Social Media and the Local Church

“If there’s a space where conversation is happening, then we should fill it with God’s glory” ~ John Piper on Social Media.

Great session with our Unlimited Partnerships Network at NOBTS yesterday. Brandon Cox, who manages content for Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox & the very helpful site Pastors.com, joined us for a session on Social Media & Technology. It was a great honor to have Brandon with us. Check out his blog & connect with him on Twitter & Facebook. Here’s a few of my big takeaway’s from his talk.

What’s the Value in Social Media in 2012? 

  • Value & forge CONNECTIONS. We’ve gotten skilled at presentation, but not connection.
  • Insight & engage CONVERSATIONS. They’re going to happen with or without us. How do we get involved?
  • Observe & influence CULTURE. How do we be FOR the culture?
  • This generation talks differently and thinks differently & they won’t accept canned marketing approaches.
The Theology behind being engaged with Social Media:
  • God wants his message distributed through relationships.
  • People are conversational.
  • Sin has left people lonely.
  • God wants every space to be filled with his glory.
  • God wouldn’t want us to leave the most influential platforms in culture without His message. “if there’s a space where conversation is happening, we should fill it with God’s glory” ~ John Piper
Important Definitions:
  • Social Media: Pieces of information around which there is a conversation.
  • Social Networking: People connecting by technology.
  • Branding: Framing THE STORY that you hope people will tell about you. A logo is not a brand.
  • User Experience: How things get used by normal people.
  • Open Source: A piece of software developed by a large volunteer community.

Principles to keep in mind when using Social Media as a Church:

  • Be purposeful. Know the why. Why am I doing it?
  • Be social. Relate well. Be about other people.
  • Be transparent & real.
  • Be generous. Use the Share & Like buttons a lot.
  • Be personal. Be like people are.
  • Create Bridges. Our goal is redemption.
Top 10 Social Networks for Churches:
  1. FACEBOOK – Still the largest & fastest growing among all age groups.
  2. TWITTER – More important for the leader than the church.
  3. YOUTUBE – One of the largest search engines on its own. Most influential among teens.
  4. PINTEREST – Most influential among women. Image driven.
  5. FOURSQUARE – Important b/c it’s used by other Apps & b/c of it’s Viral potential.
  6. INSTAGRAM – Image driven. Use pics to tell the story. Healing Place’s Instagram page on the website.
  7. LINKED IN – More about professional development. Most effective when using groups.
  8. VIMEO – Best for Video Production Quality.
  9. GOOGLE+ – Technically better than others but not as used.
  10. MEETUP.COM – Good for missional engagement in the community.
A few tips for Using Facebook for Ministry: 
  • Understand the Social Graph: Facebook is creating a map of the world based not on links but on personal relationships. They only show you what they deem important to you and others, seeking to capitalizing on what people are saying is important. The “Like” & “Share” buttons being utilized tell Facebook what’s important.
  • Put on a “Like” button on everything. This says to Facebook & the world, “this is important.” Go to facebook.com/developers to get the code for a like button for every page you create on the web.
  • Utilize Facebook Tools: Facebook Events to leverage relationships. Private Facebook Groups – to leverage volunteers. Pages for Group Information & connections.
  • Know WHEN to post. People are looking at articles during the work day & looking at pictures in the evenings. Events should be promoted three-four days before for maximum effectiveness. Facebook Ads work for only about 3 days at a time then they need to be deleted or changed.
  • Make sure you’ve got your location under your settings for Check-Ins.
Some Good Resourcers to Follow regarding Social Media & Technology:

Posted on July 17, 2012, in Technology, Unlimited Partnerships. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Yeah, yeah, yeah–but how can one call anything that is anonymous, “write-what-one-wants” whether it is true or not, or photo-shop/creatively edit still pictures and video about anyone and anything one wants, w/o any accountability, and call it a “relationship?” I suppose if the incarnation were to take place today God would simply “post” something instead of coming as a real live, flesh and blood, walking around, pressing flesh, talking face-to-face and not “face-booking,” HUMAN BEING! Just sayin’–

  2. Freddie Arnold

    I don’t want to be as blasting as Wascom but I to get the feeling that being heard is better than being seen. The geractic is large and interested if you show me your face.

    Freddie Arnold

  3. Freddie Arnold

    But also I did enjoy the information that was presented.

    Thanks,
    Freddie Arnold

  4. Yea. It’s not a perfect means of communication. And focus MUST BE on utilizing these technologies to get in REAL relationship with people that will lead to disciple making. It’s A MEANS of communication to utilize much like the Roman Road system was or the common Greek language among the people in the New Testament, and they were both used for ill as well as for God’s glory as Social Media will be among today’s world. Points well taken.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: