ChristianMingle announced its 2014 national Advisory Board members earlier this week and for the first time introduced regional advisory boards in Los Angeles and Dallas, in an effort to increase offline user engagement.
For the fourth year in a row, the self-identified largest Christian online dating site is seeking the advice and perspectives of pastors, church leaders, authors and relationship specialists to learn how the company can better “provide an authentic community that resonates” with singles, said Ashley Reccord, a spokesperson for ChristianMingle.
“[We really want to] create a community where they cannot only find someone, but they can also grow in their walk with God and their faith,” Reccord told The Christian Post.
Among those on this year’s list of both national and region advisors are three past and current leaders from Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, the previous singles leader at Andy Stanley’s North Point Community Church, and authors Bill and Pam Farell and Shaunti Feldahn.
Part of that feedback has meant that the online dating company has increasingly incorporated “language toward the evangelical community” on its site and in its materials. It also has generated more resources for pastors and church leaders, including a pamphlet that explains the ins and outs of online dating.
“So many church leaders have been married long before online dating was a societal normal, so for them, they don’t really know how to talk about it, how to relate it so and so the board said that if we had something like this (pamphlet) it would really help [church leaders] to better understand not only what ChristianMingle is all about but also to understand how to help singles out,” said Reccord.
2014 marks the first year that Christian Mingle has created regional boards in the Los Angeles and Dallas areas, in an effort to draw on the community knowledge of local leaders when reaching users in the area.
“One of the things we’re doing this year is the launch of our Good Deed Dating Initiative … where we partner with local ministries,” said Reccord. “At this point we’ve primarily done food banks, but these are volunteer type of events where our members can come offline and not only meet other members, but also give back to the community because that’s such a pillar of the Christian faith to volunteer, to serve others, and to serve those less fortunate.”
While women make up half the users on ChristianMingle, they are significantly less well represented on the advisory boards, which Reccord attributes to the fact that while the company “actively reached out” to both men and women, more men accepted.
“It’s very important to us to have diversity because certainly people from different backgrounds helps us to target and reach our members and create a community that is authentic. Our biggest goal is to add value to Christian singles and we feel that is best done by not only partnering with Christian leaders and influencers but having that diversity,” she said.
Reccord noted that ChristianMingle will be making a “couple additions” to the Dallas board, which currently does not have any women on it.
Christian Mingle is part of Spark Networks which owns special-interest online dating sites, such as JDate.com, BlackSingles.com, LDSMingle.com, and CatholicMingle.com.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: The Christian Post