhat) distributed team.
Formerly we all attended the same large group gatherings. Now we are all involved in different Gospel Communities spread across the week and across the campus. In a decentralized ministry it can be deceptively easy to lose touch and be out of the loop. The single tool that has helped us the most is Slack. It is our asynchronous communication hub. It’s a group messaging platform. We create “channels” based on the topics we need to address so that our conversations remain unified and (somewhat) coherent. It has eliminated nearly all email and text messaging for us.
Each of the words in left sidebar represent the various channels we currently have active. Each staff accesses Slack from their phones and their iPads – they could even log in on the web from any computer. Since we are only in the same room all at the same time once per week at most, we have to work a little harder on communicating consistently and clearly.
Every month everyone on the BCM team is sending out their own personal newsletters to their supporters. It can be tough to recall what happened over the last month, but I am finding that Slack can be really helpful for this. In Slack you can “star” any message to save it for later. My list of “starred” messages is my list of celebrations and a list of potential topics for future newsletters. We are committed to improving our ministry, but we must be just as committed to telling our stories well.
How do you communicate with your team, and how do you record things to celebrate as a team and with your supporters?