Thursday, October 26, 2006

How Do We Want to Handle: Ministries and Vendors?

Because I’m the contact person on the EV website for our cohort, I get emails from people who want to connect with our little community for both personal and commercial reasons. Emergent is, for better or for worse, becoming more and more well known inside publishing and marketing circles and there are those who want to connect their product with our demographic. While this is not an inherently bad thing (depending on your perspective), I’d like for us as a community to discuss how we’d like to handle this as it relates to us.

So far people who want to use the cohort as a platform for getting word out about their organization have been in one of two groups. First, there are ministries that want to share what they’re about because they have common values with us. I’ve been inviting them to come to a cohort meeting knowing that we have announcements at the end and they can share the if they’d like (Habitat for Humanity is one example). Second, there are folks who have a product they are trying to sell (it can even be ministry related i.e. webpage software for churches) and want to access the “emergent demographic”. These folks I have thanked but tried to explain that we are not a group where that type of relationship (vendor/customer) is what we’re cultivating. They can join us as people, but I discourage their participation as salespeople.

However, there are some areas (like the book thing did with Tim last month, or Jay’s Brian McClaren announcement) that don’t quite fit into either group. These are things that are of general benefit to our community life and things we should share. So, my questions to us is, how do we want to handle these things? Not in a policy way so much (i.e. where is the line?) as a relational one (what kind of life are we trying to have together?).

Thoughts, opinions, feelings?

It seems to me these choices should be made as a group so, what say you?


storynashville said...

We should let them come, but charge %50 of future profits on the trinkets they present.

gavin richardson said...

would a "relationship" with group be needed. events/products that are shared by people who have come & become in relationship with the cohort allows all things to be game.

like yesterday, i had no problem with jc jim or jay sharing plus the mcknight book review (though i didn't have a chance to really participate) those are things we are doing to support each other.

this would do two things as i see, respecting a need to not be commercial but community & would help us better understand how we can better get to know, support and uplift each other.