What an amazing time we live in! We have so many ways to keep in touch, encourage, and mobilize folks into being involved with us as we PRAY, GO, and GIVE.
In earlier posts I have talked about the importance of the mission life being one of a "Shared Life" and that your success in missions is related to how well you do at building your team.
- The Missionary Life is a Shared Life
- 5 Steps to Creating a Movement
- Mission Support Team Building = Success in Missions
- The Verizon Effect
Here are the communication mediums I use to build and keep in touch with the "Hackett Mission Support Team" and Alternative Missions crowd. I realize that you may be limited by ministry priorities, internet access, and possibly intimidated by the learning curve of some of these tools. You will need to pick from the list and use what is realistic and manageable for you.
Face time: Obviously; personal time with folks is always preferred. While spending time over coffee, a meal, at a evening of sharing with friends and new acquaintances or speaking to larger groups the time and money spent on being with people is always worth it.
Regular mail: Linnea sends out Thank You cards and notes to our supporters. I avoid "snail mail" except to send out promotional DVD's or something like that.
Texting: Ok; I am "old school" and perceive it as a strange intrusion for the most part but it can be helpful from time to time. You might love it (especially if you have small fingers and don't have to wear glasses to read).
Email: Gmail is the application I use..Google is taking over the world. Google apps that come with it are really helpful (calendar, docs, etc, etc). You can access your email anywhere in the world and forward your emails from gmail to outlook or your email app of choice. Facebook & Twitter provide an email app for communication within those environments.
Email on a large scale: When it comes to serious communication with a lot of people I use a email service for the contact management, templates, features, analytics, etc.. Vertical Response - I use this because I like it and as the director of a nonprofit they give me 10,000 free emails per month. Mail Chimp - Store up to 500 subscribers & Send up to 3,000 emails a month for free.
Facebook Cause: Causes empowers anyone with a good idea or passion for change to impact the world. Using the cause platform, individuals mobilize their network of friends to grow lasting social movements. I would love to have you join my cause: Hackett Mission Support Team
Twitter: Like FB you are connecting with another crowd and your "tweets" can easily be linked to your Facebook post so you are accomplishing both at the same time from your computer, phone or other device like Itouch. (Follow me on Twitter)
Blog: This is where you can share your goals, core values and personal journey. A good blog is worth subscribing to. (Follow my Blog)
Website: I use and recommend Rocketship which combines website and blog applications into one. A good website is a great tool. A bad website can give a "lame" impression and scare people off. Spend some time and money and do it right! I like this quote. I replace the emphasis on blog to website because I have a website/blog.
"Your blog is your mothership. What happens on your mothership is completely in your control… What you do with your mothership is up to you. Just make sure you have one."- Gwen Bell, Yoga for the Social Web (The Alternative Missions website)
Skype: The missionaries dream application for communication with "home". Add a video and audio recording app and you have a great tool to tell your story on Youtube or on a podcast. You can find me on Skype by searching the term "tomehackett".
Podcasts: I find this to be a bit more technical. Mark Sandeno does this for me. Alternative Missions Podcasts Podcasts are a great medium for people on the go to listen to and stay informed.
Hologram technology: Can't wait...just need to lose weight! Holograms on handsets by 2010?
- How not to suck at blogging - When it comes to what to communicate I am going to leave that to the experts. Do some reading on the topic and educate yourself.
- Subscribe to Copy Blogger for ideas on how to improve your blogging.
I am sure that this list will change as new applications become available so stop by and check in for changes and additions.
I would appreciate you sharing the tools that work for you in the comment section.