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Why Should Your Church Invest In Social Media?


Sure Social Media and Networks, like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter etc.., have a big "gee-whiz" factor. Everybody is hopping on the bandwagon. People are telling you that if you and your church don't get connected to this new media that you're going to get left behind and miss out.

But there has got to be a more compelling reason for a church, ministry or non-profit to sign on to these social media applications than "everybody else is doing it."

The question you have to ask concerning your organization is, "Why get on board and get involved with Social Media?"

The answer to that question comes from business -they call it ROI, Return On Investment. What is the ROI of Social Media for ministry and your church? In this post, I don't want to address the quantitative aspect of ROI, but rather the qualitative.

How does social media improve the quality of ministry and help move the church's objectives forward?

I believe there needs to be 3 ROI Quality Goals and Objectives for Social Media

1. Communication
2. Connecting
3. Call to Action

Let me break these down:

1. Communication
- Social Media must help the church effectively and efficiently communicate it's message. Certainly Social Media isn't the only medium. A church can communicate to it's people on the Sunday morning platform, bulletins, mailings, phone calls, emails, face-to-face conversations, television, radio etc... Social Media, though, becomes just another effective tool to add to the church's communication mosaic. But Social Media has some unique benefits all it's own in effectively communicating:

  • - it's easy and effortless, it doesn't take much money or manpower to implement or use it.
  • - it's ubiquitous, since it is so available and pervasive it isn't hard for people to miss the message.
  • - it's variety, social media takes many different forms, words, audio and image.
  • - it's viral, the beauty of social media is that your message can expand well beyond it's intended audience - therefore exposing and introducing new people to your cause and community.

2. Connecting - Social Media must connect your community. Unlike communication which most often pushes information in a "one-way" direction, connecting must create a conversation. You must ask, Will Social Media create conversation within the community? Are people able to talk to you the minister/ministry team leader? Can they talk to one another? Also, part of the conversation involves other key elements:


  • - contribute, can others contribute in helpful and meaningful ways to the conversation? Are they even able to shape the conversation?
  • - collaborate, does your social media allow the benefits from the collective hive of experience, skills and knowledge from your community?

3. Call to Action - Social Media must prompt people to do something. It can't be passive. Some of the calls to ACTION might include:

  • - Go, are you asking someone to go and serve others in some way?
  • - Give, are you asking someone to give either of their time or financially to the cause?
  • - Pray, are you calling people to act in concerted and persevering prayer?
  • -Mobilize, are you asking people to spread the message of the cause to their friends and networks?

So as you think about Social Media for your church, ministry or non-profit, you must ask yourself....How will this new Social Media "thing" help our church, ministry or organization Communicate, Connect our Community, and Call People to Action?

If you have a clear answer to that question, then most definitely your church should invest in Social Media.



28 comments:

Excellent, excellent stuff. Linking to my blog...

Bill, I think it certainly depends on the leader in charge, so I think it should be the leader in charge who manages it all. People connect with people more than with organizations, so I'd be more touched if a Pastor reached out to me than if a church or impersonal organization reached out to me. Just a thought.

Good post. The church has a huge opportunity with social media. I think the key is to use it to help remove the typical stereotypes non-church goers have of Christians. And to use it to show God’s love and to increase the members of his Kingdom.

Right now most involved with social media and the internet view Christians in general as dumb and naive. Social media allows us to break into these groups, become friends with them and break these stereotypes. It also allows us to listen to people and see what they are struggling with and offer help and support.

It’s a great way to connect with others on a personal level, but unlike the normal world it is very scalable, so you can reach a bigger selection of people.

The scalable issue is big...not only can you communicate with your community...but the ministry's message can go out to a bigger audience. Thanks for commenting.

Once you open this secular social pandora's box in the church you may not be able to close it. I understand the secular unchurched wanting this form of pagan social entertainment.

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. James 1:14 ESV

Our digital, about me, fast food generation is being bombarded with texting, videos, TV, advertising and liberal social brainwashing. The biblical church has become infected by it all.

Unforunately churches have replaced the bible driven church with a watered down religious "prime time" in the form of pagan entertainment, hyped secular media clips, and emotional high Seven Eleven (seven praise verses sang eleven times) music with no real substance.

Once the people get their selfish emotional high, they will want something more entertaining and fulfilling. Millions of dollars are spent on more humanistic self-help groups, rock bands, artistic admin staff, multi-media only to take away from real preaching, missionaries and sound biblical training.

We should follow Jesus example teach the truth and learn from the Old Testament and teach the New Testament.

