Wow, we have 23 Oregon pastors on only a few days in to Soul Cafe - and we haven't even really tried to get sign ups yet. (Oregon is admittedly ahead of the curve because our Community Manager is local and he and I are working out bugs together.) Our "membership drive" push will probably start like July 1.
So pastors, a few notes:
1) Definitely work to get members on, but . . .
2) Congregational only efforts, groups, etc are likely to whither. It is hard to get critical mass out of only one congregation. Why would your Outreach committee work here on Soul Cafe when they see each other at coffee hour after worship and already work by email? But . . .
3) Having one or all of your Outreach committee join a Region wide Outreach conversation would be awesome. That conversation will bloom and bring lots of voices into an important conversation. And . . .
4) The same would be true of a Stewardship group, or youth leaders, or council presidents, etc.
I'm working to extinguish small, internal, thinking. Think large. Work to get not just your praise team members online, but talk to cluster collegues, or folks you know in Montana, etc. Have them ALL get their Praise Team members online. Our Community Manager says that a face to face group os 6-8 is, as we all know, sort of an ideal size. Online community groups, though, thrive with 50-100 members, or more. Here you find enough useful input and response to get work done. That's the goal of Soul Cafe.
Also, this is totally not just for pastors. You can help us get the community going - and please do participate in it - but we want lay leaders to step up, start groups, helpl build them etc. THEN we'll be talkin'!!
Finally, we also hope and want non-church people to get online and join the conversation. Don't think in terms of "protecting" your conversations on Soul Cafe. Think of having them overheard and people drawing their chairs up to your table. Enjoy your lattes with a broad spectrum of folks. If you want to be private hole up in the council room.