Interim pastors aren't called in because the church is experiencing growth and vitality Usually it's the opposite; declining attendance and diminishing ministries A question facing the interim on Day 1 is "how can I steer this congregation in the right direction without asking for money or a lot of resources?" Social media answers the question and provides the tools.
Two positive initiatives that can begin the turnaround process are to attract new people and look for ways to connect lay members to ministry Social media tools address both issues for no cost and little manpower Let's discuss howâ€¦
Social media attracts church visitors
A website, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn will immediately introduce you to potential church visitors You can even target your outreach to specific demographic groups and locations Every week new church visitors at my home church that tell me they found us "on the web." Even if you are in a very visible location, visitors will check you out online, see what you are about before they invest a Sunday morning If you are ready to receive these new folks warmly and speak to their spiritual needs in a relevant fashion you will likely see them again.
The bad news is that if it was an unpleasant experience they will use their social media networks to let everyone know of their bad experience at your church.
Social media engages people in ministry
Social media can create ministry opportunities that energize the congregation and exponentially grow the church's outreach and hospitality efforts Church members who use social media can become social evangelists by merely commenting and posting on, sharing, retweeting, pinging, pinning your content to their online networks Social media tools will also help the church to better communicate with members and members with each other. Social media will foster a stronger sense of community when used to its full potential.
Here is a list of to-do's that you can implement for only an investment of time to kick off your social media ministry:
- If you haven't already, setup a Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter Account If you don't know how, ask a 14 year old from your youth group to help you.
- Ask your congregation to plug into your Facebook and Twitter pages and begin sharing your content and announcements.
- Identify some folks that are gifted in service and hospitality to develop or re-energize the greeting and hospitality ministries And train them on how to interact with guests.
- Identify the people that are active in spreading your content on social media and create a social evangelism team.
- EXTRA CREDIT: Find someone in your congregation or in the community that will help you make sure your website is functional and attractive.
This is a start to turning around the culture and growth of your church, but it is just a start and not a quick fix However, if you invest yourself into it and the people that God gives you to help, then you should quickly start seeing a positive turn in the culture and a positive trend to changing the lives of people in your community Look for future blog posts or call me if you have any questions about implementing this idea in your ministry.
Have any of you tried using social media to pump life into your ministry? Share your experiencesâ€¦
I'd like to thank Mark Wilson, our guest columnist Mark is the founder of Ethos Social Media, a social media consulting firm that helps churches and faith-based businesses be more effective using social media to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world You can follow Mark's blog, The Social Ethos, at http://ethossm.wordpress.com/ Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on FB & Twitter.
Please drop by Mark's website or contact Mark directly to inquire how his services will help move your church forward in its ministry.