Church Updates was inspired by the need of one church – Walnut Gardens Community of Christ in Independence, Missouri. Here's how it happened:
A member of the Walnut Gardens congregation suffered a debilitating stroke. As you might imagine the stricken member (and his family) needed a considerable amount of help. Members of the Walnut Gardens congregation were anxious to help, but coordinating and scheduling who would help and when they would help was a daunting task.
The leadership team of Walnut Gardens contacted Brian McMurray, a member of the Walnut Gardens congregation and the Creative Director at a Kansas City company called Opus. These church leaders asked if Brian could build an online tool to help with coordinating volunteers. Brian explained that building such a tool would be an expensive and time consuming undertaking – not an undertaking a single church could ever hope to accomplish.
But Brian shared the church's request with the CEO of Opus, Jack Hayhow. As Brian and Jack talked about the request, one compelling thought bubbled up: In every congregation, there are people who need help AND people who want to help. Unfortunately it's really hard to connect these two groups. As a result, members who need help don't ask and members who want to help don't have an opportunity to serve.
As their conversation unfolded over a periods of weeks, Brian and Jack were inspired by a vision of tens of thousands church members having a comfortable, efficient way to ask for the help they need – and a parallel vision for tens of thousands of other church members having a way to grow through service.
But then something even more amazing happened. Another church leader asked if a prayer list could be included in Church Updates. And so was born a way for church members to request prayers and for other members to show their support by committing to pray. Even in very small churches, hundreds of prayer commitments are being made every week.
Today Church Updates is keeping members involved in the mission and activities of the church, not just on Sunday but throughout the week. And you might like to know – Walnut Gardens was the first church to use Church Updates.