Did you know that over 500 people have joined The City? It has been a huge success! We’ve heard many stories of people being connected, prayed for, on mission, and more. Most of our Life Groups have jumped right in and started using The City as their primary means of communicating, sharing weekly prayer requests, needs, and organizing get togethers outside of their weekly group. Almost all of our parents are now registered for Grace Kids Checkin via The City. The Checkin process is now as simple as scanning a barcode and making a few clicks. It has been very exciting to see our church connect in ways it never has connected before!
Along the way many questions have also come up. Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions that I hope you find helpful…[accordion] [acc title=”What about people who do not have a computer?”]If you do not have a computer (or if you are not interested in using one), you unfortunately will not be able to use The City. Keep in mind, though, that The City is not replacing any of our existing communication platforms. If you simply do not have the ability or the desire to use a computer, then nothing changes for you! In fact, here are a few things we are doing to improve our print-based and people-based communication:
- We are expanding our Worship Guide so that it can include more information.
- Life Group leaders now receive announcements that they can share with their group. Being in a Life Group is one of the best ways to “stay in the loop” at Grace.
- Soon we will begin hosting monthly Connect Meetings where anyone can come learn about what is happening at Grace and ask questions in person.
- Connect Team members are available every Sunday to answer questions and help you get connected at Grace. They will be wearing the blue t-shirts with the Grace G on the front.
- We produce a quarterly magazine called Grace Life which includes a calendar of events, a list of Life Groups, and much more.
All these things considered, the most common concern that people are voicing when they ask this question is that they are worried that a City account would be too difficult to use and keep up with on a regular basis. If that’s you, here is some great news…
You do not need to be a computer wiz to use The City! The only thing you need to use The City is an email address and access to a computer. That’s it. We will all use The City differently. We completely understand that. Actually, that is one of the things we liked most about The City; it allows people to use their account to whatever extent they feel comfortable. For example, if you would like to use The City just so that you can receive emails from the groups you’re involved in (and nothing more) you can absolutely do that!
Some time next year we also hope to offer computer workshops to help people learn how to use technology, including The City. This will be a great way for the tech-savvy people at Grace to bless those who aren’t very familiar with technology. The City is designed to help our church be a community on mission. We understand that not everyone will use The City to the same extent, and we want to do everything we can to help you use it in a way that suits your needs. [/acc] [acc title=”Should my kids sign up?”]Much like other online accounts, The City requires that all users are 13 and older. All users between the age of 14 and 18 are only able to receive messages from people who they are friends with. This allows parents to keep tabs on the people their children are interacting with on The City.[/acc] [acc title=”Who should I add to my “family?””]The Family feature in your settings is designed for our admin staff to see who is part of your household. We’ve run into a few instances where people have added cousins, uncles, aunts, and even dogs :) This presents challenges for us on the back end when we use some of The City’s database features; so please adjust your Family settings to only include those who are a part of your household.[/acc] [acc title=”Is The City secure?”]The City is a very secure web-based tool. It was originally created by a guy named Zack Hubert who worked for Amazon for eight years and helped them invent the online shopping cart. All online donations given through the Giving Module are processed through Vanco Services, a reputable (and PCI Certified) payment service. The City is now owned by ACS Technologies, a Seattle-based company that specializes in software solutions for the local church. Grace has a great relationship with ACS Technologies and we are proud to use their software.[/acc] [acc title=”Is The City private?”]Yes, it is! The only people who can see your City account are other people from Grace Church who also use The City. No one can google your name and find your City account. On top of that, you have complete control over who can and cannot see your contact information. Click here and here to learn how to adjust your privacy settings.
No one will ever sell the information you share via The City. The City is owned by a company named ACS Technologies which specializes in creating software solutions for local churches. The City is overseen by Grace Church staff, and is designed only for our use.
Pastors and staff members do not have unlimited access to the content posted on The City. No one does. The only people who can see content posted within a group are the people who are a part of the group. Any prayer requests or needs that you share within your Life Group or other groups are only accessible to the members of that group, unless you specifically choose to share them with other friends and/or groups.[/acc] [acc title=”How do you add a profile picture?”]Click here to learn how to add a profile picture.[/acc] [acc title=”How do you accept friend requests?”]When someone requests to be your friend you can respond to them by clicking “approve” in your Reminders. Click here to learn how to access and use your Reminders.[/acc] [acc title=”Can we offer services and share needs on The City?”]Yes, you can! The Marketplace is a feature on The City that is specifically designed for this type of thing. Click here to learn more about the Marketplace. Click here to learn how to post a listing in the Marketplace. [/acc] [acc title=”How will we monitor people who may use The City to post malicious things?”]Because The City is a private social network designed to help you communicate with people that you know and are in community with it is very unlikely that you will encounter any offensive or malicious content. Unlike blogs or other completely open social networking sites, it is very difficult to be anonymous on The City. That being said, it is certainly not impossible for someone to post malicious content, which is why we have all of the necessary securities in place to guard against this. Account Administrators at Grace have the ability to permanently remove someone from The City if they abuse their account. Please notify a staff member in the event that you encounter someone who is posting malicious or inappropriate content to The City.[/acc] [acc title=”If I accidentally reject a friend request, can I still be that person’s friend?”]If you click on “Friends” in your main navigation menu along the left-hand side of The City you see a list of all of your friends. Along the top of that page you will also see three tabs: Friends, Pending, and Ignored.
- Friends is simply a list of your friends.
- Pending is a list of people who you have requested to be friends, but have not heard back from yet.
- Ignored is a list of friend requests you have “ignored.”
To ask someone you previously ignored to be your friend, just go to the “ignored” tab and click the green plus sign under their picture.[/acc]