What do the following jobs all have in common: content strategist, cloud architect, and app development manager? They are all new positions which didn’t exist before the advent of the digital age! The tech revolution has ushered in a plethora of previously unimaginable job titles to reflect the new job functions demanded by the new information era.
Along with other institutions, the church has also been significantly impacted by the social media revolution. Even though the church’s message of hope and redemption through Jesus Christ has not changed, the many ways it communicates that message in the 21st century are changing, both rapidly and dramatically!
One major impact the church has experienced is in the creation of new job functions and titles. This has been necessitated by the recognition that increasing numbers of people, including church members, are engaging on FB, twitter, Google + , Pinterest and other social media platforms and networks. Effectively engaging and interacting with these individuals requires the creation of a dedicated approach, e.g., employing social media teams, to creatively connect the church with this burgeoning online community. Indeed, the congregation is emerging as a new and savvy online community with unique needs, expectations, and requirements!
In the contemporary church, many of these social media teams are led by a Social Media Manager aka Director of Social Media, Social Media Coordinator, Social Media Pastor, or Church Community Manager, among other new titles. Sometimes the roles and responsibilities of the church’s Social Media Manager are folded into the traditional positions of Director of Church Communications, Communications Minister, or Marketing and Communications Director.
Whatever the title, the essential functions of the position are: 1) effectively share the Gospel of Jesus Christ; 2) tell the story of the church’s congregation in a creative, compelling, and engaging way, and 3) connect the church deeply with the community by strategically deploying appropriate social media platforms, tools, and strategies in collaboration with other church ministries. And only a high performing social media team led by a passionate manager/ minister can acheive these lofty goals!
Today’s Social Media Manager supervises the church’s social media teams to accomplish a cohesive, branded message for all aspects of church communications. However, rather than this being like your traditional Church Communications Director, it is more like Church Communications Director 2.0, revised and upgraded for the digital age! The new Social Media Manager will be comfortable with branding strategies, crafting an effective s0cial media strategy, interacting in a multi-media environment, and creating compelling messages and story lines. Excellent listening and customer relations management skills are mandatory, as are a mastery of social media tools and platforms required to keep the congregation and community engaged and excited about the ministry’s vision. However, the most important requirement is to have a heart for the church and the people, and a passion for communicating the Gospel clearly and effectively!
The following are links to more information on the function of an effective social media manager and creative social media teams:
- Social Media Teams in Youth Ministry - Church Mag
- Real Social Media Ministry: An Interview with Josh Burns , Dir. of Social Media and Web Communications at Park Community Church, Chicago [VIDEO] – Heart Your Church
- Park Community Church Website
- Online Community Manager - Wikipedia
- 6 Top Community Managers to Appreciate – Mashable
- Effective Social Media for Your Parish or Ministry – Slideshare
- Top Church Pages on Facebook – djchuang.com
- Create a Church Facebook Fan Page [VIDEO] – Michigan LCMS
- The Community Manager Report 2012- Slideshare
- How to Choose a Community Manager for Your Congregation - 2×2 Foundation
What exciting things are the social media team at your church doing?
Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!