I use Slack a lot for work, personal, and Christian communities. I am part of 9 teams, including my church and my accountability/prayer partners.
Slack is not a unicorn (valued at $1B+) for no reason; it is arguably the best communication tool for distributed teams. this is a known/proven case in the business world. My vision is such that, instead of building a Christian version of Slack or whatever secular technology counterparts, just bring Christianity and spiritual dynamics into an existing successful app.
– e.g. GodTube vs YouTube. there is a place for both, but technology-wise, YouTube will be always at least a few steps ahead of the GodTube
Slack already has 1:1, 1:M real-time and asynchronous communications down pat; this is very powerful. Slack already solves the problem of having a church membership directory and everyone’s contact information.
- Slack is super useful for like organizing spontaneous fellowship activities. e.g. it’s quite hard to decide “where should we go eat after church?” with a large group of ppl.
- Being reminded to read Scripture daily and regularly.
- Look up Bible verses on the fly, study the Bible together
- Replacement for pew Bibles. Pastor says, “Turn with me to [BOOK CHAPTER:VERSE],” one person types it in, the congregation is immediately there. Faster than N people turning Bibles, faster than ANY Bible App out there (even YouVersion)
- Share prayer request and pray for one another.
- Organize calendar-driven content, such as Operation World, to pray for the nations.
- Missionaries in the field giving real-time updates and prayer requests for their supporters.
- Slack has rich-media messaging, it can play YouTube videos, display images inline, file sharing, expand URLs automatically, share large blocks of text and snippets, etc.
- What rich sources of Christian content are there online that you can bring into Slack? Structured data is preferred.
- Analogy: just as you can type “timer” inside of Google to get a Timer applet, Slack is a powerful platform and you can get N people to participate in one activity at the same time. We are limited only by our creativity.
- Real-time sermon translations/transcription: integrate speech-to-text APIs (technology already exists: Siri, Google, Cortana, CMUSphinx, etc). Plugging into Google Translate is one hop away.
- Dating/matchmaking/shipping within the community: Singles can specify which brothers/sisters you’re interested in; if there is a mutual match or mutual recommendation by your friends, both individuals get a message.