3 things Southern Baptist Leaders (and Pastors) could learn from Twitter.

The Southern Baptist Convention  is underway. The Social Media changes that have come this year are very evident. Last year when I led TalkSBC we were ground breaking in the use of video and Social Media to cover the convention. We tweeted, posted, blogged, Youtubed, and Ustreamed when no one else was.

This year  – that has all changed. BP has released it’s official Twitter hashtag (#sbc20ll or #sbc11 ) and the Social Media coverage is taking care of itself. With all of the Tweeting going on what can the SBC learn (and pastors too!)?

1. Let the conversation take place

It seems that in the past that SBC leaders were afraid of the conversation.  Nothing was officially stated but when you spoke with leaders you had the feeling they were hoping to stifle the conversations taking place. It felt as if the philosophy was to supress the conversation and it would go away. So, entities issued anti-blogging guidelines and employees were told to stay off Social Media. Maybe if the conversations were ignored they would go away.

They did not go away.

They are not going away.

You should not want them to go away.

When the conversations take place you find out what people are really thinking.

The SBC and pastors should want the conversation to take place about the convention and about your church. When the conversations take place you find out what people are really thinking. You discover their frustrations. Joys. Desires. Fears. Concerns. Likes. Dislikes. You find out who has a following and who doesn’t. You get to listen to all walks and stations in life. You hear from the young, the old, the retired, the upstart, the newbie and the oldie.

Let the conversation happen. It’s beneficial.

2. Listen to the conversation

You have to listen. Pastors and leaders cannot ignore the conversations. You have to pay attention. Take notes. Think of Social Media conversations as the Textus Receptus of our day! It’s not one tweet that is going to make you change – its the culmination of all those tweets that are going to make you pay attention.

I’m not talking about a knee-jerk reaction to random comments. Just listen. Things are being said. Feelings are being shared. In the midst of all that you may discover something that needs fixed. You may discover a great idea. You may discover an innovator that needs to be listened to and heeded.

Pay attention.

3. Respond to the conversation

How great would it be if after the convention a study was put together of all that was being said on Twitter (Social Media) and a study was done on what Southern Baptists feel need to be changed / done to make our Convention great again?

What if SBC leaders of all entities responded to tweets and comments in the days ahead? What if they answered questions? What if they responded to criticism? What if they celebrated alongside? What if they made phone calls? Wrote letters? Invited people to lunch? Listened? Corrected? Affirmed?

If that happened the feelings among Southern Baptists would immediately change. No one thinks they have all the answers – they just want the comments they have to be heard.

Let the conversation happen.

Listen to the conversation.

Respond to the conversation.

Pastor: You should follow the same plan. Search Social Media to find out what is being said about your church. Encourage the conversation. Listen as your members speak. Respond to what they are saying.

It’s a simple plan that could reap great benefits.








Facebook can get you Fired – Here’s how to Avoid it.

Last week I read an article in the AJC about a sheriff deputy that had to resign because of some things he said on Facebook. He made inappropriate comments about a slew of things.

We read that now and everybody thinks, “Boy, he’s not bright to say things like that.” Yet when I take a casual look at Facebook I see people (and ministers) doing the same thing all the time.

Here are four safeguards to make sure you don’t become a Facebook Fire! I used Hall & Oates song titles from the 80’s to help make my point.


1. “Private Eyes” (’81)

Principle: Anyone can see what you post – whether they are on Facebook or not

It’s odd to see people post negative things about people they are friends with – as if they are not going to see it! That doesn’t make much sense.

It also doesn’t make much sense to post negative or hurtful remarks about people you aren’t Facebook friends with! You have to assume that everyone is going to see everything. Your boss doesn’t have Facebook? Assume his wife does and she has a friend who is friends with one of your friends and that person sees it and “snips” it and within 4 minutes of you posting it the comment is sitting in your boss’s email inbox!! That scenario could be true if it was your boss, friend, relative, church member, pastor, mother, etc.

Facebook Tip: Keep it clean. Nice. Positive.

2. “Some things are better left Unsaid” (’84)

Principle: Just because you can say it does not mean you should say it.

A lot of things may come to your mind to say from time to time.

Clever things.

Hurtful things.

Mean-spirited things.

Emotional things.

Angry things.

It might be a good time in that moment to run your Facebook post or comment through someone who loves you. Your spouse, friend, pastor, etc. If there is a chance it could be taken the wrong way you don’t have to say it.

Facebook Tip: When you are in an emotional state don’t post on Facebook. Let it pass.

3. “Say it Isn’t So” (’83)

Principle: If it needs more explaining than you can accomplish in a status update then don’t try to do it in a status update.

If you send a Tweet you only have 140 characters to explain yourself. Facebook has a little more – 420 characters. Neither one make for a good paragraph. If what you are needing to say requires more than that – don’t try to make it fit! You will be misunderstood and you will be prone to hurt people. Facebook status’ aren’t for making long statements so don’t try.

