How To Create, Setup, & Grow a Highly Engaged Church With Slack
✨ Slack has become one of the most effective ways to build a community online. Everyone from companies, to hobbyists, to political parties, are using Slack chats to collaborate, network, and have fun.
There are a tremendous amount of fast growing Slack chats with thousands of members in them. The creators of these fast growing chat communities helped us make this guide.
This guide will teach you how to:
- Create Your Slack Chat
- Customize Your Slack Chat Channels
- Customize Your Slack Chat Settings
- Tell People to Join Your New Slack Chat
- Manage Your Slack Chat
- Avoid Common Mistakes
Create Your Slack Chat
⏰ Takes 1 to 3 minutes.
- Visit Slack.com and click “Get Started.”
- Sign up using your email address.
- Create a Team Name. ( …
- Create a custom URL for your team. … Example: LastnameLG.slack.com or Churchname.slack.com
- Pick a personal username for yourself and click “Finish.”
Customize Your Slack Chat Channels
⏰ Takes 3 to 5 minutes.
Channels represent the different rooms in your Slack chat community. To start out you are automatically set up with a #general channel and a #random channel.
- Rename #general to #announcements and set it so that only admins can post in it (Check “Step 3: Customize Your Slack Settings” for instructions on how to do this). Everyone who joins your Slack chat will automatically be put in this channel, providing you with an excellent way to keep your community in the loop.
- Add a few channels that you think your community would like to post things in.
The types of channels you should create will depend on the type of community you are building and the specific type of audience you are catering to.
Here are some examples:
- If it’s a Life Group community, you might want to add a #pray-requests, #lessons, #creative channel for people.
Customize Your Slack Chat Settings
⏰ Takes 1 to 3 minutes.
- Go to slack.com/admin/settings.
- Click “Expand” next to “Default Channels”. Add the channels you created as default channels. This will make sure that when new members join your chat they will automatically be put in these channels.
- Click the “Permissions” tab at the top of the page.
- Set “Who can use @channel and @here” to “Team admins and owners”. When you use include those in a chat message it will notify people in the chat, you want to make sure only you and other admins have this power (otherwise other members might abuse it).
- Set “Who can post to your #announcements channel” to “Team admins and owners” (if you haven’t already renamed the #general channel to #announcements, do that). This ensures that only you and other admins can post in this channel.
- Set “Who can use @everyone” to “Team admins and owners”. When you type @everyone in a message on Slack it notifies every single member of that Slack chat. It’s good to limit this ability to only admins so as to limit the amount of times it is used (it becomes annoying if people use it too often).
- Click “Save Settings”.
- Scroll down to “Apps & Custom Integrations”, click expand, set it to “Team owners and selected members”, and click “Save Settings”.
- Create a #introductions channel and encourage new people to introduce themselves to the community.
- Encourage people in your community to create their own channels in your Slack chat.
- When you add new and important channels, make sure to go into your settings and make them defaults so that new members auto join them.
Avoid Common Mistakes
⏰ Takes forever.
- Don’t think that the community will grow itself, especially in the beginning. You need to be actively engaged.
- If your Slack chat isn’t awesome in the first week or two, don’t give up. This stuff takes time and serious dedication. Keep at it!
- Don’t overuse @here @channel and @everyone. When posting these in a chat it sends notifications (with a sound!) to a lot of people in your chat. Doing it too much will really really annoy people. Seriously, the less you use these the more impactful and useful they are.
- Don’t over moderate. Don’t be too strict on which channels certain discussions have to take place in, your community may start to resent you if you do this. Give guidance, but let the community evolve on it’s own. Kind of like raising a kid.
“One thing I think that some slack communities do too often is trying to moderate people to have specific discussions in certain channels and also have way too many channels in the Slack team. I think moderation is okay depending on the format, but when you are trying to build a community that has a natural progression of conversations, I think moderation tends to make things too sterile.” — Jesse Litton | Creator of Tech Friends
This was a post originally here I modified it a bit to fit a different audience.