Following my thoughts on Google Plus, I have been thinking a lot about social media the last couple days. Maybe it has to do with my involvement in the redesign of our church’s website. Maybe it is because there seem to be so many social networks out there today. In fact, I believe I am up to about 13 apps on my iPhone that could be considered a social network in some way or another. I have another relative, who seems to be signing up for a new social network every month. I know this because I get the invitations in my email.
So, that leads me to think. Where should our churches be in all this? I will not even begin to pretend I am an expert. However, I have learned a few things.
- Every church needs to have a website. This is your primary form of reaching both new people and ones that call your church home.
- Every church needs to be on Facebook (as a PAGE). It is the largest social network, by far, and your church needs a presence.
- Churches (and people) should only be on a social network that they use. Do not sign up for everything and never log on.
Should churches have mobile apps? Should churches use Twitter? Should churches use email or switch to SMS texting? There are so many questions regarding communication in this tech-driven world. However, I believe one of the biggest things I have learned is strongly connected to our church’s mission statement, “Meeting people where they are and helping them follow Jesus.” That is what we need to think whenever we begin looking at social networks or anything other communication tool. Get to know your people and those who are not yet a part of your church. Figure out what services and tools would work best.
At the same time, try to get a read on what will meet those same people in the near future. Churches should not be behind everyone else in the world, always playing “catch up.” This might mean talking to people within the church who are into these things. This might be your teenagers, in all honesty, so keep an open mind.
Do you have suggestions or experiences regarding social networking and the church? I would love to hear them! Please share in the comments.
This might turn into something more, so do not be surprised if you see more posts about this same topic in the future.