Facebook Tip: Before you send your status see check to see if you have assumed knowledge on the part of those who will read it. If it carries a lot of assumptions you might not want to send it.

4. “Everything your Heart Desires” (’88)

Principle: Remember there is a permanent record of what you say on Facebook and Social Media

We were threatened with that permanent record when we first entered elementary school. Some teacher told us, “If you don’t behave you will get a bad grade in conduct and it will go on your permanent record.” I don’t know of any employer that checks the conduct grade of our elementary years.

However, Facebook & Twitter do provide your future employer a permanent record and they do check it. Your future spouse might as well. Your parents may not be on Facebook now but they may be in the future.

Facebook Tip: Do not say anything about anyone you don’t want them to see. Do not post anything you would not want a future employer, spouse, child, etc to read.


Follow those safeguards and you should keep yourself from getting Fired!


What have you seen on Facebook or Twitter that made you cringe? Let us know below…


Social Media and Baby Boomers

There are approximately 80 million Baby Boomers (age 46-64) in the United States alone. It is a fast growing segment of the population. And….there’s more.

Consider this:

  • Baby Boomers are the largest generation
  • Baby Boomers sit at the top of most corporations
  • 70%k of Law Firm partners are Baby Boomers
  • Baby Boomers have more wealth than any other generation

So what does that have to do with the Church and Social Media?

Now consider this:

Half (47%) of internet users ages 50-64 and one in four (26%) users age 65 and older now use social networking sites.

Half of online adults ages 50-64 and one in four wired seniors now count themselves among the Facebooking and LinkedIn masses. That’s up from just 25% of online adults ages 50-64 and 13% of those ages 65 and older who reported social networking use one year ago in a survey conducted in April 2009.

Social Media is not just for the young!

If you want your church to reach out to the Boomers – use Social Media! Use Facebook! Use Twitter!

In your church, how many Boomers are on Social Media?

Leave comments below….

1 Big Reason to use Facebook in Ministry

Why should your church or ministry use Social Media – Facebook especially?

Here’s why – According to Arbitron, Inc & Edison research 51% of Americans age 12 and over are on Facebook!! 51% have profiles on Facebook!

In 2008 that number was only 8%!

So if you are going to reach your community for Christ you need to be aware that you can reach half of them via Facebook. Who would not want to invest in that type of marketing and outreach effort?

If you:

  • Hold a church service …. 51% of the community will not come.
  • Knock on doors … You won’t get 51% to answer.
  • Make phone calls …. no way 51% will pick up (especially if you call the home phone which some people no longer have)

Invest some energy and resources in reaching that 51% (and growing) who will sit in their living room and let you speak into their lives … through Facebook!

Do you know some ways a church can use Facebook?

Leave your comments below….

Dominos. Social Media. Church.

Most every church I know could learn something from Domino’s Pizza. Listen as Ramon shares how he uses Social Media to create buzz about his product and stores.

While you listen, think of ideas of how your church or ministry could use Social Media to create buzz about your church and the gospel.

Post your ideas below.

sme_bw2010_ramon_deleon_v2 from Michael A. Stelzner on Vimeo.

Social Media Monitoring for Church

You have to check and monitor. When you set up your Social Media sites for your church (Facebook page, Twitter feed, blog, YouTube Channel, etc) you can not abandon them. One of your responsibilities of being in the community is to monitor and check if people are trying to connect with you and what they are saying.

Here are three things you should check for regularly:

1. Check for Complaints

I hope you don’t get any but why don’t we check to be sure. Monitor your Social Media platforms and make sure there isn’t a complaint lingering out there you need to deal with. If someone is disgruntled with your church or ministry they might jump on a Social Media platform to air their grievances. Respond quickly. Acknowledge publicly on the platform. Respond privately if possible. A statement like, “Hey Bob I’m really sorry you are upset about this issue. If you don’t mind I’m going to call you so that we can talk about this privately” is a great way to let people know you are dealing with the issue.

2. Check for Comments

Social Media is supposed to be a communication platform – if you aren’t communicating it reflects poorly on you or your ministry or church. You DO need to respond to people who make comments on posts or status updates. It’s not OK to ignore them. You don’t have to respond immediately, but you do need to set aside some time to respond and comment back in a timely manner.

3. Check for Questions

Sometimes people will ask you a question via Social Media. That’s OK – as long as you answer. If someone posts a question just make sure you or someone responds with the answer as soon as possible – especially if it is a time sensitive issue.


Social Media Monitoring is one of those things a church or ministry has to do in order to remain a viable member of the community.


The World has Changed. Has your church?

Social Media and the Church

We do not live in the same world we did thirty, twenty, or even ten years ago. This planet we live on is changing. The way we live on this planet is changing. Right before our eyes our world is becoming smaller through digital technology.

So, we have to ask the question – is the church keeping up? Is the church leveraging all the social media and technology tools at our disposal to reach our world and community for Christ?

