Less than a year after opening his doors, Ronnie Collins’ Out of the Box Worship Center is nearly bigger than the United Methodist congregation that planted it. One big reason is Ronnie’s use of social media, especiallyhis blog and Facebook, to keep in touch and mold community.
Ronnie’s demographic research showed him 78% of his county did not go to church, so he rolled up his sleeves, got out of the church, and went to where the people were. You’ll be inspired by this story of prayer, determination, and especially his clever use of social media to build a new kind of congregation. Your church might benefit from his experiences.
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Ronnie Collins’ passion for turning people on to Jesus Christ is infectious, and comes out in his story of the Out of the Box Worship Center, which started as a youth group, and has grown, in 9 months, to a congregation of several hundred. Here are my notes from the interview:
It Starts with Service
Out of the Box Worship Center began when young people were united by working together on a service project. Service remains a strong part of the community’s fabric and serves to bond people from a variety of backgrounds.
Get on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Nearly every one of Ronnie’s congregants is on Facebook, which Ronnie uses religiously (pun intended) for things like asking for advice during sermon preparation. Ronnie also encourages his folk to use Twitter during the church service, and even has a YouTube channel where his ’3 Minute Thursday’ episodes answer ANY question a church member asks.
Get Out of the ‘Church’
Ronnie sees the established church around him dying, and if more ministries like his aren’t planted, a dire situation for the Christian enterprise. He is convinced that the church hasn’t and must, go where the people are.
About Ronnie Collins
Ronnie is the Planting Pastor of Out of the Box Worship Center in Hillsville, VA, a Multi Site Church, one church in multiple locations. He has a passion to see hurting people come to know Jesus Christ. He is married and has 3 sons, 2 very special nephews that are like sons, 2 grandchildren, 3 great nephews, and one great niece that are like grandchildren. Ronnie attended Wytheville Community College, Liberty University, and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.
Books Ronnie Recommends:
Multi-Site Churches – Scott McConnell
Exponential – Dave and Jon Ferguson
Who Stole My Church? – Gordon MacDonald
Sponsors I Mentioned:
Church Post – If you are looking to improve your church’s communications you’ve got to check out this great email platform. I’ve found it easy-to-use, reliable, and John, Debra and Kim are great to work with.
Wistia – If you’re still hosting your videos at YouTube or another ‘free’ video sharing site you know the drawbacks. Wistia helps me put out great looking videos and see who’s watching for how long. The Wistia staff is easy to work with and very professional.
The Grow My Church Store – Everything from mugs to pens to fridge magnets, this is a promotional products store aimed at helping churches become closer communities, more hospitable, and welcoming. I started this store and shop there often because I couldn’t find anywhere else to go for these products.