Campfire going LIVE at Watermark this weekend.

We have been working for a long time on a new tool for Watermark called “Campfire.”  It’s based on a tool that we are collaboratively creating with Big Bad Collab (@bigbadcollab) that we really are excited about.  This tool is collectively known as “Shadetree” (@getshadetree.) Not only does the tool provide a great user experience for the user, but provides tons of functional tools.

So how is this different from ANY NUMBER of social tools out there for the church?  Well, in a nutshell, this isn’t just a social tool for the church.  In my humble opinion (see also, I’m an idiot sometimes), the church doesn’t need a ton of other social tools.  In many cases we have created “church bubbles” that merely replicate the same functions that can be found in Facebook, YouTube, etc.

What is different about Campfire, is that we have customized our church’s process and integrated them into an online environment that allows our people to better communicate with one another, connect with spiritual growth resources, get updates about ministries they care about, AND take advantage of social tools.  This isn’t an either/or situation… it’s both/and.  The best part in my mind is that this tool is open source.  In other words, we aren’t building this tool to sell to another church.  The vision is, and always has been, to create a set of tools that other churches can take and build upon, then make available to others free of charge.  I’d sing “We’re all in this together” from High School Musical right here… but I’ll spare you the pain.

Over the next several blog posts, I’ll be talking about features and functionality that we think are important.  Understand that these are the things WE (Watermark) think are important. Your church might not value all of these things equally, and that’s just fine… ’cause I love flexibility.

Most of all, I covet your prayers.  We pray the tool helps people better connect and grow to become disciples so that they can go and disciple others who are far from God.  At the end of the day any tool is just a tool.  Pray that we can be faithful in making it available and serving the body well.

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