Top 5 Ways to use The City in your BASE Group

Have you heard of The City?  Silly question I know, but for those that maybe still haven’t heard about it;

The City is the new, and now primary, way that we are communicating as a church when we are not together.  It’s a social networking tool that is nothing like FaceBook, because, let’s face it, as fun as FaceBook is, it is also nothing more than a giant stat-crunching marketing machine that finds out all it can about us and then uses that information to sell us stuff.

In contrast, The City is a way to connect, it is a way to pass along vital information, it is a way to express needs, prayer requests, and so much more, and it is something we should all be involved in.

One of the great ways you can use The City is within the context of your BASE Groups.  If you are not involved in a BASE Group right now, then trust me, you are missing it!

BASE Groups are intentional efforts at building community and “doing life together” within New Branch.  BASE Groups meet together throughout the week in homes and public spaces for the purposes of :

  • Bible Study
  • Accountability
  • Service
  • Evangelism

When BASE Groups are not meeting, they can connect through The City.  Here are five ways you can use The City to enhance your BASE Group experience.

1.  Sharing prayer needs

We all need prayer on a regular basis and praying for one another is part of doing life together.  We are called by God to “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2) and The City is an easy way to share those burdens with people who love and care about you.

2.  Meeting needs

The City is where you can go to find out where you can serve not only in your BASE Group, but in the church as well.

In BASE Groups every single member should be doing something to serve.  Usually, people are more than happy to do just that but they don’t know what the needs are.  The City is the place where those needs can be expressed and where you can step up to meet them.

3.  Getting missional

A couple in our BASE Group is making an intentional effort to reach their neighbors with the Gospel.  One of the ways they are doing that is by hosting a bar-b-q at their home in May.  In an effort to make sure that the Gospel will be displayed and spoken at the event, they called out the other members of the BASE Group to help and attend.

It’s an excellent opportunity for all of us to be missional and to serve that couple as they try to reach their community with the Gospel and the entire thing was organized through The City.

4.  Sharpening iron

The Bible tells us that “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).  The City is a great forum for that sort of sharpening.  You can use the “Topic” feature on your BASE Group page to start a discussion that others can contribute to.

Here are few ideas for discussions, some of which we have actually used in our BASE Group:

  • How to be more missional in our neighborhoods
  • Meditating on the resurrection of Christ
  • How to share Christ at work when you are the boss
  • Parenting decisions and questions
  • Questions concerning passages of Scripture

5.  Making announcements

Want to know when your next BASE Group meeting is and where you will be meeting?  The City is the place to go to find out.

The truth is, we have only just started discovering all the ways The City can and will enhance our BASE Group experience.  The more we use it, the more ways we will discover.

In what ways have you been using The City in your BASE Groups?

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6 thoughts on “Top 5 Ways to use The City in your BASE Group

  1. Joe – I wonder how The City might also be used to facilitate whatever Bible study the BASE Group is going through. Maybe the leader could load some discussion questions, or include a schedule for what passages or chapters will be covered on what days. Some Bible study curricula have leader guides with some great study sections and/or additional passages for additional study that could encourage a deeper study of God’s Word throughout the week.

  2. Not a huge fan of the City, to be honest. It doesn’t seem to be very user friendly. I do like, however, good old fashion email. Can we go back to that? Wasn’t that working?

  3. Kristy,

    Thank you for your honesty. I’m sure there are many others that feel the same way. I think with any kind of tool like this, there is going to be a learning curve.

    There are many features that The City provides administratively speaking that e-mail simply does not.

    When it comes to management of information alone, The City is a huge relief to all of us doing administrative work because it lightens the load of managing contact information and centralizes it in one spot where the individuals are enabled to update their information themselves.

    There are other features that simply aren’t possible through e-mail alone.

    For example, the Skills function is a great way for us to identify and locate people with a given skill, both on the corporate level and on the individual level. Say, for example, I am ministering to a single mom in my neighborhood, and she needs some minor electrical work done. With the “skills” function, I am able to search our community, and find people who have identified themselves as having that skill, and solicit their help. If they are available, then we have just been able to serve a family in a simple way without flooding everyone’s inbox with “Who does electrical work?” e-mails.

    Also, The City makes planning events much easier. When we are planning our BASE gathering, we have the ability to quickly put out what we need (someone to bring a side, someone to bring a dessert, someone to lead in the teaching, etc.) and those roles can be filled through an easy sign-up box instead of everyone receiving 10 “reply all” e-mails.

    I can say that The City has made a huge difference within our BASE when it comes to living in community with one another. We can follow up on prayer requests and also keep up with how someone is doing. The goal is for that online interaction to lead to real interaction. For example, one of our members asked for prayer for a difficult situation. Another’s response was “Hey man, we know that dealing with that must be wearing on you. Do you want to get together sometime this week so we can encourage one another?”

    We have seen the value in it already within our church. So, it may be that we need to do more training on how to use The City, and how your BASE group can use The City, so that we can help you get past the learning curve and really use the features to simplify communication, rather than feeling like you are wrestling with something that isn’t user-friendly.

    Let me know if myself or someone else can help you guys figure some things out.

    Do you have specific areas that you find especially difficult? What are those?

  4. Ken – We are already implementing that feature. Andy sends puts out a topic that tells everyone what scripture we will be covering so that we insure we are reading the right thing and are prepared to discuss it. Adding discussion questions is intriguing but we haven’t done that yet!

    Tyler – Couldn’t have said it better!

    Joe – One of the great things for us is the prayer list. We were keeping a list and emailing it around every week. It was only mailed after our BASE Group. Now with The City, as soon as someone has a prayer need it can be met immediately and rather than just a list it becomes a living document where we can show answered prayer.

    Our BASE Group is also the “dessert” group so we use The City for folks to sign up to bring dessert and they get a reminder when it’s their turn.

    Kristy – as for email – it wasn’t working for us. Email addresses would change, or someone’s email server would view it as SPAM mail and then they wouldn’t know of an issue or a time to meet, etc. One time our prayer information went out and somehow half the people were truncated from the message and never received it. And email isn’t secure! The City is. Only the people you want to receive the message will have access to it.

    I feel you on the user friendly issue. It definitely takes some time to get use to but once you do it ROCKS!

    Thanks Joe…Great post!!!

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