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Does your Church have a Front Door?

front-door

 

Is your church taking full advantage of the Digital world we live in?

 

Some would say that we do not have to use the internet to reach people. We can do it the “old fashion” way – however  you may define it. Here is the problem with that line of thinking – it ignores a great tool God has given us and it creates a “me centric” mentality. YOU want to do it the old ways so that is the only way it is going to get done.

Consider these statistics:

According to Pew Research 78% of Internet users conduct product research online. And, 79% of adults use the Internet.

The church’s “front door” is no longer the literal front door – it is your web page ~ Facebook page ~ blog ~ YouTube channel or Twitter feed.

How does that translate to the church? It means people are checking you out online before they come to be your guest!

The church’s “front door” is no longer the literal front door – it is your web page ~ Facebook page ~ blog ~ YouTube channel or Twitter feed.

If you aren’t doing digital well then you may be turning people away who need to hear the saving message of the Gospel!

Leave it Blank

Blank Box

 

 

Social Media is a great tool to connect with others. The ability to instantly speak to hundreds, and even thousands, of people is amazing.

But, it does bring with it a warning.

Sometimes you don’t need to say it.

Sometimes you don’t need to say it.

If you’ve been on Social Media long enough you’ve seen the meltdowns, rants, and complaints

  • The wife letting her husband (who is not on Facebook) “have it”
  • The employee telling his boss off
  • The teenager griping about their parents
  • The young adult chronicling their emotional breakdown – hour by hour
  • The middle school kid talking about another middle school kid

All Social Media does is reveal who you really are – so be careful!

Social Media outlets are not the place to:

  • Say something negative about your spouse
  • Unload on the deacons
  • Tell the church how bad they are
  • Vaguely (and poorly) leave a “message” to the member who will “know who they are”

You may be tempted – but don’t do it – You will regret it!! Avoid the temptation to put anything negative out – it is not worth it and it could probably be classified as “unchristian”.
Set your phone/computer/device down and walk away.

Sometimes, the best you can do is just leave your status blank.

4 Ways for the Pastor to get on the Digital train

speeding train

Pastors can be slow adopters to change. We love to tell our congregations they need to change, but we don’t like it! There are a lot of guys who are behind when it comes to Social Media, technology and ministry. If that’s you, here are 4 quick tips to get you started on the right track:

1. Jump in Somewhere

You may be facing decision paralysis. Which Social Media platform do I start with? Facebook? Twitter? Linkedin? YouTube? My suggestion would be Facebook but that’s up to you. I remember when I bought my first laptop computer years ago. I kept going by the store and talking to the salesman. I told him I was afraid to buy because as soon as I did something new would come out. He said, “It will. But you have to get started somewhere!” I bought that day.

2. Watch Others

Whatever platform you chose start watching people you want to emulate and how they enteract on the platform. I used to do this when I was a young preacher. I would listen to someone else preach and pick out some things he did well that I wanted to incorporate into my ministry and notice things he didn’t do well and make a mental note not to copy that aspect. You can do the same in the digital world. Learn from those who have been doing it a while and who are good at it.

We love to tell our congregations they need to change, but we don’t like it!

3. Google It

There is so much free advice out there if you get hung up on how to do something then use google. You’ll be surprised at the answers you can find when you learn to phrase a question correctly to find an answer.

4. Ask Me

I’d be glad to help. You can Twitter or Facebook message me or email me. All of those buttons are on my home page at the top of my blog.

I look forward to hearing from you when you jump on the Digital Express!

Is your Church a “Place”?

facebook places

A while back Facebook mobile introduced a new feature called “places”. It was an apparent attempt to compete directly with social media competitor foursquare.

Facebook places is a simple concept – it uses the GPS locater on your mobile device to figure out where you are. When you open your Facebook mobile app you will see the logo and the word “Places”. When you open it you will see your recent check-ins as well as your friends’ check-ins. At the top right there will be a check in button – tap that and you can check in, post a status with it, and tag friends who are with you.

You want your people to “check in” to Facebook on Sundays – it is a witnessing tool!

If where you are is not showing up, you can search for places or you can CREATE a place. Here is the ministry point – does your church show up on “places”? It needs to. If it doesn’t create it NOW.

Here’s why: You want your people to “check in” to Facebook on Sundays – it is a witnessing tool!

When people check in it shows up on their profile and in the news feed. That means as people check in to your church they are announcing to all their Facebook friends that they are at church – YOUR church!!

So, this Sunday why not run an encouragement for members to check-in at church? You may attract guests and visitors just because of the number of friends they see that attend.

2 Ways Social Media helps Church

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=721

Some ministers think that Social Media is just a “kid” thing. It is the latest technology fad that  will fade into oblivion soon enough – like my first computer – the Commodore 64!

That is not true – Social Media – in whatever form – is here to stay! There are too many reasons why to discuss in this post so lets just assume it isn’t going anywhere. Fact is, the church doesn’t want it to go away. Why? There are some things Social Media can do for us that have been hard to do in the past.

There are some things Social Media can do for us that have been hard to do in the past.

Here are 2 things Social Media can help the church with:

Communication – Communicating with members has never been as easy as it should be or needs to be. Here’s why. In most churches we only get someone 1 day a week. We can make announcements for 5 minutes and print the announcement in the bulletin. We hope (really hope) that they were a) paying attention, and b) going to read the bulletin. We were normally wrong on both accounts! You had your one shot and if they missed it, well, they missed it! As a pastor you wanted to cast vision with a Megaphone! If they missed a Sunday or two they could miss a months worth of important events and announcements and vision casting!

Social Media changes that. We can now disseminate information via Facebook, email, Youtube, blog, etc. We can have it repeat over and over. We don’t have to ask them to come to us to hear the message – we can take it to them. So now we can communicate with them while they sit in their homes, while they are at work, and anytime they are on their phone! Social Media makes communication so much easier and better.

We build community through communication!

Community – I know the two words sound almost the same. Here’s why – we build community through communication. Now we don’t have to ask them to just come to us, we can go to them through Social Media. They can feel as if they are a part of something – something bigger than them. Before Social Media you heard phrases like this, “We are going to church this Sunday”. Now you hear phrases like this, “Come look at this and let me show you what my church is doing”! Big difference. Social Media allows the member to take church wherever they are!

As a Pastor, be glad Social Media is here to stay. It helps more than you will ever know with Communication and Community.

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