Consider these statistics from Hubspot:

  • 67% of B2C companies and 41% of B2B companies have acquired customers through FaceBook

  • 57% of businesses have acquired customers through their company blog

  • 42% of companies have acquired a customer through Twitter

  • The number of marketers who report that Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their business has increased to 83% in just two years

I know what you are saying – “Those are business statistics. We are a church. We do ministry we don’t sell products!”

If businesses are savvy enough to use social media to get more customers shouldn’t the church be savvy enough to reach more people with social media?

Shouldn’t we be better at it than they are?

Isn’t our message more important than theirs?

Your church being on social media platforms -and having a strategy with it – shouldn’t be an option – it is a necessity in this digital world!

The world has changed….has your church?

What are some ways you have seen social media used in ministry or church circles that have been effective? Leave your comments below.


Osama Death spreads like Twitter Wildfire – can the Gospel?

If you stayed awake and are involved in Social Media you saw the event unfold right before your eyes. When the networks broke into regular programming a few minutes before 11 PM (East Coast) the Social Media landscape began to light up with the news. As a matter of fact, Twitter says it set an all time record for TPS (Tweets per second). According to Tech Crunch,

The event had the highest sustained rate of tweets ever according to Twitter, reaching 3,000 tweets per second between 10:45 and 2:20am, raking in 38.7 million tweets in 3 hours and 35 minutes. At its peak it averaged 3440 TPS from 10:45pm  to 12:30pm EST, at an average of 12,4 million tweets an hour. For comparison, this year’s Super Bowl had sustained 20 minutes at 3,000 TPS.

Imagine almost 40 million people proclaiming the death of a man in 3 1/2 hours. If you were watching live, or saw replays, of  the Mets/Phillies game it was great to see how the news was spreading from mobile device to mobile device right before our eyes.

Now, why can’t we get the Gospel out like that? If the news of someone’s death spread that quickly shouldn’t the news of a RISEN SAVIOR spread even faster!!

We are not speculating, we know, that news can spread that fast. What if the church Tweeted the gospel at the same rate? What if every 3 1/2 hours 37.5 million people read/heard the good news? That means with almost 7 billion people on the planet the whole world would hear in a little over 27 days!

   In less than a month the whole world could hear!

What about it? Tell me how your church or ministry is using Social Media to get the good news out to your community and the world.

Leave your comments below…..

How Social Media Helps in a Disaster

This past Wednesday night my area stayed wide awake well past midnight as we waited on news of tornadoes all around us. They struck below and above us – we were missed by less than 20 miles. But the news began to immediately pour in about the destruction in Ringgold, GA. While the news was occupied with keeping us updated on the weather, I turned to Twitter to get updates on the town that was hit so hard just above us.

I went to Twitter on my IPad and searched “ringgold” and here is what I was able to find:

  • a scanner feed from Emergency responders in the area I could listen to
  • pictures going up immediately
  • people saying they were OK
  • Tweets describing the devastation they were witnessing
  • (the next morning) how certain churches / groups were going to respond
  • and much more

For the first time in my area I was able to keep up to the minute on a tragedy just north of my home. After it was over CNN ran a story on how Facebook was helping in the aftermath:

A group on Facebook has created a page to try to link victims of Thursday’s tornadoes with photos, documents and other personal effects blown away in the storm.

The page, called “Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes,” lets members post photographs of things they’ve found, along with their e-mail addresses, in the hopes that items of value may be reunited with their owners.

The page was created Wednesday evening. As of Friday at 5:30 p.m., it had more than 50,000 “likes” and displayed more than 600 images of found items, including a child’s Raggedy Ann blanket; a Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, mortgage document; and an ultrasound image of a fetus.

The description of the page’s purpose is simple:

“Please post pictures or pictures of other items that were found as debris after the 4/27/2011 tornadoes,” it reads. “Please leave a brief description of how someone can find you if they identify pictures or items that belong to them.”

If Social Media can help out in that kind of tragedy, how ought the church be using it to make a difference in the lostness of the world?

How is your church using Social Media to fulfill Acts 1:8?

Fancy Buttons?

Recently ABC News reported that President Obama was overheard complaining about the outdated technology at the White House.
He said:

“You know the Oval Office always thought I was going to have like real cool phones and stuff,” Obama said last night, “You know, we can’t get our phones to work!  I’m like ‘come on guys, I’m the president of the United States.’  Where’s the fancy buttons and stuff, and the big screen comes up? It doesn’t happen.”

Now Pastor, that has to make you feel better doesn’t it? If the Prez doesn’t have all the “fancy buttons” and he can run the country maybe there is hope for your church.

So what do you do if your church is behind the times?

Add one Fancy Button at a time.

Don’t get stressed out by all you need to get done and all you need to update – just tackle one update at a time and before you know it you will be the pastor of a church of shiny new buttons!

Question: What is the one area in media or technology or Social Media your church needs to update the most? Leave your answer in the comments below.

Page 3 of 4«1234»
Powered by Facebook Like Button plugin for WordPress