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!