We work in partnership with CMS Australia and a bunch of local communities in Adelaide and Melbourne, including Burnside Christian Church, Christ Church Hawthorn, Enfield Baptist, Richmond Baptist, Seed Church (Melbourne), St Bartholomew’s Norwood, St Matthew’s Kensington, Trinity Hills and Trinity Inner South.
If you or your group is interested in connecting with us, the most important thing is to join our support base by subscribing to our email updates. All our partnership materials are in the following pages:
Here’s a bit more about how we connect with friends and supporters.
We send monthly emails to our support base, and we treat these as more of a short hello than a newsletter. That’s because many people don’t digest or even read long-format correspondence; we know from our email service that only 60-70% of people open our emails each month. Our aim is to give people something they will actually read, just a brief snapshot of what’s going on. For more depth, we welcome email replies or Skype conversations, and this personal interaction is something that really counts.
We recognise that we have supporters from different walks of life, who are interested in different things and have different ways of connecting, so we try to cater to that. People who are more interested in personal news might connect on Facebook. That’s where we put photos, for example (many of which are publicly accessible with no signup required). People who are more interested in theological reflection or cross-cultural stories might follow our blog. The monthly emails are a general message to help people to connect with us in ways that work for them.
We use different communication channels. Each one is like a different space in a town, from the most public to the most intimate.
Twitter is like a billboard, the most public and long-range communication channel, a place for networking and information exchange.
Our blog is like a cafe or pub, where we think out loud, giving people a window into things we’ve been experiencing or working through. While this level of communication is public, it’s also a little more targeted: it’s both issues-based and personal (although we don’t want to bore you with a personal diary).
Facebook is like our front yard or back fence, the place where we join in with everyday happenings and listen to what’s going on in other people’s lives. There’s a lot of small talk, but there’s also sharing of lives and mutual encouragement. We use our personal profiles differently to our page, which is more public.
And those monthly emails? They’re like our living room. The important thing is that it’s opt-in: each recipient has asked to participate because of a personal connection we have with them. This is where our support base lies: the good quality friendships, the sort of people who know us, who will go the distance with us, and in whom we want to invest ourselves. The emails are a doorway to a deeper level of sharing through email, Skype and chat.