“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” Isaiah 43:19
Can you believe we’re already halfway through 2012? Now is a great time to take a look at the state of social media and ministry today! And perhaps, more to the point, where it’s going in 2013 and beyond.
The ubiquity of the internet, social media, and digital devices has caused a paradigm shift in how we do church today. Now, when pastors call out scriptures in church, it’s not unusual to see half the congregation reach for their iPads. And the other half pull out their cell phones! Whew, what a sea change! Not very long ago, to be seen on a digital device in church brought on disapproving glares and, in some cases, verbal rebukes! Today, even the Bishop has an iPad in the pulpit!
And even though the Gospel message of love and deliverance remains the same, new and creative forms of communications, fellowship, and worship are emerging in our churches. New ways of engaging our faith, creating and distributing content, and interacting, both online and off, are surfacing daily. Internet church campuses are connected by the latest digital technology. Church is no longer just services one day a week, and Bible Study on Wednesday night. It has become a connected experience available and accessible 24/7, online and off. Case in point, check out the International House of Prayer (IHOP)!
The state of social media and ministry today is clearly displayed all over my twitter timeline: “Come get your church on this morning with T.D. Jakes Internet Church @OMARSHIN…” “I’m so impressed @ how older members of church have got in on technology! #justsaying @Kadeciables…” “Learning how social media could enhance our church. Imagine if all your fb friends could be with you this Sunday? #nwlc12 @kelliag…” “The church doesn’t have a choice of IF it will use social media only HOW WELL it will use it. @donmillerag…” “One church I went to when @Teracarissa came to town, the pastor was calling ppl by their twitter handles. Social media church. @Gbemisok…” The handwriting is already on your Facebook wall!
So, here are some of the major trends emerging in social media and ministry for 2012:
- Church is becoming available everywhere at anytime with apps on mobile digital devices like iPad 3’s and iPhones.
- The central role of video continues to expand, particularly with the streaming of live and recorded sermons, services, and special events.
- Digital technology and a variety of social media platforms provide smart channels for networking, collaborating, mobilizing, and creative, dynamic interaction.
- Online chats are taking on an increasing significance, especially Google + hangouts, and Google+ on Air
- Networked churches with Internet campuses continue to grow and innovate.
- Creative initiatives like Global Media Outreach, Multiply Movement, and Mobile Ministry are having an expanded impact.
- More churches are establishing Pinterest accounts.
As we look beyond 2012, there is clearly a place for an expanded role in the church for such cutting edge technologies as geo-location, mobile money, and AR. If popular music artists can include holograms as integral parts of their live performances, why can’t the iChurch use similar technology to creatively share and communicate the incomparable Gospel of Jesus Christ!
These are only a few of the major trends happening in social media and ministry today. For more, and a look ahead, check out the following:
- Bottom-Up Theology in an Age of Networked Intelligence – Ryan Kellermeyer
- Church Evangelism: More Churches Turning to Social Media – Huffington Post
- Church Media and Tech Trends for 2012 – Bryan Hudson
- Church Social Media #Chsocm – A weekly Twitter-based chat about using social media to build church and faith
- Church Twitter List – Twibes
- Deep Limitations of Digital Church – Albert Mohler
- Future of the Internet Church – Episode 7 [Podcast] – DJ Chuang
- Global Media Outreach (GMO)
- Global Media Outreach [VIDEO]
- Google+ Hangouts on Air – Google Official Blog
- How Will Social Media Reshape the Way We Do Church – Phil Petty
- Mars Hill Church on Pinterest
- Mobile Ministry Magazine (MMM)
- New Media Project – Union Theological Seminary
- Social Media and Ministry – Rev. Dr. Kenneth Lillard
- The Church App – Subsplash
- The Potter’s House – Internet Church – Bishop T D Jakes
- Top Church Pages on Facebook – DJ Chuang
How is your ministry using social media to connect with others, creatively share the Gospel, and expand your influence?
Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!