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2014 Church and Social Media Year In Review, Part 2

2014

As 2014 draws rapidly to a close, now is a great time to look back at the top Church and Social Media events and stories of the past year. Hope you had a chance to take a look at ‘2014 Church and Social Media Year in Review, Part 1,’ shared earlier on this site.

Here, in Part 2, we share more of 2014’s top #churchsocialmedia news and developments posted on social media!

Best Christian YouTube Channels – ThinkInternational

Blogging While Brown 2014/ Conference Highlights – Rothesia Stokes/ She Has Purpose

Christianity Today’s 2015 Book Awards – Christianity Today

Christian Bestsellers, December 2014 – Christian Book Expo

#ChSocM Chat/ ChurchSocMed Using social media to build church and deepen faith – Storify

#ChSocM Integrating Technology Into Life and Faith – #ChSocM Founder, Meredith Gould

#ChSocM Searching and Finding Information About Social Media for Church – #ChSocM Founder, Meredith Gould

#ChSocM Strategy and Mission in Church Social Media – #ChSocM Founder, Meredith Gould

#Ferguson and the Cross – Derwin L. Gray/ Christianity Today

Forest Hill Church on Pinterest – Forest Hill Church/ Pinterest

Great Free Resources From Top Churches – djchuang.com

Haley Veturis of Saddleback Church: Episode 85, Social Media Church Podcast – @djchuang

How We Read the Bible: Bible Gateway’s 2014 Year in Review – Biblegateway.com

Is An Online Church Really A Church? – Ed Stetzer/ Christianity Today

Joel Osteen Radio – SiriusXM subscription satellite radio service. Joel Osteen Radio on SiriusXM launched on Sept. 29, 2014.

Jason Caston: The Internet Church Campus/ Biola Digital 2014 – Jason Caston/ WebMatters

Just the Top Bible Websites, Plain and Simple – DJ Chuang/ American Bible Society

Lessons From Mars Hill Church – Gerry & Sherry Breshears/ Living Grace to the World

Maya Angelou: Award Winning Poet, Author, and Activist Dies at 86 – Huffington Post

My Proverbial Summer – Kenneth Lillard

Social Media in Youth Ministry: Tumblr – Rachel Blom/ churchleaders.com

The Potter’s House – T. D. Jakes/ thepottershouse.org

The Year In Gospel: Lecrae Dominates – Billboard

Top 300 Christian Blogs – Kent Shaffer/ Church Relevance

Top Church Tech Blogs 2014 – ChurchMag

Top Churches On Facebook – Social Media Church

Twitter and the Rise of Microprayer – Casey Cep/ The Kernel

Btw, you can stay update-to-date on all the latest news and developments in Church and Social Media by reading SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY NEWS. And you can follow me at kennethlillard.com.

What were your top Church and Social Media stories of 2014?

As we count down to a brand New Year, I sincerely wish all my wonderful readers, family, and friends a Happy, Healthy, and Blessed 2015!

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

Be Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Churches Use Social Media in Disaster Relief #HurricaneSandy

 

Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc across the Jersey Shore, NY, and Long Island a couple of weeks ago. People immediately jumped on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to post and share their stories, images, and videos of the super storm.

Social media sites provided platforms for people around the tri-state area to map the flooding from Hurricane Sandy, and of course, help news organizations cover the crisis. Many took to social media to connect, share and collaborate around core needs, even as the region’s own infrastructure  struggled or totally failed. Local people even posted maps of open gas stations!

While NYC has a sophisticated digital initiative, NYC Digital, that sprang into action, local churches also used the Internet and social media to help respond to the disaster. Oasis Church in Springfield, NJ has been using the Internet to respond to the super storm,  including attracting hundreds of volunteers from across the country to help make the Thanksgiving holiday season a little brighter for those affected by the devastation.  And even though the megastorm has passed, many still need assistance, and much recovery work remains to be done.

Here are 10 ways churches can use social media to assist during disasters:

  • Use FB and Twitter as an early warning system for members and the community-at-large. Twitter, often, comes out with the news  before the news organizations.
  • Share news updates, storm experiences, prayer requests, and calls for assistance.
  • Use FB and Twitter to let people know how to prepare, what’s coming, and where to get help.
  • Provide links to official disaster response organizations like FEMA, NVOAD, local police and fire departments, hospitals, Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.
  • Create bulletin boards, using #hashtags on Twitter linked to FB, to post the latest news, injury reports, power outages, evacuations, dangerous situations, damage reports of churches and elsewhere in the community, relief resources, etc.
  • Prepare a crisis plan/ phone tree. (Btw, social media is actually the new phone tree tool.) Remind members to check on each other and those in the community, especially the vulnerable and elderly.
  • Use FB and Twitter to organize, mobilize, and publicize relief and recovery efforts.
  • Provide prayer and pastoral care for those whose lives have been impacted by the disaster.
  • Establish relationships and digital connections with relief organizations before the disaster strikes.
  • Prepare your plan for the next disaster now, and begin communicating it ASAP!

