Category Archives: information

Pinterest and Faith – A New Way to Connect

There’s absolutely no question that Pinterest is 2012’s hottest, new player on the social media scene. It’s everywhere! Pinterest is the wildly popular, visual social network that people are using to share virtual pinboards of their favorite photos, videos, and links.

So, what exactly is Pinterest anyway? Think digital scrapbook. Think a new way to visually share your vision online. Pinterest is a digital bookmarking network designed to connect people through sharing their common interests. What makes Pinterest different, and so interesting, is that it is a visual social network, with emphasis on “visual”, that is easy to use and taps into one of social media’s newest trends – the interest graph.

Here are just a few facts about this breakout, new social network:

  • Unique visitors to Pinterest grew 400% from September to December 2011.
  • Pinterest drives more visitors to third-party websites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. 
  • Launched in 2010, Pinterest already has over 10.4 million members. 
  • Pinterest gives faith communities a creative, new way to connect with people and share the Gospel. 

How can churches and ministries use Pinterest to help carry out the Great Commission? I’m glad you asked! Here a just a few examples:

  • Pin photos on Pinterest of people in your ministry serving others.
  • Create a digital scrapbook of your church’s daily life.
  • Use strong visuals to talk about Jesus.
  • Highlight events, sermon series, books, video, film, and music.
  • Small groups (youth, singles, women, et al) can create their own boards.
  • Highlight ministry missions.
  • Pinterest boards can be set up around twitter #hashtags inviting people to share images, photos, and blogs posts which can be pinned on Pinterest.
  • Boards can be set up around themes and seasons such as Lent and Easter.
  • Boards can be set up around faith topics and classes.

Pinterest is unique in that it appeals to the creative side of people. Many people are fed by the visual arts, and inspired to deeper engagement with God  by the things of beauty He has created.  Pinterest provides a creative way to showcase your ministry’s personality and aesthetic in a fresh manner. In addition, it is a fantastic way to share visual devotional resources. Pinterest definitely challenges you to think more deeply about visual design when sharing content via this new social networking platform.  We give Pinterest two thumbs up!

For more information on and examples of Pinterest check out the following:

Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network – Mashable

Pinterest: Tutorial [VIDEO] – YouTube

Why Pinterest is 2012’s Hottest Website – cnn.com

Churches Reaching Out With Pinterest – Tim Schraeder

How to Use Pinterest for Your Ministry – Ministry Best Practices

Mars Hill Church on Pinterest

Faith board on Pinterest – Sami Price

The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest – Slideshare

10 Non-Profits Leveraging Pinterest for Social Good – Mashable

How is your ministry leveraging Pinterest to connect in new and exciting ways?

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Christmas Is Around The Corner! Advent 2011

Today, I received my first Christmas card of 2011!  The arrival of the first card is an annual reminder that Christmas is, indeed, right around the corner! For many it’s a time to begin serious Christmas shopping for family, loved ones, and friends. 

Black Friday super sales, the long lines of people camping out at WalMart, and Cyber Monday bargains have all come and gone. Celebrities are now all over TV and the Internet encouraging us to shop until we drop!

However, this also marks the start of Advent (from the Latin, adventus, which means coming). It is the season that many Christians expectantly wait and prepare for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. (At least, some do!) Advent traditionally starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25th.

Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of the Messiah, as well as the waiting of Christians for His Second Coming. Depending on one’s faith tradition,  Advent is observed by Advent calendars, decorations, and daily readings and teachings. In some Scandinavian countries there are even television programs that mark each day of Advent!  The theme of the readings and teachings during Advent is to prepare for the Second Coming, while commemorating the First Coming of Christ.

In the Digital Age, we can observe Advent not only with in-person fellowship, but also by sharing online Advent calendars, devotionals, and links. In addition, we can fellowship online, e.g., via video chats on Google+ hang-outs; by engaging in conversations with friends on Facebook; and sharing with followers on Twitter the relevance and meaning of Advent today; as well as organizing Advent meet-ups!

For more on Advent resources check out the following:   

Advent – Wikipedia

Advent 2011 Calendar – Beliefnet.com

Online Resources For The Season of Advent – The Text This Week

How are you observing Advent this year?

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

Stay Blessed,

Kenneth Lillard

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Book Bonus: On Writing SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4

What a blessing it is to be allowed to walk in your purpose! I thank the Good LORD for blessing me to be able to do just that with the publication of my recent book SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing the Gospel In The Digital Age (available at Amazon.com).

For someone who loves writing and sharing the gospel, the book has been a dream project. In fact, it is has been no less than a “dream come true”!

The idea for the book developed while writing this very blog, Faith Based Media, 2.0 (FBM 2.0), an exploration of ministry, social media, and technology. The book can actually be viewed as an extension of FBM 2.0 and vice versa!

Social media burst on the scene in 2004 with the rise of Facebook in Silicon Valley, CA. It accelerated in 2005 with the advent of YouTube, followed by Twitter in 2006. While observing these developments, it became increasingly clear that this new media revolution had great potential for sharing the Gospel of  Jesus Christ, not only locally, but globally, as well! So, FBM 2.0 was established to begin a conversation around how to harness digital technology for helping to build the Kingdom.

The process of writing SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY was equal parts research, writing, and editing, also known to many writers as “blood, sweat, and tears.” It involved many nights of burning the midnight oil, and pulling more than a few all nighters, especially as the publication deadline neared! In addition, it included much prayer! Yet, I have to admit it was a labor of love. Why? I was finally doing something I was born to do!

For six months, a laptop and notepad were kept handy at the side of my bed to capture thoughts and ideas that seemed to prefer to wander in either just before going to sleep at night, or on waking up first thing in the morning!

