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THE BEST OF CHURCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA 2020

Can you believe the last week of 2020 is here already? Time really does fly like a jet plane! As the year draws rapidly to a close, it’s time to take a look back at this year’s best and most impactful developments in churchtech, faith, and social media. Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, social media, as well as, virtual church and ministry services were more important than ever! This trend will definitely continue into the foreseeable future, or at least until the pandemic is brought under greater control.

In this very singular year, one like no other, I’m pleased to share my favorite picks for the ‘Best of 2020,’ in Church, Tech and Social Media news, events, and trends!

4 Sermon Ideas to Start the New Year Right (tithe.ly)

5 Great Facebook Live Tips for Churches | ChurchTechToday

5 Must Haves to Develop a Better Online Church Experience (churchtechtoday.com)

7 Creative Trends We’re Seeing At Churches This Christmas Season – The Creative Pastor

11 Online Church Ideas to Use During the Coronavirus Outbreak (tithe.ly)

20 Great Ways To Use Instagram At Your Church – The Creative Pastor

A Prayer for those Afflicted With Coronavirus (barbarawilliams-skinner.com)

Amid pandemic, Black, Hispanic worshippers more concerned about safety of religious services | Pew Research Center

Before protests, black Americans said sermons should address race relations | Pew Research Center

The Black church is again at the center of American politics — and its leaders feel like a target – The Washington Post

Clubhouse voice chat leads a wave of spontaneous social apps | TechCrunch

COVID-19: Being fully the church in times of Coronavirus | The Lutheran World Federation

Facebook Ads for Churches (churchtechtoday.com)

First Baptist Church of Glenarden (fbcglenarden.org)

Fresno, CA pastors pledge to avoid gathering due to COVID | The Fresno Bee

Launch Your Online Ministry for Free | Church Online Platform

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church – New Birth Missionary Baptist Church-Lithonia, GA

The Potter’s House Church

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 on the Church in America | The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer (christianitytoday.com)

Small Church Live Streaming (churchtechtoday.com)

State of the Church Bulletin (churchtechtoday.com)

Top 12 Church Leadership Conferences (churchtechtoday.com)

Twelve Major Trends for Churches in 2021 | Church Answers

Will the coronavirus permanently convert in-person worshippers to online streamers? They don’t think so | Pew Research Center

Well, there you have it – my Best of Church and Social Media 2020! Hoping you enjoyed it as much as I did following #churchtech, social media and faith trends over the past year.

What are your favorite Church and Social Media stories of 2020?

Be sure to stay on top of all things #churchtech, faith, and social media at SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY NEWS.

Praying you have a “Safe, Happy & Blessed New Year 2021,” my Friends! May God Continue to Bless You Richly!!

~ Kenneth Lillard, Author of the book, SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY Sharing the Gospel In the Digital Age (available on Amazon and iTunes). Much Appreciation!

You can connect with me at kennethlillard.com. Be Blessed!

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Happy 100th Anniversary Hampton University Ministers’ Conference

HUMC 2014 2

This week Hampton University hosts its Annual Hampton University Ministers’ Conference (HUMC)! This year’s centenary theme is, appropriately,  “Honoring Our Past, Anticipating Our Future.”

Begun in 1914, HUMC is one of the oldest gatherings of black clergy in America. Interdenominational and intergenerational, HUMC has grown from 40 attendees at its inception, to over 7,000 in 2013. This year’s attendance is expected to top that figure.

Former attendees and speakers at this dynamic, week-long conference have included Civil Rights Icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Theologian Dr. Howard Thurman, and Bishop T. D. Jakes, who is slated to be this year’s keynote speaker.

People have been tweeting at #HUMC2014, and posting FB, IG, and other social media updates from this phenomenal conference all week long. The Hampton University Ministers’ Conference (HUMC) continues to be a theological, spiritual, and educational jewel.

For more information on HUMC 2014 please see the following links:

100 Years of Glorious History From the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference [Photos] – HuffingtonPost

Hampton University Ministers’ Conference (1914-2014) – minconf.hamptonu.edu

Hampton Ministers’ Conference Celebrates 100th Anniversary – newsone.com

Hampton University Ministers’ Conference Kicks Off Celebration of 100 Years – Black Christian News

Hampton University Ministers’ Conference to Feature T. D. Jakes – ebony.com

Megachurch Pastor Bishop T. D. Jakes Addresses HU Conference – Daily Press

Why The Hampton Ministers’ Conference Still Matters – Suzan Johnson Cook/ HuffingtonPost.com

Btw, for a real taste of the Conference, IG (Instagram) has pics and video at #HUMC2014!

What are your thoughts on the role of digital technology and social media at ministerial conferences? Did you attend the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference 2014? If so, what did you think of it? Please share your thoughts, photos, and videos with our readers. Appreciate you!

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

Be Blessed

Kenneth Lillard

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The Best of ‘Social Media and Ministry News’ – May 2013

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The month of May has been another exciting and busy time at SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY NEWS, a daily online publication which brings you the very best information from across the web on all the latest developments, news, and views in the social media, faith, and technology space.

Many inspirational stories, chats, thought-provoking podcasts, and insightful opinion pieces have been shared in this month’s editions. Here are some of the very best featured stories:

Which May 2013 social media and ministry articles or blog posts would you recommend to our readers?

Don’t miss any of the latest developments in the church social media space.  Subscribe to SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY NEWS!

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

Be 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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Leading An Online Community

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18

With the advent of the Internet, and the emergence of social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, et al) online Christian groups and communities are springing up everyday! And effective leaders are needed to guide and manage these online networks.

Leading and managing online communities require three basic skill sets:

  • The ability to cast a vision.
  • The ability to nurture, listen to, and grow the community.
  • The ability to inspire the community.

The vision is key to any successful online community. Vision defines the desired or intended future state of that community in terms of its fundamental objective and/or strategic direction.  Without a vision, the online community has no objective or direction. It’s just out there, drifting aimlessly about, with no destination or goal. Plain and simple, without a vision the people perish! Proverbs 29:18.

A healthy online community is characterized by an active membership united by a shared purpose, with a passionate leader/facilitator, engaged in interlinking relationships between a significant percentage of its members.

The leader/facilitator is the face of the online community and should:

  • Engage the community.
  • Deliver a blog/ or media platform that’s useful to the community.
  • Create, gather, and share exceptional and relevant content (podcasts, videos, blogs, etc.).
  • Build relationships, especially with influencers.
  • Generate buzz.
  • Be passionate about the community.
  • Empower listening ability (e.g., using such tools as Google Alerts and Twitter Search) to ascertain the mood, needs and desires of the community.
  • Facilitate learning and education.
  • Grow the community.
  • Be an ambassador for the community.
  • Facilitate communications between members through comment sections, forums, chat, etc.
  • Be the guardian of the community.
  • Harvest insights and disseminate feedback from the community members.
  • Build actionable reports employing relevant metrics to measure success.
  • Keep the vision before the community.
  • Be real: authentic and transparent/ someone others can trust and relate to on a human level!

The online leader should be a good shepherd, constantly seeking guidance and direction from the Lord. 

What is your vision of an effective online community leader?

(Many thanks to Chris BroganRachel HappeMaria Ogneva , and Seth Godin in his book Tribes for some of the information and ideas cited in this post.)

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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