For more information on social media response to disasters see the following links:

72 Hour Lutheran – TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod Disaster Preparations and Response

Church Media: Being Ready In and Out of Season – Church Mag

Hurricane Sandy Resources: How You Can Volunteer and Donate – NJ.com

Instagram Users Share 10 Hurricane Sandy Photos Per Second – Mashable

Oasis Church Uses Web to Recruit Hundreds of Volunteers for Hurricane Sandy Aid– NJ.com

Recovers.org – Community software that helps organize volunteers, donations, and information during disaster situations

Texting Connects Families During Disaster – Orlando Sentinel

Social Media Aids Hurricane Sandy Cleanup on Staten Island – silive.com

Social Media’s Crucial Role in Disaster Relief Efforts – Guardian.co.uk

Social Media Follow Hurricane Sandy’s Destructive Path Up the East Coast – USA Today

Social Media Tools For Disaster Planning and Communications (Twitter Chat) – Church Social Media Blog #Chsocm

What Was Novel About Social Media During Hurricane Sandy? – Patrick Meier, iRevolution 

How is your church/ministry preparing for the next disaster? How is digital social media included in your strategy?

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

Stay Blessed,

Kenneth Lillard

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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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Faith And Social Media 2012 – The Year Ahead!

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Welcome to 2012! It’s slated to be an exciting, eventful year – what with the Summer Olympics in London, and presidential elections in France and the United States, just to mention a few! And it’s also expected to be an exciting year for social media and faith, as well!

As you begin the journey into the new year, it’s critically important to know where you’re going, and to have a good roadmap or GPS to help get you there.  Advanced planning is vital for social media success in 2012! 

Do you have your new Facebook Timeline profile ready or activated? What is your social media strategy for this year? How does it differ from last year’s? Do you have  LinkedIn or Google+ strategies for your ministry or church? Have you established daily, weekly, and monthly social media schedules? What are your S. M.A. R. T. social media goals for the year ahead? 

Right out the gate, here are some of the major trends to look for in 2012: 1) An increased usage of mobile devices, especially smart phones and tablet computers (like the iPad 2) – Make sure your website is mobile friendly! ;  2) Social networking will remain huge – Can you believe Facebook will surpass one billion (with a “b”) registered users this year?; 3) Expect to see increased usage of short videos; 4) Social media will continue to play a major role in social and political mobilizations and movements; 5) Trust, transparency, and respect will become even more important;  and 6) Look for an increased adoption of social media by non-profits, churches and other faith based organizations. 

As you engage your social networks in 2012 remember to listen to and learn from them. They have a lot to teach you! Harvest insights and share them.  Use smart metrics to measure your social media effectiveness (ROI). Always seek to be helpful and to add value to the individuals in your networks. Your vision is your compass. And remember, your focus should always be on Jesus! The challenge is adapting digital technology and social media to share the Gospel more creatively and effectively, both locally and globally!  And finally, don’t neglect in person fellowship!

The following are examples, suggestions, tips, and tools that, hopefully, you’ll find helpful on the social media and faith journey ahead:

What are your social media goals for the next twelve months? 

We’re wishing you success, prosperity, and all the very best in 2012!

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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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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Ministry And Google Plus

Social media platforms like FB, Twitter, and YouTube have proven to be very effective tools in helping to carry out the Great Commission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ! These digital platforms allow for easy connection with increasing numbers of people; great functionality; and global reach!   

Google is currently rolling out Google+  (Google Plus), a new social networking platform under the umbrella of the evolving Google brand. Just what we need, right? Another social network!

However, after taking a look at Google+, I’m very happy to report that it has the potential to be an excellent addition to your ministry toolbox! The following are some of the promising highlights of Google+ :

Circles – Great tool for pastors and ministry leaders to establish and communicate with selected groups of individuals, including staff, family, congregation, and each other.

Hangout – Video chat enables meet-ups on the web! Great for video conferencing, small-group and team meetings, and for staying in touch with missionaries in the field.

Instant Upload – Allows for quick and easy sharing of ministry photos and videos!

Sparks – Pushes connections to interesting online links, e.g., related websites, educational resources, etc.

Huddle – Enables group texting all on one page.  Great for staff and small group communications!

Connect to Google apps – Provides easy access to a suite of Google productivity tools which many churches and ministries are already using, including Gmail, Docs, Reader, and Calender!

What’s missing? It would be fantastic if Google+ would allow churches and ministries to set up their own official pages. Hopefully, someone at Google is reading this!

Google+ can definitely be a great tool for ministries to use to help plan, strategize, and maximize their social media efforts in sharing the gospel; improving internal communications; and increasing ministry awareness!

How can Google+ help increase your ministry’s influence?

See the following for more on Google+ :

Will the Church Embrace Google Plus? – Ministry Best Practices

How To Use Google Plus – ReadWriteWeb

How Can Churches Make The Most Out Of Google Plus? – Sam D Brown

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard 

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