Then something kind of amazing happened. It was just as I was completing this book  featuring “social networking”, that Columbia Pictures released the hit motion picture, The Social Network. You’ve got to be kidding me!

My book was published in November 2010, while the movie was being viewed by millions in theatres across the nation and around the world. The Social Network would go on to win a number of Golden Globe and Academy Awards for 2010! Was this just a coincidence? It felt more like a   confirmation of my work over the past twelve months!

I thank God for the inspiration to pen SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age, and for all the incredible people who have encouraged me along the way. Without your prayers and support this book would not have been possible! You are the very best!  But, ultimately, all credit goes to God for the Great Things He has done!

SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY is available on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iBooks, and on your computer with iTunes! It is also available as an e-book for immediate download (pdf format) at Lulu.com. Look for future installments of “Book Bonus” in upcoming posts on this blog!

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Ten Ways Pastors Can Use Facebook More Effectively

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and,  lo, I am with you always even until the end of the world.” Matthew 28:19-20

Using Facebook is a fantastic way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ! FB is global, viral, and instantaneous! There are over 600,000,000 people registered on Facebook worldwide. And that’s million with an “m”! 

Indeed, FB is an easy way to connect and communicate with others, both inside and outside the body of Christ. And it can be done wirelessly, on an iPad or other suitable mobile device!

Here are ten examples of how pastors can use Facebook more effectively to help fulfill the Great Commission of sharing the Gospel within their communities and across the globe:

1. You can use Facebook’s Fan Page as your ministry/church’s website.

2. Pastors can use Facebook to post and receive prayer requests on their cell phones!

3. You can post updates on Facebook about your day and thoughts. Highlight “life moments” that can encourage and uplift others including staff, church members and friends.

4. Pastors can communicate with staff, church members, and others via Facebook as an alternative to email. 

5. Stay connected with your church’s youth group(s) through Facebook updates and Fan Pages.

6. Pastors can post RSVP invitations on Facebook for ministry events like revivals or gospel concerts using FB’s Event/Announcement app.

7. You can import your blog feed directly into your Facebook page. This provides additional exposure for your message(s), and hopefully will increase the number of your blog subscribers!

8. Facebook empowers pastors to reach beyond the walls of the church to connect and communicate without geographical limitations.

9. You can use Facebook to gather feedback from church members, staff and others to harvest insights in order to strengthen your ministry.

10. Network with other pastors and church leaders on Facebook to share information and ideas, as well as collaborate on joint ministry projects.

For additional information from me on how pastors and church leaders can more effectively use Facebook, as well as Twitter and YouTube, see Social Media And Ministry, Sharing the Gospel in the Digital Age.

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard 

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Creating Your Personal Website

The personal website is a new form of personal and professional expression. It is different from the company website or the church web page.  This  website provides a more personal connection to your audience and allows more of your personality and creativity to shine through! 

Many individuals online maintain a presence at a number of different social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It can be helpful to create a convenient, single destination to direct all your contacts: a personal website! Some refer to this as their homebase, or personal online headquarters. For example, my personal website is Kennethlillard.com.

A personal website provides the following benefits:

  • Provides a platform from which you can clearly communicate your message directly to your target audience
  • Allows your biographical information, resume(s), personal videos, and blog posts to be displayed
  • Great for brand marketing of your ministry events and products, including books, dvd’s, speaking engagements, etc.
  • Accessible 24/7 to everyone in the world who has an Internet connection
  • Provides a location for a great Splash Page!  (A page mostly or entirely taken up by a single image or panel.)
  • Provides links to all your other web locations
  • Allows you to creatively express yourself and your ministry’s message! 

There are free personal webpages available at social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, for more personalized websites check out the following:

How has your personal website benefited your ministry?

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Smart Guide To Self Publishing

One of the most effective ways of sharing the Gospel is via the written word. Many of the Apostles, including Matthew, John and Paul, had very powerful writing ministries. Today, with the advent of the Internet and digital technologies, it is easier than ever to self publish. In fact, if you can use a computer you can publish your own book!  

Self publishing provides the following benefits:

  • Gives authors more control over their work.
  • Digital books and print-on-demand (POD) technology allow authors to self-publish with little or no upfront costs.
  • Books get to the press quicker by avoiding the lengthy publication process involved with traditional publishers.
  • Digital books allow for electronic distribution via the Internet and the potential for reaching a much wider audience.
  • Many print-on-demand firms use digital technology to reduce costs and publish high quality products at economical, fixed prices.
  • E-books providing interactive features (such as audio, video, and connectivity to reading groups) are becoming a big part of today’s self publishing revolution!
  • E-readers like the iPad, Kindle, and Nook are creating an increasing demand for e-books and other digital content, especially Faith Based material.  Btw, have you noticed how many people are now reading digital books, including the Bible, on their cell phones?
  • Finally, you can also self publish other digital media including music, videos, and ringtones!

So how do you get started with self publishing? I definitely recommend you check out the following:

How has self publishing benefited your ministry?

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Leveraging Online Church Resources

The principle of leverage allows one to lift objects that would otherwise  be too heavy to move. Leverage is a force multiplier.  Archimedes famously proclaimed, “Give me a place to stand and I can move the Earth.”

Digital technology and social media enable us to share incredible church resources online almost instantly. By leveraging these online resources ministries can multiply their impact in their local church communities and far beyond.

The following is a list of easily accessible church resources which can be leveraged to greatly increase your ministry’s impact and influence:

All of the above resources are true force multipliers and incredible tools to help ministries fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission in the Digital Age!

What online resources can you recommend to provide additional leverage? 

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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