Farewell and Feedback

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For me it’s time to say farewell. For you who’ve read any of the posts about Synod 2011 it’s time to give The Network and the Board of Trustees some feedback.

Synod 2010 asked our denominational Board of Trustees to find ways to better engage CRC members with synod and the issues it deliberates. As one response to that request, The Network asked me if I’d be willing to write five or six posts in a blog titled “Synod 2011.” I consented to do that, and this is my 20th and final post.

I’ve always been interested in church polity and in the way our denomination functions so this has been a good experience for me. Typically, I don’t follow synod that closely when I’m not a delegate so this assignment has helped my own engagement in the work of our broadest assembly.

But the important issue is not about how this has affected me. The important issue is YOU. Synod 2010 was concerned about you and your engagement with synod. The Board of Trustees was concerned about you and your engagement with synod. Now your feedback is extremely important.

Was this blog helpful? Did it give you a broader understanding of what Synod 2011 would be addressing? Did it increase your interest in synod? Should the Board do something similar next year? If so, what should be changed, added, deleted, etc? I don’t want to pose too many questions because that steers your response in particular directions. We really want to hear from you; we really don’t want you to answer only our questions. The Network folks are interested in feedback of any kind, and any comments are welcome.

Some of you have posted comments in response to these posts. Some of you have simply read without posting. We’re asking all of you—posters and non-posters alike—to help us out by giving us your feedback. If you’d like to do that privately inside of posting here, please email your comments to The Network director, Mike Bruinooge, at network@crcna.org

Thanks for reading these posts. Thanks in advance for giving feedback on the idea of a synod blog. YOUR comments are very important for the future of this effort. 

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Let's Discuss…

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Community Builder

I'm thankful you did this, George.  I appreciate your take on things and how you help us reflect on and engage what's happening at synod.  I'd love for you to do this again next year!  =)  Stan

George, for me synod would not be synod without you!  I appreciated your input and observations, and would definitely encourage you to do this again next year.

Admin

A related question....should we use this blog occasionally throughout the year? Content could include:
- updates from study committees (e.g. Form of Subscription, Faith Formation)
- requesting feedback for study committees
- updates from the Board of Trustees
- updates on other synod decisions (e.g. translations, structure task force)

So please let us know:
1. should we do this blog next year?
2. should we keep it going during the year?
3. any other feedback you have

Community Builder

There is incredible value in using this blog throughout the year as an interactive vehicle for study committees, BOT and others.

You undoubtedly have stats on how well the blog is viewed, and how many participants there are in these discussions.

As mentioned elsewhere, unless you are a well-connected church junkie, you're not aware of the blog. I thought I was a well-connected church junkie: stated clerk of a classis, chair of council for four years, perpetually involved in ecclesiastical boards and committees ... and I had never heard of this blog nor of The Network until just a couple of months ago.

Is there a Blog (or Network) Marketing Strategy so that the person in the pew feels truly connected to all things Christian Reformed?

Participant

The Synod blog posts were very good and helped me, a first time Synod delegate, read about committee and personal activities and opinions. Also maintaining through the year communication will aid in building online better unity and give elders and pastors a way to gain a better idea of how Synod activities are ongoing year-round.

Community Builder

I love the idea of a Synod blog. Problem is, I didn't realize it existed until well after Synod ended.

I must have missed the promotional pieces along the way: notices in the Banner, correspondence to stated clerks or church clerks or church bulletins.

Should you do it again next year? By all means ... and let's get the word out to all the churches so that they can follow the various forms of synod coverage provided by The Network, The Banner, Whoever.

Admin

We've done all of the above. Each church has received multiple emails about The Network (to pastor, then to clerk of council, to chair of deacons, etc). Enough that we worry a bit about ticking them off. We also sent all churches (twice since The Network launched) an email suitable for forwarding to their entire congregation. Most didn't, but a few did and it had a big impact.

We've also sent regular bulletin announcements and run stories in the CRC newsroom and the Church@Work section of The Banner. And all the latest posts are featured in each week's CRC News email. In May we began a weekly email for CRC Pastors that lists every Network post as well (including all the synod ones).

But the most effective thing is when one person has that 'aha moment' and helps spread the word in their church. We've seen big impact when that happens. Nothing like someone in a church advocating for something.

Overall, we've seen annual growth rate of nearly 100% (i.e. doubling) so there's no doubt that more people are jumping on board. But I think the growth could be even higher. More Banner ads would be good, but those are over $3,000 per page. We've recommitted to doing more frequent bulletin announcements - we haven't been doing as much of that as we should be. Other ideas?

Participant

I am grateful for the work that was done via this blog and Network forum. I would like to see something continue as another way to be engaged and knowledgeable about what is happening in committee reports etc. It is so easy to not be engaged in the work of our denomination and to even temporaily forget that we are part of of a larger church. So the more ways of communicating the better.

Community Builder

I am not speaking on behalf of the BOT (but as a new member of the Board) it does seem a valuable way to keep the broader church up to date on things for it as a board as Keith Knioght suggests.

And not only for BOT, but other boards and commitees as well who are working on Synodical issues leftover from the previous year or looking toward the year ahead.

Darren

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