Why Slack? + Tutorial Videos!
Note that the Slack app was recently updated (after these tutorial videos were recorded). These will still be helpful to give you an idea of what is possible in the app, but will look a bit different than the current app's interface. We'll rerecord these when we get a chance!
What is Slack?
Slack is an app that you can download on any device that allows everyone in an organization to have group chats and send instant messages to each other. It's kind of like a Church-only Facebook (but without your Facebook wall). There are different groups (called channels in slack) that you can join where you can chat about different topics (prayer requests, for example) and you can also easily send Direct Messages (like FB messenger) to people We'd love for you to join the VCC Slack Community (called a "workspace" in the Slack world) to help you easily stay connected with others in the church.
You can download slack on any device, including a computer. We recommend downloading the app (aka "client") vs. using the desktop version, but feel free to use Slack in any way you are comfortable. On any device go to https://slack.com/download and the appropriate version for your device will download. (or you can just wait for the invite email and it will walk you through the download process.)
Important: Please allow Slack to send notifications to your device. This is so that if someone sends you a direct message, or one of the administrators has an important announcement, you'll be notified.
Using Slack on multiple devices
If you're using more than one device, you can add your account to each device. The workspace URL is https://vcclife.slack.com, which you will need to add your account on your additional devices.
Getting familiar with our Slack Community
On the left hand side on desktop and larger devices or by tapping the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) on phones and smaller devices, you'll see a list of channels. Channels are like rooms with a topic, so please generally keep conversation to the topic for that channel. If the conversation isn't to your interest, you can leave that channel.
To start, you'll automatically be added to four public channels. They are:
- #announcements - this is a special channel that only the people managing the VCC Slack Community can post to, and all members are in there - you can't leave this one, as it's where our important announcements will be made
- #everything - this is a general catch-all channel. If you can't find a channel to match your topic, talk here.
- #help_with_tech - If you have a question about any of the technology we're using to keep connected, ask it here. That includes using Slack, YouTube, Zoom, CCB, and others. We have some people who have committed to providing help who will aim to answer your questions. Also, if you're technology-minded, feel free to answer other people's questions here.
Other public channels may be created, and there will likely be an announcement when they are, so you can find out about them and join them. You can also leave them and rejoin them later if you like.
There will also be private channels (indicated with a padlock symbol instead of a hash (#) symbol) that you may be invited to. Note that you can only see a private channel if you are a member of that channel, and please respect the privacy that's intended there. Discussions held in a private channel should generally stay there. An example of a private channel might be one for a Small Group - the same privacy you'd expect if you're discussing something at one of your Small Group events is expected for discussions within the private channel. Please note that if you leave a private channel, you will need to ask your leader to invite you back in.
Requesting new channels
So that the number of channels doesn't become overwhelming, particularly for those who are less technology minded, we have restricted the creation of all channels to Slack admins. This gives us a chance to review the request and make sure we're not creating public channels that then don't get used. Additionally, we want to make sure we're making appropriate private channels for groups. All private channels must have at least one VCC leader in that channel, and they will be responsible for what goes on in that channel.
Once you are in Slack, and successfully using it, our preferred method for requesting help is to use the #help_with_tech channel. That way, anyone who knows the answer who is in that channel will be able to help. If you need help with getting connected to Slack, or want to find out about some of its features, you can check out the Slack Help Pages. If you're still having trouble, you can use our Tech Support Request Form and someone will get in touch with you: