The people in your circles and what they need from you
I recently ran an organisational workshop for church leaders called Assessing and Enhancing the Digital Experience. When I approach online interaction and engagement, I have a framework which I find helpful for reflecting on the audiences that we need to reach and to empower. I call this framework the Digital Realms Of Influence.
1. YouOn the left hand side we have you as the church leader.
How do you look after yourself as a leader?
2. Your teamThe next realm is your team. Your team are your staff members, talking about key volunteers, lay volunteers and your church board or your eldership or your parish council, those main people who you seek to influence and work closely with.
How do you serve the team? How do you communicate with your team? How do you collaborate well with your team?Think about how you INVEST in the team, the tools that we use to invest in them, the training they require, and how to build up their leadership and their capability for the team. Jesus had his 12 disciples, and within that he had Peter and James and John as the people who he invested most of his time. 3. Your community The next sphere of influence is your church, your main members, your main church community, the people who make up the body of Christ.
You want to be empowering them to use their gifts to serve one another to care for each other well, and to share the load of what you, and raising them up into leaders and into your team.You want to EMPOWER them.
4. Your worldThe final realm of influence is the world, the wider community, your local community. The people who might be on the fringes of your community. Maybe they’re connected in through external programs like a playgroup or a course that you’re running.
These people are the friends of friends, whoever it is in your community who reach out beyond your immediate church circle.These are the people you want to SHARE with as a two-way conversation. I find this framework really helpful when I’m thinking about social media communications and digital systems that are required. What systems do we need to support your team, your church, and the systems you need to reach the world? I use this framework to consider what is working well and what needs doing to improve communication and collaboration with others. I have two main questions I ask about the digital experience.
1. What do you want as the core experience in the digital realm for each of those groups?For example, for yourself, it might be that you want to have a sustainable ministry so you do not reach burn out. How do you help the digital experience for your team? It might be that they can really enjoy the process that they are not burdened with it, either to make it easy for them so they can run with their jobs and use their gifting well. Ask this question for all your digital realms of influence.
2. What is the gap or challenge to solve for each group?For yourself, if you need to ease the load but you are not working in a sustainable way, that you are overloaded, then what do you need to do to help bridge that gap to make your digital experience better for you? For your team, there might be a gap in that they are not communicating well or not operating to their potential. What training or systems do you need to invest to help them? Ask these two questions for all your digital realms of influence. I hope this is helpful for you. I’d love to hear how you approach your digital engagement and the experience for your digital realms of influence.