One of our fundamental concepts of online learning is the formation of a peer-to-peer learning community not just in our Virtual Classrooms but also within a community of current students, previous students, instructors, mentors and general guests. The resulting Connected Community becomes of a social learning community for the long-term exchange of ideas and peer-to-peer learning.
Connected Community allows members to communicate with one another over a private computer network, using the latest tools the Internet offers. Connected Community is easy to learn and simple to use—literally taking only a few minutes' time to master.
The Connected Community is also the home of our free and ticketed events; regular online interactive productions of topics of interest to the whole Church.
Connected Community allows churches and individuals — previously unconnected — to exchange effective ideas, projects and education for worship, transformation, outreach, evangelism, fundraising and other ministries. Connected Community allows ministers — previously unconnected — to exchange ideas, concerns and prayers, and to seek support from one another in a confidential venue that only members may access. For the first time, churches and individuals in far-flung areas and regions will be connected to each other the way Facebook connects "friends" and Twitter connects "followers."
Connected Community is not intended to replace the fellowship found only at church, or the hard work of committees or, most especially, the personal one-on-one conversations we all cherish. Rather, Connected Community supports the mission of church members and clergy by offering—for the first time—a computer network foundation for the whole region to make ministry more effective, organized, efficient and when needed, confidential.
Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are useful primarily to connect friends or to relay short messages. But these social entertainment platforms lack what Connected Community offers: security and privacy; careful governance and reliable predictability; easy-to-use tools and features that allow users the ability to easily collaborate with others to complete projects, to search robust archives, to seek expert advice and to reach out to younger adult church members who almost exclusively communicate over the Internet.
Connected Community is a vast new resource for the Church. For the first time, previously unconnected communities will have the ability to join for collaborative projects. Churches won't have to re-invent the wheel when they have an idea to explore or execute because a Connected Community member will likely have answers and resources for them. Ministers who need the ability to exchange information, to seek advice and support or simply to talk among one another in collaboration will be able to do so in the Connected Community.