Tag Archives: Apple

Instagram and Ministry – Telling the Story

New Life Church Celebration Weekend (above) on Webstagram

In the African American preaching tradition, “telling the story” is highly prized. Storytelling is very powerful. It captures the imagination and connects with people on a deep emotional level like no other approach can. Instagram provides a new and exciting way to connect with others online and tell the story of Jesus, and of your congregation in action, in a fresh and innovative fashion. It’s, virtually, a new way to visually share the Word!

A photograph can tell a story in ways words often cannot express. After all, “a picture is worth a thousand word.” People naturally connect with stories, and sometimes those stories are most eloquently told in pictures.

Because of digital social media and the ubiquity of web 2.0 technologies, the church is becoming increasingly more interactive. Many congregation members are already on Instagram, as well as Facebook and Twitter. And more often than not, they are connecting via smartphones, iPad’s, and other mobile devices.

Rapidly rising visual social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are part of a new trend influenced by the shifting habits of technology users. They are moving toward greater visual social sharing. Why? Social engagement appears to increase when pictures are shared. In our fast paced digital age, pictures (with minimal hashtags and/or captions) can communicate lots of information quickly and succintly.

So, what is Instagram anyway? It is a free photo-sharing service, and social networking site launched in 2010. In 2011  Apple named Instagram, “App of the Year”!  In a nutshell, Instagram allows users to take photos, apply filters to them, and then share them with other Instagram users, as well as on other social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. It currently has over 100 million users.

Something surprising happened in August 2012. The average number of daily active Instagram users hit 7.3 million, topping Twitter’s 6.9 million. Pictures beat words! In addition, the average Instagram user spent 257 minutes accessing the photo-sharing site by mobile device in August, as compared to the average Twitter user who spent 170 minutes on that site during the same time period. Instagram has taken storytelling to mobile devices in a really big way!

So, how can the church tap into this remarkable social media phenomenon known as Instagram to help tell its story? The following are just a few examples:

  • “Instagram” church services by posting pictures on FB, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
  • Post pictures of baptisms, gospel concerts, and conferences. Behind the scenes glimpses at conferences and other special events are always interesting.
  • Use Instagram to creatively market your church.
  • Post pictures of small group activities.
  • Post pictures of volunteers engaged in community service  and other outreach projects.
  • Post pictures of mission trips.

For greater impact, help boost your Instagram pictures with these tips:

  • Try to get the best, most compelling original photos you possibly can.
  • Make sure you photo captures the essence of the story you’re telling.
  • Pull multiple images together in a collage using apps like Frametastic and PicFrame.
  • Deft use of hashtags and captions in picture descriptions can create compelling themes and tags to reinforce the story’s message.
  • Use apps like Hipstamatic, Camera+ and iPhoto to add additional pop to your pictures.
  • Finally, it’s the quality of your photos that matter most, not the quantity!

For more on Instagram and it’s many applications to ministry checkout  the following links:

How are you using Instagram to tell the story?

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

Be Blessed

Kenneth Lillard

 

 

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What’s New – The iPhone 4

On Monday, June 7, 2010, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new iPhone 4 at Apple’s Developers Conference in San Francisco, CA. http://www.apple.com/

 The iPhone 4’s most remarkable feature is “Face Time” which allows video calling between iPhone 4 users! It’s new, sleek design makes the iPhone 4 the thinnest smart phone ever. Like its newest competitor, HTC’s Evo 4G, and other smart mobile phones, the iPhone 4 is a great ministry tool because it:

  • allows connectivity to the Internet
  • enables instantaneous mobile communications
  • allows access to many church apps, and to personal productivity tools
  • places the Bible (in multiple translations and languages) right at your fingertips (see http://www.YouVersion.com)
  • enables access to and sharing of text, photos, blogs, videos, podcasts, sermons, music, etc.
  • allows tighter communications with small groups, colleagues, and family
  • supports connecting on social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

See Wired’s Priya Ganapati’s iPhone 4 review in “Showdown: iPhone 4 vs. HTC Evo 4G” http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/06/iphone-4-vs-htc-evo-4g/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

Definitely, the iPhone 4 is an incredible Faith Based Media 2.0 tool for sharing the Gospel!

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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D8 Conference Underway, June 1-3, 2010

D8, the Wall Street Journal’s “D: All Things Digital” Conference, is currently underway, June 1 – 3, 2010 in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.  The digital industry’s top players representing Apple, Microsoft, et al, are in attendance. Social networking is definitely on the agenda, with Facebook’s Founder & CEO, Mark Zuckerberg slated to speak.

Live blog coverage, videos, and photos from D8 are available  at http://d8.allthingsd.com/. Follow tweets from the conference on Twitter at hashtag #D8.

D8 will highlight where the industry will take digital technology in 2010 and beyond. Where will ministry take digital technology during this period? What ministry applications can we take away from D8?

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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The iPad, Part 2

Last week’s post described how the iPad can be a powerful tool for ministry work. Today’s post is a continuation ofthat theme. You know, Apple is really on to something with the iPad. Maybe that’s why over a million have sold in little or no time!

Pastors and church leaders can definitely harness the incredible advantages that the iPad provides: fantastic mobility, tons of apps, great battery life/hardware, mad e-Reader capability (iBooks and Kindle), and much more.

Chris Brogan, a great social media commentator, shares some of his thoughts on the benefits (and shortcomings) of the iPad in the following article:

http://www.chrisbrogan.com/ipad-is-pretty-decent/

Pastors and church leaders can easily adapt many of  these applications and advantages to ministry work. How is your ministry using the iPad?

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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iPad – Cool Tool For Digital Pastor

With over 1,000,000 sold, the iPad, Apple’s new tablet computer and e-Reader,  has taken the digital world by storm! According to Apple, users have downloaded 12 million apps, and over 1.5 million e-Books from the iBookstore. And, no surprise, pastors are counted among those 1 million iPad purchasers. Why?

The iPad opens up exciting, new possibilities for ministry work. It’s a great time management tool. It frees pastors from the office desktop and bookshelves, allowing them to move out into the community to connect with members, or meet new people. With built in email and browser, the iPad allows access to data and workflow while maintaining personal mobility. In meetings, it permits easy access to notes and information, while being less intrusive than a laptop.  Facebook and Twitter connectivity through the browser adds social networking capability. Sermon prep can be done in the coffee shop or wherever the Spirit moves you!

Checkout one pastor’s personal take on the advantages of the iPad in this insightful article by John Chandler in Collide Magazine:

http://www.collidemagazine.com/article/326/the-ipad-is-here-and-its-coming-to-your-church

Definitely, the iPad is a really cool tool for the digital rev!

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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