Tag Archives: SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age

Facebook and Today’s Church

Facebook

Is your church on Facebook?

Chances are many of your church members already are on Facebook – posting updates, commenting on messages, ‘liking’ posts, and otherwise engaging with others online. You may well be reading this post on Facebook right now. And while many may feel Facebook is a complete and total waste of time, there are actually many very good reasons for you to be on Facebook, as evidenced by the many churches and ministries that are already there.

There are over 1 Billion, with a B, people on Facebook today! It is the world’s most popular social networking platform. Facebook is where the people are. Digital technology has empowered everyday people to connect and interact online, and they are doing so at a rapidly increasing rate.  Facebook has emerged as the most popular social network on the planet, and it’s still growing.  Having a presence on FB is a great way for your church to connect with the very people you’re trying to reach.

Being on Facebook is a great way to introduce people to your church. In fact, Facebook, for many, has replaced the Yellow Pages as the go-to source for seeking out churches to visit in new communities.

For pastors, a personal Facebook page provides a great opportunity to be an ‘online shepherd’, and to stay connected with your congregation  beyond the Sunday service. By establishing a Facebook Church Page you can conduct vital outreach beyond the four walls of your church and immediate community. It enables you to share your church’s message with many people who otherwise may never hear of you. From your Church’s FB page you can also direct others to your church’s website, where they can access more specific information about your ministry’s vision and mission.

While many may complain about the negative things some people post on Facebook, by being online, you can serve as an example of a positive role model of good online behavior and character.  Finally, your intentional presence online can help to fulfill the Great Commission, Jesus’ final instructions to the disciples while still physically here.

My recent book, SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY Sharing the Gospel in the Digital Age, points out ‘100 Ways to Use Facebook to Help Grow a Ministry’ (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes). In addition, here are some links to more information on how Facebook might benefit your church:

Btw, to stay up-to-the-minute on the latest developments in ‘church social media’ be sure to check out SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY NEWS for daily updates.

How is your church positively using your Facebook to share Christ’s gospel?

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

Be Blessed,

Kenneth Lillard

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Creative Use of Social Media by Churches Continues to Grow

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!

Stay 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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Book Bonus: On Writing SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4

What a blessing it is to be allowed to walk in your purpose! I thank the Good LORD for blessing me to be able to do just that with the publication of my recent book SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing the Gospel In The Digital Age (available at Amazon.com).

For someone who loves writing and sharing the gospel, the book has been a dream project. In fact, it is has been no less than a “dream come true”!

The idea for the book developed while writing this very blog, Faith Based Media, 2.0 (FBM 2.0), an exploration of ministry, social media, and technology. The book can actually be viewed as an extension of FBM 2.0 and vice versa!

Social media burst on the scene in 2004 with the rise of Facebook in Silicon Valley, CA. It accelerated in 2005 with the advent of YouTube, followed by Twitter in 2006. While observing these developments, it became increasingly clear that this new media revolution had great potential for sharing the Gospel of  Jesus Christ, not only locally, but globally, as well! So, FBM 2.0 was established to begin a conversation around how to harness digital technology for helping to build the Kingdom.

The process of writing SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY was equal parts research, writing, and editing, also known to many writers as “blood, sweat, and tears.” It involved many nights of burning the midnight oil, and pulling more than a few all nighters, especially as the publication deadline neared! In addition, it included much prayer! Yet, I have to admit it was a labor of love. Why? I was finally doing something I was born to do!

For six months, a laptop and notepad were kept handy at the side of my bed to capture thoughts and ideas that seemed to prefer to wander in either just before going to sleep at night, or on waking up first thing in the morning!

Then something kind of amazing happened. It was just as I was completing this book  featuring “social networking”, that Columbia Pictures released the hit motion picture, The Social Network. You’ve got to be kidding me!

My book was published in November 2010, while the movie was being viewed by millions in theatres across the nation and around the world. The Social Network would go on to win a number of Golden Globe and Academy Awards for 2010! Was this just a coincidence? It felt more like a   confirmation of my work over the past twelve months!

