The 3 C's to Launch Success

At ACS Technologies, we've worked with hundreds of churches who have had success with their software launch—and others who haven't. Over the last several years, we've discovered that there are three vital things that make a church successful with congregant-facing software: commitment, communication, and content.

Commitment

Commitment means making Realm an integral part of your church culture. Your leadership all play a crucial role in a successful launch and the future success of Realm. Your commitment to the cause is critical.

Using Realm and getting others to do the same is much more than saying, "this is a great tool and we're going to use it." You have to lead by example. Show your church leaders how you envision Realm to be used for community and communication by actually using it for these things. If all leadership commits to learn and use Realm, everyone else will see that engagement in Realm is just part of what it means to be involved.

When you align Realm with the future direction of your church, you can clearly define and communicate how Realm will help achieve your mission. It will also inspire commitment from fellow leaders, staff, and the church body. As you get ready to launch, senior leadership and your core team should ask and answer questions like these:
  • What are the mission, values, and goals of the church? How does Realm enable these things?
  • Why did we purchase Realm? What is the vision for our church using Realm?
  • What would we like to improve at our church and how can Realm help us do that?
  • How is Realm going to change our jobs and ministries?
The goal of this discussion should be to create a mission statement or a tagline for Realm that everyone can easily remember. It should be something that quickly tells people what Realm is and why they should get on board.

Communication

Realm is a powerful platform designed to make communication faster, easier, and more effective. As you implement and use it, it's necessary to develop a communication strategy that encourages engagement. How do you communicate now, and how much of this can be funneled through Realm? Using Realm as your primary means of communication will not only make things easier on you, it will also train your congregation to know that Realm is the place to go for communication and community throughout the week.

Your website should mainly be used for newcomers to get to know your church, while your congregation will now go to Realm for information and communication. Facebook can be used strictly for evangelism and spreading the news to family and friends outside of church. Your current email distribution lists should become groups in Realm whenever possible.

Content

As you continue to shape your communication strategy and train your leaders, remember that content creation in Realm is more than just a forum for announcements. Whenever you can, you should open the doors for dialogue and encourage engagement. Leaders can communicate with their groups by creating posts, sharing images or events.

It's important that your group leaders are trained how to create content in their groups before launching. You also need for all leaders to commit to regularly share things that are relevant to their groups.

One good tip to keep communication going is to ask questions. Don't just tell them what is happening during the next group meeting, ask them something. It could be for their feedback on what kinds of snacks they want to have, what they thought of last Sunday's sermon, or just anything that is important to their group. Another tip to remember is to craft your content for your specific group or groups. The whole church doesn't need to hear all of the plans for your group's next get together.

It's pretty obvious that the lines between the 3 C's blur quite a bit. The great news is, most people won't need to be taught all of these concepts, they'll follow their church leaders. Setting a standard for people to follow is a very effective way to encourage them to use Realm in a deeper and more meaningful way.