We are not to become of this world and bring it into the church. Our society has become morally-compromised culture. Church leaders have decide to bring this culture into our worship services.

The only two realities of man are pleasure and pain. In time the church feel the pain of disobeying God and will turn away from this secular fad.

I just hope we are able to salvage the thousands of churched people from beign perscuted by the liberal religious left. May God help us all.

Galatians 5:16 ESV
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Ray

@Ray

- I think you may miss the point of this media...it certainly can have it negatives..as does everything..but there are ways the church can redeem and use social media to communicate and provide another opportunity for people to connect..

Also remember Social Media isn't meant to replace the other ways we communicate and connect, but rather to enhance them.

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Dear Brother Ray.

Jesus said not to take them out of the world but to keep them from evil.
John 17:15,18 (New International Version)
15) My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
We are here to dominate the world, Genesis, ...and have dominion! not over people but things and it is all God's ...and for His good pleasure! So if it is not pleasing to you and not godly then godly people must use it to make it godly and for our Fathers good pleasure.

The church has stayed in the church too long and we are to go out into the world and preach the Gospel, that is media! Money is not evil, the love of it is. Money is good if you use it for good. So is media, social media is good if we use it for good and God's Kingdom, the Kings Domain and we are his hands on the Earth and if we don't do it, who will, the devil?

John 17:15-18
18) As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world

REPO Man for God my Father.

P.S. We are here to reposses that which was lost! That was our dominion in the fall with Adam but the Last Adam (Jesus) got it back and has given us authority in His name, Amen!

There's a great tool called http://www.SendingWord.com that allows a church to communicate with it's congregation via Twitter, Facebook, Email, Text Messaging, or via a digital phone call. It's a perfect way for churches to move their ministry into this space, and in particular, to connect with younger generations who may only know digital media as a means for consuming information.

Tony, are you behind SendingWord.com? Because if you are, give me a holler at bigcreekbill at gmail dot com

Thanks for the thoughtful and informative post!

@Ken - sure, I am glad it was helpful.

hey I found this article very helpful. what do you think is the method by which you can become proficient in this arena. Do you recommend books, courses or just having a go. thx for help

@anthony...one method to become proficient is to use it..take the next step...don't try to do everything with social media...for instance, maybe it is just creating your facebook page...

This is a wonderful post. I believe that our churches and ministries should use different means of reaching others. This post helped outline what our social media strategies should include, and I believe that all three are a vital part of that plan. We are not to be a part of the world, but we are to reach out. We need to go to where the people are. Thank you for a wonderful post.

@Sheila, thanks for your comments..I am glad that it was useful to you...

This is a great break out of information for churches to consider as they investigate social media. I don't think it's a matter of 'if' anymore so much as a matter of 'how' they are going to get involved with social media. Churches can definitely use this, and many are doing it successfully, but they need to decide to do it, and do it well.

~ Raylene @ Off the Wall Social

Social media is so important so that the church can connect with people. Communication has changed and for those that dont keep up...are losing people. Print/text is just one aspect but you cant forget the phone call. If you want to be heard, you have to make a phone call (insert sales pitch here for MinistryTouch ;)

Personalize messages. Try to outreach in a way that speaks to the individual and not a blanket news blast. Most of all, have fun with it. Its SOCIAL!
Blessings,
~M

Social media is everywhere and it's for all. social media for churches is a good idea for other people, but we need to consider that some people don't want it also.

As new comer to the social media i ave the reason to believe that whatever we belive to be impossible is becuase of our choice but not our parents , our leaders ,our wives or husband, our churches nor our GOD.Scial network is a highway to each and every one.

Great information...thank you. Our church has been researching social media to present to our Deacon Board. Do you have any additional information regarding Facebook and basic step by step instructions for churches to set up a Facebook page? Such as ...what to include? how do we keep posts private? Thanks, Robyn

Anyone interested in the above might want to take a look at installing Wordpress, then installing the Buddypress plugin.

It's very different because you are in charge, and you can set it to be private, remove registration (more control for your church), and so on.

There is a lot of documentation on the web for these, and I have just finished building a private group for my church. We are presenting it to Session in a couple of weeks and the power behind Wordpress is huge, so I am hoping they will be impressed.

I have a couple of youth leaders on it to test it and they really like using it! It's just like Facebook!

Having read this I thought it was really enlightening.

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Social media has changed the way the online world works. Using social media effectively you can spark growth as you reach out to and attract new people. This will reinvigorate a church.

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But there has got to be a more compelling reason for a church, ministry or non-profit to sign on to these social media applications than "everybody else is doing it." buy real active instagram followers

yes, there are practical and legitimate reason to so I believe.

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