I was having a Saturday morning breakfast discussion with another ministry leader and the issue of staying connected with people (particularly the issue of having current contact information) came up during our discussion.
The problem for ministries that rely on a membership base that stretches over a city, state or even nationally is that...
Over time, people change their email - and unless they tell you to update your records, you have no way of discovering their new email address.
Over time, people move and unless you do frequent mailings and ask for a change of addresses from the post office - it is difficult to know where they are now living.
Over time, phone numbers change, and unless the number is forwarded you may be out of luck (although with people's cell phones, people are keeping their same number no matter if they move - so this is becoming less of a problem).
So is there any way of consistently staying connected with those in your ministry? Is there any way of keeping connected with people in a manner that most likely will not change?
I think Facebook is the answer. I have noticed that no matter what phone numbers, emails or addresses that change for people - one thing stays consistent - their Facebook.
Now with personalized Facebook urls - people are owning their Facebook page as their own little piece of internet real estate. As people get their accounts at younger ages...I believe those accounts will stay with them for their lifetime.
Facebook becomes a person's lifestream...it reflects what they've done, the people they've known and reflects their own personality.
Some of you may ask..but what if Facebook is just a fad?..what happens if it goes away?...I say that is unlikely. With over 200 million active users and the 3rd most trafficked website...Facebook is most likely here to stay (in some form or another).
Therefore I think the key to keeping consistent and uninterrupted communication with ministry partners and members is to build a Facebook Page, and be active in recruiting your members to join (and it wouldn't hurt to add them as your friend as well).
Facebook may just be the key to staying connected for LIFE.
Vanity Plates for Facebook
Facebook comes of Age