I thank God for the inspiration to pen SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age, and for all the incredible people who have encouraged me along the way. Without your prayers and support this book would not have been possible! You are the very best!  But, ultimately, all credit goes to God for the Great Things He has done!

SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY is available on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iBooks, and on your computer with iTunes! It is also available as an e-book for immediate download (pdf format) at Lulu.com. Look for future installments of “Book Bonus” in upcoming posts on this blog!

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Ten Ways Pastors Can Use Facebook More Effectively

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and,  lo, I am with you always even until the end of the world.” Matthew 28:19-20

Using Facebook is a fantastic way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ! FB is global, viral, and instantaneous! There are over 600,000,000 people registered on Facebook worldwide. And that’s million with an “m”! 

Indeed, FB is an easy way to connect and communicate with others, both inside and outside the body of Christ. And it can be done wirelessly, on an iPad or other suitable mobile device!

Here are ten examples of how pastors can use Facebook more effectively to help fulfill the Great Commission of sharing the Gospel within their communities and across the globe:

1. You can use Facebook’s Fan Page as your ministry/church’s website.

2. Pastors can use Facebook to post and receive prayer requests on their cell phones!

3. You can post updates on Facebook about your day and thoughts. Highlight “life moments” that can encourage and uplift others including staff, church members and friends.

4. Pastors can communicate with staff, church members, and others via Facebook as an alternative to email. 

5. Stay connected with your church’s youth group(s) through Facebook updates and Fan Pages.

6. Pastors can post RSVP invitations on Facebook for ministry events like revivals or gospel concerts using FB’s Event/Announcement app.

7. You can import your blog feed directly into your Facebook page. This provides additional exposure for your message(s), and hopefully will increase the number of your blog subscribers!

8. Facebook empowers pastors to reach beyond the walls of the church to connect and communicate without geographical limitations.

9. You can use Facebook to gather feedback from church members, staff and others to harvest insights in order to strengthen your ministry.

10. Network with other pastors and church leaders on Facebook to share information and ideas, as well as collaborate on joint ministry projects.

For additional information from me on how pastors and church leaders can more effectively use Facebook, as well as Twitter and YouTube, see Social Media And Ministry, Sharing the Gospel in the Digital Age.

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard 

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New Bonus Material – SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY

I’m happy to bring to you the second installment of Bonus Material for the readers of SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age (available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and lulu.com). 

My goal is to spoil my readers by providing them additional value,  as well as updating and upgradinging them with the latest information and best thinking in the field of Social Media and Ministry!

The bonus material below is provided to add fresh context to the chapter entitled  “Social Media 101”:

My hope is that this new bonus material will increase your knowledge of today’s social media and add to your reading enjoyment! Your thoughts and comments are always welcome!  

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

Be Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Bonus Material For SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY

Webster defines bonus as something given in addition to what is expected; an extra dividend; something beyond what is anticipated!

My new book SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age is, to a certain extent, an extension of this blog, FAITH BASED MEDIA 2.0 , and vice versa! For readers of the book, I will be using this blog, from time to time, to provide bonus material not included in the original book version.  To give you an example, the black and white illustration on the book’s dedication page is presented above in its full, glorious color!  The book is dedicated to the memory of a truly remarkable person,  my late mother, Rev. Dr. Rosetta Lillard, who was often, very affectionately called Rose. The roses on the dedication page are dedicated to her memory!

This bonus material is intended to provide readers of the book with some additional context, personal stories, and my special insights into SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age. It’s goal is to expand and decode the book for the reader!  I welcome, and would really appreciate your comments on the bonus material as it appears.

This first bonus installment provides additional background material on the critical impact of the Gutenberg printing press on the Protestant Reformation cited early in the preface of the book. Gutenberg’s printing press was also an early precursor of today’s digital technology. (Readers of the book will probably appreciate this material more!) My hope is that it will enhance your experience of reading the book!

BTW, SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age is available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and as an immediate download at Lulu.com! 

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

Be Blessed

Kenneth Lillard

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