The Commons

The Commons is a new online portal designed to help our church interact and encourage one another, as well as keep up to date with the latest happenings in small groups and throughout the church. Within The Commons, you can:

  • Join groups and stay up-to-date
  • Easily organize and communicate with your small group
  • Express interest in service opportunities
  • Register for events and classes
  • Sign up and manage your availability for service opportunities
  • View your personalized Commonway calendar
  • Manage your online giving and view your giving records
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FAQs

We’ve created a list of frequently asked questions that provide plenty of detail for you to get your questions answered about The Commons. Know that we will be talking about The Commons much more on Sundays and that you can contact us anytime you have a question.

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What’s is The Commons and what is the purpose?

At Commonway, we strive to create a sense of community for everyone who comes around. We understand in the midst of an already busy schedule, it is easy to feel disconnected and unaware of what all is happening at Commonway. As we continue to grow, we don’t want to lose the sense of community and connection. The Commons is designed to help you build relationships and stay connected in the ways that are most meaningful to you.

The Commons is a one-stop option for you to:
– View upcoming events for the church and groups you are a part of
– Easily organize and communication with your small group
– Connect directly with people you know and meet at Commonway
– Share up-to-date contact information with leaders and friends
– Sign up and manage your availability for service opportunities
– Manage your online giving and view your giving records

What are the benefits of The Commons?

Stronger relationships and better communication is the biggest win for our church. The Commons allows our community to stay connected outside of Sunday mornings. Here are just a few more benefits:

My Friends feature
The “My Friends” feature creates easy ways for you to stay connected and communicate with the people you sit with on Sunday, your small group, and any other people you want to develop a friendship with at Commonway.
Group communication
If you’re part of a Group—whether it’s a small group, a service team, or simply have a group of like-minded individuals—you can easily stay up-to-date on the last information and activity. Group leaders can stay connected with the people they are leading and group members have easy access to their leaders. Group calendars, file-sharing, and discussion boards for each group make it easier than ever to have conversations and identify actions without having to be physically together.
Manage your serving schedule
Do you serve on Sunday mornings? Then you can adjust your availability, check your schedule, and see who else might be able to fill in for that Sunday you are out of town.
Online giving
Online Giving can be managed through The Commons, too. Whether it’s setting up your recurring tithe, a one-time offering, or paying for a retreat, conference, or class, your payments can be easily processed through your profile. This gives you greater visibility into your giving history, and streamlines the process for the church to manage giving.

How secure is The Commons? Is my information safe? Can I make my information private?

 Security and privacy is of the utmost importance to Commonway. Your information is secure and is well protected, with CCB ensuring very high standards of encryption and data backups.
Each person creates a unique login
In order to access The Commons, each person must create a log-in to our secure online community with a designated username and password. Commonway Staff review and approve each new user.
You’re in complete control
With simple profile management, you are in control of your personal profile and any information that is visible to others.Once your profile is created, you have complete control over your profile (personal information) and privacy settings. You can decide to be “listed” to other online members or “unlisted.” Unlisted profiles are not seen by anyone else in the community beyond our staff and key leaders. Listed profiles can be found by other members, and you can still adjust who can see what information in your profile from your privacy settings.
You can adjust privacy settings
To encourage interaction, all profiles began as listed by default. To view and adjust these privacy settings, simply click on “Go to my profile” and manage the settings in the right column of The Commons homepage.

What about my kids? Do they have profiles and how can I ensure they are protected?

As a church, we put children at the highest levels of needing security and privacy.
Profiles of children under 13 will not be visible
By default, any child under the age of 13 who has a profile created (either created as a part of Commonway Kids or created by a parent or guardian) will not be visible to anyone outside of staff, key leaders, and their parent or guardian.
Profiles of children under 13 will be limited access users
Children under the age of 13 are considered “limited access users,” meaning they are not able to make any changes to their profile information or privacy settings. Only their parent/guardian is able to make those changes for them
Children 13 or older
Once a child is 13 years or older, they are able to be “listed” and “unlisted” as with any other profile. Middle school and high school students may find it beneficial to have profiles while remaining unlisted, in order to connect with our youth group, youth leaders, and youth events. The decision to have a “listed” profile remains firmly in the hands of the parents and the student.

How do I request a username and password?

There are two easy ways for you to sign-up.
Navigate CommonwayChurch.com/thecommons, where you can request a username and password. If you already have one, you will also be able to sign in from this page.
If you are signing up for the first time, you will be asked for your first and last name, email address, and phone number.
A staff member will receive the request and then generate a username and password for you. You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours, though it will typically happen much quicker than that.

Do I really need to sign up for this? I already get the newsletters and get updates from Facebook and Twitter. Is there really any benefit?

That’s a great question and we’re glad you asked. While social media and email newsletters are valuable sources of communication, they are more geared toward announcements from the church to you, without a great way for you to ask questions, get more info, and connect with other people. We will continue to use those communication channels moving forward, but The Commons is incredibly useful in several ways. Here are just a few specific examples:

Small group planning
Your small group is planning a serve project. After talking during your group time, you need to follow up during the week with specific assignments and needs. Through The Commons, you can easily coordinate who, what, where, why, what, and how without an endlessly long email thread that includes unnecessary reply-alls.
Recurring giving
You want to set up a recurring tithe to the church. By logging into your Commons profile, you can easily and securely store your giving information. You’ll also have easy access to your giving records and adjust your recurring gift at any point.
Easy calendar viewing
A church-wide service project is coming up soon, but you didn’t write down the information about when and where during the service. You can view the Church Calendar to see all the information you need about the service day, as well as any other events taking place in the church, as well as any events specific to groups you are a part of.
Commons is a one-stop location for you to see upcoming events, have conversations with friends at Commonway, get the latest details from your small group leader, discover opportunities to serve in the church and community, and have direct access to online giving and your giving records
At the same time, The Commons doesn’t exist to build a wall in order to keep out the rest of the world. It’s a safe place for intentional conversations, authentic relationships, and practical planning to shape the way we live out life with one another and with the communities we live in every day.

Does this mean we won’t have our website anymore? Doesn’t it overlap with the Commons?

We view our website (commonwaychurch.com) as being a front door to our community. It’s a great place for people new to the church to learn more about when we meet, what we value, and a general idea of how they can get connected.
It’s the living room, not the front door.
The Commons is about stepping into the life of the church. You could say it’s more like the living room – a place where relationships grow, conversations are had, plans are developed, and action begins.
The Commons isn’t meant to build a wall in order to keep out the rest of the world. It’s a safe place for intentional conversations, authentic relationships, and practical planning to shape the way we live out life with one another and with the communities we live in every day.

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Walkthrough Guide

Download an easy to follow walkthrough guide that shows you what your profile can look like and some various features of The Commons.