Tag Archives: iPhone

The Best of ‘SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY NEWS’ – June 2013

SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY NEWS is a daily online publication which brings you the very best information from across the Internet on all the latest developments, news, and views in the social media, faith, and technology space.

It’s halfway through  Summer 2013 and we’ve pulled together the top inspirational stories, chats, podcasts, and thought-provoking opinion pieces from the June editions of SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY NEWS for your information, convenience, and enjoyment.  The following represent the summer’s hottest church social media stories – the Very ‘Best of SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY NEWS’ – June 2013:

Are there any June 2013 church social media articles, online chats, podcasts, or posts you would recommend to our readers?

During Summer 2013, stay on top of all the latest SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY NEWS by subscribing today!

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

Stay Blessed,

Kenneth Lillard

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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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Book Bonus: On Writing SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY, 2

The book, SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age, grew out of the ideas, posts, and insights harvested on this blog, Faith Based Media 2.0.  The book is like songs collected into an album with additional compositions added to tie all the songs together!

When I began the book project, little did I realize it would end up on iTunes and in the pages of the New York Times! LOL! The LORD knows exactly how to work everything out in such a way that it just blows your mind!

There are things we are specifically called to do. And when we are given these special assignments, we immediately know, beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt that “no” is not an option! So it was with writing SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY. This  special assignment came unambiguously, crystal clear!

But then, those Moses moments arrive: “LORD, who am I, that I should write? And since I can’t write like Shakespeare,  or even James Patterson, what will I say? And who will listen?”

Now, you know the LORD has already told you He would be with you; that He would provide you with the words and the readers. So, stop already, with the excuses! “Do it. Just write!” 

You realize, ultimately, that it’s not about you, anyway! It’s all about Him! The work is to His glory! Obedience is better than sacrifice.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY was designed as a short format work to mirror the short format form of most social media communications. Brief. Concise. And to the point! All extraneous material was excised.  

After much work, sweat, and prayer, miraculously, the book was completed! Praise Our God!  

And after you finish your special assignment, you exhale, thank the LORD, and then move on to your next assignment!

What special assignment(s) are you working on?

SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY is available at Amazon.com, and also on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iBooks, and on your computer with iTunes!

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Ministry Toolbox Upgrade for 2011

In striving to elevate our ministries in 2011, we first, and foremost look to the LORD for direction and guidance! “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1

In addition, we are fortunate to have a number of excellent tools to help us in this endeavor. Here are some incredible resources which are readily available. It is my sincere hope that some of them will help upgrade your ministry toolbox this year!

As we seek to take our ministries to the next level, which tools would you recommend be added to upgrade the ministry toolbox?

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

Be Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Social Media and Your Church’s Brand

Did you know people are talking about your church? Yes, people inside and outside your church are on their iPhones, Blackberries, on Facebook, and YouTube. And what exactly are they saying about your ministry? What is the image of your church in the public’s eye? Is it good, bad, or indifferent? Rightly or wrongly, for many, your church’s public image constitutes, to a large extent, its brand. How is that brand being communicated?

Social media employing web 2.0 technologies, definitely, play an increasing role  in exactly how your ministry is perceived and rated. And that perception and rating, in turn, influence how many people respond to your ministry. Facebook now has an interactive  My Church app available free to all its users http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRi87JS1-SQ.

The following resources can help to begin this very important branding conversation that every ministry should have:

Center for Church Communication’s Church Marketing Directory http://directory.cfcclabs.org/

Arvell Craig’s ChurchMarketing.tv http://www.churchmarketing.tv/

http://www.artistrymarketing.com/branddevelopment-process

Church Marketing 101, Richard Reising  http://www.richardreising.com/index.cfm/pageID/1241/

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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A New Thing – The Church App

There is now an iPhone app available to your church from Subsplash. This amazing app allows you access to your church’s worship music, live streaming video, church blogs, online giving, and social media sharing. One ministry currently employing this new church app is Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in California http://www.saddleback.com/ Check out this overview of the Church App and let me know what you think! http://www.thechurchapp.org/

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

God Bless

Kenneth Lillard

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New Tools For A New Time

For a number of years, I was fortunate to have worked as  a public administrator.  My work was in the field of workforce development,  helping people to  reach their vocational goals. I was a public servant,  using all the tools available to me to accomplish public missions and goals. Today,  as a minister of the gospel, I work as a servant of the Lord, using all the tools available to me to accomplish ministry goals, and answer to a higher authority. I’m truly blessed to witness the new thing God is doing in my life, as well as in the life of the church.

If the Apostle Paul lived today, would he write his letters to the church on parchment, or would he take advantage of the immediacy and global reach of social media? In my sanctified imagination, I can envision Paul sending out tweets and instant messages from his iPhone or Blackberry on his missionary journeys, as he shared the gospel and helped to build the church.

Social media are tailor-made tools for carrying out the Great Commission (Mark 16:15) of taking the gospel to all the world. Through the use of social media God is doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19).  We cannot afford to ignore these innovative social tools as we network and share the gospel in the 21st century!

Remember, you can do all things through Christ Jesus.

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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