Monthly Archives: May 2012

Creative Use of Social Media by Churches Continues to Grow

Digital technology and social media definitely enable churches to expand their reach far beyond the four walls of the sanctuary! Ministries have begun to get a firm grip on these new, exciting, web 2.0 technologies. Many churches are expanding their creative and strategic use of a wide variety of social media platforms to effectively share the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

A recent FACT study of 11,077 congregations by the Hartford Institute for Religious Research revealed 7 out of 10 U. S. congregations have websites. In addition, 4 in 10 had Facebook pages in 2010! The following are examples of how some congregations are creatively using the continually expanding array of social media tools to enhance their effectiveness:

  • YesHeIs is using short documentary video to very creatively point people to Jesus.
  • Churches are making it much easier for people to find them online by putting up their own website or Facebook page.
  • Christ Fellowship Church in McKinney, Texas allows you to download their worship program by scanning a customized QR code.
  • Many churches allow you to watch worship services streamed online from their internet campus with live chat running, so you can share spiritual insights in real-time.
  • Church apps are available to watch sermons, donate, and do much more, including even swapping goods and services to help others in the community.
  • Confession: A Roman Catholic app was recently released for the iPhone. It prompts the user through pre-confession soul-searching prior to meeting with the priest.
  • The Internet evangelism project, PeaceWithGod, employs search-engine algorithms to steer people toward salvation!
  • Sing along with a new tablet hymnal from Church Publishing. In March the Episcopal Church’s publishing house released eHymnals for the iPad and other digital readers.
  • Biola University, a private evangelical school in La Mirada, CA is hosting a Digital Ministry Conference, June 5-7, 2012! 
  • The digital Bible  is available for your mobile devices, including smart phones and iPads, allowing you to connect with your faith in the checkout line at the grocery store, on the subway, or in the gym!
  • FB and twitter status updates provide insight into the lives of many congregation members, availing ministries  ample opportunities for service and caring.
  • Pastors can work relevant FB or twitter status updates into their sermons.
  • Pastors and church leaders are creating blogs and e-newsletters to regularly deliver current updates on ministry activities within the church, on mission trips, and in the community at-large.
  • Videos are being used to provide a virtual tour of churches.
  • A number of churches have begun to use the new, fastest-growing social media platform, Pinterest , to create buzz and generate more interest and excitement around their ministries.

Get a free sample or buy Social Media and Ministry by Rev. Dr. Kenneth Lillard from iTunes for additional insights into how ministries can more effectively use social media to carry out the Great Commission. 

What creative/innovative way is your church/ministry employing social media?

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under blog, christian, christian social media, digital, Faith Based Media, innovation, ministry tools, networking, social media, web 2.0

Social Media Team – Connecting Church and Community

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:  

What exciting things are the social media team at your church doing?

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under christian, christian social media, digital, Faith Based Media, networking, social media, social media marketing