How Unison Helped A Chicago Group Gain More Time And Connection

Raina, a Chicago native, loves being a part of her large non-denominational church with six campuses spread throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. She especially appreciates the time she gets to spend with five families, hers included, each week as part of the small group ministry at her church.

The families meet to study the Bible, enjoy community, and just “do life together,” as she describes it. But as lead organizer, she used to find herself having to plan activities, such as group meals, weeks in advance.

“It was a logistical nightmare,” she said, recalling the days of juggling all the moving parts. Trying to find out who was coming, how many babysitters she needed to have available each week, and determining who was bringing what for the monthly group meal was never a simple task.

The cumbersome process of back-and-forth email communication was confusing and time consuming. “There was a long email list,” Raina explained. “People would reply to it, and it would go to everybody, or they would only reply to me when they meant to reply to everybody. It was just a mess.”

When she learned about Unison, she was curious to give it a try. Following her typical protocol of planning meals at least two weeks out, she set up her group, added the members, and created a sign-up asking people to bring different dishes.

Once done, Raina stepped away to complete other chores. A mere two hours later, she was astonished to find that the meal was fully planned. “It went from a two- to three-week-long email chain back and forth to one email . . . and it was AMAZING!”

The hassles of group organizing were gone, and Raina found herself with plenty of time to focus on other tasks. “We started using Unison on a weekly basis,” she said, “to share the Bible verses we were studying that week and to setup RSVPs to find out who was or was not coming.”

When a new family joined the group, Raina found that adding them to the Unison group was seamless. She simply put in their email addresses and they were immediately included in the group. They also had the chance to read through the group’s past conversations so they could get caught up on topics of interest.

Coordinating babysitters, attendance, and meals became so easy that the small group decided to start sharing weekly meals together instead of just monthly meals. Now they enjoy regular Sunday dinners as a group, giving everyone time to relax and fellowship rather than having to rush home to feed their kids before bed.

The instant sharing capabilities of Unison gave rise to an unexpected, but joyful moment of sharing. Raina posted a card one morning to get RSVPs for that week’s meeting, and the whole group was thrilled to see a reply from one family stating, “We will not be there because… BABY!” The Unison group got to see pictures of the newest addition and get all the fun details before the couple had even shared the good news with a wider audience on social media. The families also used Unison to plan meals to deliver to the new parents as a way to show love and support while also enjoying Unison’s many features.

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Before Unison, the group tried Facebook, but found that communication was lost in the onslaught of notifications. They tried email, but it took weeks to plan simple get-togethers and to coordinate basic tasks. With Unison, they’ve found that planning, communicating, and sharing the big and small moments of life together is faster, easier, and more fun.

Sign up for a free account to see how Unison can simplify group organizing for you!