This is the 4th post on Church Web Strategy here at Conversatio Morum. When it comes to Missiology, technology (specifically web technology) is one of your biggest assets. If you aren’t sure where to start you can read the previous 3 posts here, here, and here.
This post is dedicated to social media. Social Media is a great way to increase traffic to your site and to increase your page rank. This can also increase visibility of your church through means apart from your web site. The four we are going to examine today are Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouVersion.
First, Facebook. Facebook is a great tool. Most of your church members are probably on it already. It can be used in a variety of ways. The primary uses that we have found are for mass communication of events, reminders, prayer requests, and transparency. One great use is that our student ministry is primarily urban poor, so not many of the Junior\Senior High students have consistent phones or transportation. Hence we have to pick them up without a consistent way to communicate with them and know where to meet them. However, they all have Facebook. It’s taking some work, but we are beginning to use that as our primary means of communication with them to work out where and how to pick them up.
Second, Pinterest. This is a new one, and we haven’t started using this much in our context, but here’s the thought. Most people are impacted more by images than written words. That’s a great rule for your web presence in general “show more than tell”. Start with images, use words when needed. This is where Pinterest comes in. Because of the setup of the site, this can be used as a church “bulletin board” to communicate events etc.
The last two were placed together for a reason. These are two social tools that I see as great utilities for keeping your congregation engaged in the sermon content. Yes, I did put YouVersion down as a social media tool, mainly because there is a social aspect to it where you can share your notes with others. I’ll explain the rest if you keep reading. 🙂
Third, Twitter. This is a great tool for communication also. It’s good for quick messages, and reminders. Also, depending on the age of your congregants, there may be many who utilize this. One of the big advantages that we’re seeing with twitter is the ability to keep people engaged in the sermon via live tweeting. We’re just starting down this journey, although it’s been happening for years. So here’s the thought, it’s a great way to share what God is saying to you via the sermon and encourage others. Also, this can be a way to see what God is saying to others in your community, thereby allowing for participation in a larger gathering as opposed to simply consuming. This will also allow for people who follow you but either may be disconnected from the church, or may not know Jesus, to have a look inside. Like a trailer for a movie. This can become a helpful evangelistic tool.
Finally, YouVersion. I know…the bible app. Obvious right? Well hold on a moment. There’s one part you may not know about. You have the ability, in YouVersion, to post notes for different events you are doing. So for sermons, you can give people the notes beforehand, and they can go back and access them afterwards. This allows the congregation, easier access to your sermon content. Also, YouVersion ties in with both Twitter and Facebook to give you the ability to share out different scripture from the sermon with the outside world.
Are you on Social Media? Is your church? How do you utilize it?