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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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Ministry And The New Media

The new media today are all online. And they are all social! Google+, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Foursquare, blogs, and podcasts are all part of today’s communications revolution known as social media!

The millions of people on these social networks have one thing in common – they’re all connected to others on the Internet. And increasing numbers are connecting through mobile devices like smart phones and iPads. Facebook alone has over 700 million users making it larger than most nations in world today!

The new media allow us to connect with online communities in entirely new and exciting ways! They empower individuals to not only engage with others through Web 2.0 technologies, but also enable them to create and share original content.  This has vast implications, especially for ministry!

Social media provide those in ministry with a whole new set of tools with which to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in creative, unprecedented ways!  Here are a few examples of how to get social with the new media:

  • Write a blog to connect with others and share your message – You’re reading my blog now, Faith Based Media 2.o, all about faith, social media, and technology!  
  • Create a personal website to define your online identity – For example, mine is Kennethlillard.com. It can be your online homebase. Connect it with all your other online presences.
  • Build an online community, or join a social network like FB or Twitter to engage and share the Gospel, encourage others, share scriptures, fellowship, collaborate, and organize. I’m on FB, LinkedIn, and Google+ at Kenneth Lillard, and Twitter @revkenlillard.  
  • Establish a church website – Expand the reach of your church’s ministry beyond the four walls of the building. Let your website be a virtual door into your church. Connect with others in your local community and around the world! 
  • Serve others online – For example, on your mobile phone you can text FOOD to UNICEF to donate $10 to feed starving children in the Horn of Africa.
  •  Use social media platforms as  interactive digital channels to share your ministry’s vision and message. Create an interesting mix of  text, photos, audio, and video to increase impact.
  • Curate helpful and interesting posts, articles, and links and share them with your network.
  • Use new media to tighten your network’s internal communications, and keep it informed
  • Answer questions and solve problems through polls, crowdsourcing, and surveys.

In our 24/7, digitally connected world, I’m excited about the great potential for ministry to use social media to help increase influence for Christ in the world! 

How is your ministry using social media to share the Gospel!  

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Social Media and the Great Commission

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:19-20

Matthew 28:19-20 is known as the Great Commission. Social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, et al) are great vehicles for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Why social media?

  • Facebook has nearly 500,000,000 users.
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world, following only China and India.
  • One-third of women 18-34 check Facebook when they first wake up.
  • YouTube is serving well over a billion views a day. That’s at least 11,574 views per second, 694,444 views per minute, and 41,666,667 views per hour.
  • The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year old females.
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
  • In less than five minutes over 100 hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube.
  • There are nearly 80 million users on Twitter.
  • iPod application downloads hit 1 billion in 9 months
  • There are over 200,000,000 blogs.
  • 80% of companies use social media.
  • 95% of these companies use the social network, LinkedIn.
  • Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passe.
  • Some universities have stopped distributing e-mail accounts. Instead they are distributing eReaders, iPads, and tablets.
  • Kindle eBooks outsold hardcover books last Christmas.
  • 24 out of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation.
  • 60 million updates happen on Facebook daily.
  • Terrestrial radio is fading, with zero annual revenue growth and a downward trend.
  • Physical book publishing is growing at a sluggish 3% rate and the industry trend is down.
  • Contrast this with e-book publishing which is growing at an annualized rate of 65%.
  • Through 2010, it’s predicted that newspapers will decline an additional 10.6%.
  • Yet blogs, including religious blogs, are doubling every few months.
  • Over 20% of online teenagers now maintain their own blog sites.
  • Nearly 60% of teens have created Internet content.
  • Podcasting and vlogging is growing so fast that demographers cannot keep up.
  • 1 out of 8 couples met via social media networks.
  • 96% of Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) have joined a social network.
  • Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
  • 50% of the mobile Internet traffic in the UK is for Facebook.

Social media is, definitely, not just a fad. It is a game changer for the way we communicate. And that includes how we communicate the Gospel, and how we carry out the Great Commission!

How are you using social media to share the Gospel?

(Source of data Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, Erik Qualman; “Surfing the Liminal Domains”, John La Grou; Masahable, and TechCrunch.) 

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Social Media 101 – YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing website created in 2005. It’s motto is “Broadcast Yourself”. In 2006, YouTube was bought by Google.

Users can upload and share videos on the website. While unregistered users can view the videos, registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos.

The link below will show you how to upload a video to YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O7iUiftbKU

The following Mashable article describes a new YouTube service: http://mashable.com/2009/11/17/youtube-direct/:

Always use YouTube with love, and to the glory of God. Never use it in a hurtful or harmful manner.

Know who you are and whose you are. You were born for greatness. There is no limit to what you can do through Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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