Tag Archives: web 2.0

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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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 Christian Community

In “Using the Machine”, blogger Calvin Park* relates a story that reveals some of the amazing possibilities that social media and Web 2.0 technologies can provide a local church community.

One Sunday, the pastor of a local church preached a sermon from the book of James about helping widows and orphans. Near the end of the sermon, the pastor recommended an excellent book on the subject.

The next day, John, a congregant, discussed the sermon with his wife but couldn’t remember the title of the recommended book. So, he logged on to  LibraryThing, where the church had a group, and located the book. John read several reviews and posted them to his Delicious account where other members could read them.

John then visited the church’s website and downloaded a checklist of things his daughter needed for the youth ministry’s annual summer camp. He left a comment on the page recommending the camp to other parents.

A few days later, the church’s youth ministry volunteered at a local orphanage. Some of the volunteers took pictures as they talked and played with the orphans, who really enjoyed the attention!

Some youth volunteers uploaded pictures to their Flickr account and tagged them “orphanage trip” and “fun times”.  Word spread quickly through MySpace, blogs, and other social media platforms about the trip. Other church members were able to read about the trip and see the photos.

The next day a church elder uploaded a video to YouTube commending the volunteers on bringing the pastor’s sermon to life by putting it into practice at the orphanage. The elder confessed he, himself, needed to do more to assist widows and orphans. The youth ministry invited him to accompany them on their next trip.

The pastor realized that his sermon of the previous Sunday hadn’t just lasted for two hours. The church community had stayed connected, active, and engaged the entire week! Digital social media can, indeed, be a powerful tool in helping to build Christian community!

How is your church using social media to build community?

*”Using the Machine”, Calvin Park, Voices of the Virtual World

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Faith Based Media (FBM)

“The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17

Media. noun, plural of medium, (usually used with a plural verb) the means of communication, traditionally used to refer to radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely: The media are covering the speech tonight.

Twitter,  Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube. It seems everyone is on them today. What do they all have in common? They are all part of what we call the new social media. We are entering an era of what some call the Attention Age where social networking employing social media is taking over. The old era of industial media or traditional broadcast and mass media  is declining. The faith community is becoming  more aware of this media transformation. It is beginning to understand its tremendous implications.  And it  is making serious efforts to comes to grips with it. 

The next several blog postings will deal with the basics of this rapidly evolving social media. What are they? How do they work? And how do they relate to the Christian community today?

Social media are media designed to be shared or spread through social interaction or social networking. One of social media’s earliest associations was with LinkedIn, which applied it as a business tool in 2004. When faith-based social interaction or networking occurs between Chistians it is called fellowship. When it is from Christian to the unchurched it is called evangelism. For Christians social media should always be employed in love, and used to the glory of God. It should never be used for harmful,  hurtful or ungodly purposes. 

One of the basic characteristics of social media is they are created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Generally, social media tools are available to anyone at little or no cost. Currently, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts are all free. You can use them to reach one person, a small group, or a global audience. Christians can use these social media tools to share information about events, ministries, scriptures, affirmations, sevices, Bible Study, conferences, evangelism, etc. In a word, social media can be effectively used to fulfill the Great Commission of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. (See Matthew 28:19-20).

Social Media use internet and web based technologies to transform social networking from a broadcast (one to many) format into a social networking (many to many) format. So this allows for not only sharing information and messages, but also for interactive social dialogue. Instead of preaching at people, social media allows for dialogue between people to allow for more understanding, creative collaboration, and elaboration on specific topics,  situations, and solutions.

With social media communication can be instantaneous without any lag or delay. It can be via many forms including internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures, video, rating, and bookmarking. Technologies include blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP.

Social media transform people from consumers of content to producers of content. It supports democratization of knowledge and information.

Business refers to social media as User Generated Content (UGC), or Consumer Generated Media (CGM). The faith community refers to it as Faith Generated Media (FGM) or Faith Based Media (FBM). Without question, the potential for using FBM as a tool to spread the gospel, love our neighbors, and glorify God is virtually unlimited. This blog explores some of the many, exciting ways that Web 2.0 tools are creatively applied to ministry and the community of faith. (For more on Web 2.0 check out the excellent wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0 .)

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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