It has been interesting to travel all over the country and even the world this last year and listen to senior pastors, youth pastors, and church leaders talk about social media, inbound marketing (although they don’t use that word), and the church. I’ve heard everything from “Social media is not for the church!” to “Social Media is the easiest thing we have ever done and fits our needs perfectly!” From complete disregard to zealous adoption, both of my friends who made these statements were wrong. Of course, it took some discussion to help them understand why this was true.
Formally trained as an Early Childhood Education teacher, and having served in many positions in the church through the years, I’ve learned to look for common ground and object lessons to communicate important lessons.
Here’s what is so important to realize, we all have one immutable thing in common. We all have 24 hours in a day and a limited number of days at that! So, our time is always getting shorter!
When I was 17, I thought I had a lifetime….an endless supply of time to accomplish all of the dreams and goals that I had. Now, I realize that there really is a limit to time. Since time is limited we must use tools that are effective and provide us the greatest opportunities.
As a pastor or para-church leader, we must engage our communities. In Jesus time, there were no computers, no social media, and no inbound marketing strategies to utilize. Jesus used the tools that were available to Him to reach the largest number of individuals possible, and He did it on a very small budget. (A boat, fishes and loaves..you know the stories.)
The word “social” is strategically placed in front of the word media. Social by its definition means “of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society.” It is totally relational. It is a give and take, back and forth, bi-directional engaging conversation! Now doesn’t that sound like what the church does as it engages their communities!
Social media is just a tool that can be used to build, engage, and sustain communities of individuals with similar dreams, passions, and beliefs.
So if we as the church are to reach out to our communities, then I would say that “social media” is most definitely for the church! But since social media is about people being social, interacting, that screams relationships to me! And, I don’t know about you, but building, nurturing, and maintaining relationships is most definitely NOT easy!
The ineffective or inappropriate use of social media is something we refer to as being socially awkward. If you’d like more information that can provide social media training, social strategy, and the social media help your organization needs to stay out of this category then download our Free Guide Social Media 101 today!