Simple Steps to Social Media Success

I recently came across the infographic below at Entrepreneur.com in an article related to the customer service woes of Cracker Barrel and United Airlines that I mentioned on the blog.

While many of you may see the principles and stats in the infographic relating to the business side of customer service, there are several items applicable and translatable to local churches. Here are just four of them:

  1. Our perception of our church may not match our community’s perception of our church. There’s a massive difference in the amount of companies (80%) who believe they offer great customer service and what the actual public thinks (8%). Is there an imbalance regarding your church’s reputation? Do you truly know how your church is viewed in the community? Is your church really “the friendliest church in town” like you think it is?
  2. Experiences your members have at your church should make them want to invite others to join them there. When we have a great experience or great meal at a restaurant, we tell our friends. Does the weekly worship service, the community built in small groupsor the life-change experienced on mission with those in your church motivate members to tell others about it? Are your members walking billboards for your church and their Savior?
  3. Leaders and staff should be responsive to questions or comments from members. If your staff is involved in the daily lives of members, there will naturally be ongoing conversations about what’s going on in the church. Do your members feel informed and involved in the decisions of the church? Or do they feel like things are run behind closed doors?
  4. Communications from your church should be personalized as much as possible. When your church sends out emails or mailings, the information that is being shared should convey warmth and fondness. Personalization of communications can make the difference in people understanding and retaining the information or ignoring it completely. Is your welcome letter to guests personalized? Do you tailor messages to different groups or do you blast out information regardless of who the audience is? 

I understand there is a difference in customer service and communication to church members and guests. I also realize church members shouldn’t have a customer mentality. But this infographic below sheds quite a bit of light on some simple practices that can be adapted for churches that will allow them to communicate more effectively with their members.

What other takeaways can you infer from the infographic below? Does your church already do some of these?

> Read more from Thom.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Thom Rainer

Thom Rainer

Thom Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.  Prior to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twelve years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism.  He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to speaking in hundreds of venues over the past 20 years, Rainer led Rainer Group, a church and denominational consulting firm, from 1990 to 2005. The firm provided church health insights to over 500 churches and other organizations over that period. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons: Sam, Art and Jess, who are married to Erin, Sarah and Rachel respectively.  The Rainers have six grandchildren: Canon, Maggie, Nathaniel, Will (with the Lord), Harper, and Bren. He is the author of twenty-four books, including Breakout Churches, Simple Life, Simple Church, Raising Dad, The Millennials, and Essential Church.  His latest book, Autopsy of a Deceased Church, was released in 2014 by B&H Publishing Group.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The “One-Anothers” of Social Media

How can we avoid the potential distraction of social media and use it to really advance our mission?

 

As a leader, you can only influence those whom you can reach (Rick Warren). The social media platforms in use today – and the ones that will be developed tomorrow – allow you to extend your reach and listen to the people God is calling you to serve and disciple.

The danger is that a beginning trickle of social media communication can become a flood of unfiltered information that will wash you away unless you channel it into a useful tool for the irrigation and growth of your message. What are some of the solutions to do keep all of your social media focused?

Solution – See social media through the lens of “one another.”

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Rewired, by Brandon Cox

There’s no going back. Our world is changing at an unprecedented rate. We are connected with people all over the planet with technology that didn’t even exist ten years ago. The world around us is having a conversation about life, meaning, culture, and eternity, and we have an amazing opportunity not just to join the conversation but also to lead it.

Brandon Cox demonstrates the real, connecting power in online social networks, showing you how to connect and tell God’s story relationally and creatively in our social, digital age. He encourages leaders to dedicate their lives to telling the Good News using every means possible, and to be the relational bridge that brings someone into a right relationship with Jesus – even if it does mean jumping on the social media train.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

God approaches us, seeks us, and searches for us. He offered His Son so that we might be reconciled to Him. In turn, God expects us to reconcile others. From one relationship to another, God wants us to reach others.

Social media isn’t an escape from the real world. It is the real world, whether we are ready for it or not.

God is the great designer who has masterminded a plan to put people in relationships with each other. “Viral” isn’t a concept the inventors of YouTube conjured up—God has always determined to utilize the viral nature of human relationships.

God knew we would struggle with this relational thing, even inside the church, so He gave some rather helpful suggestions and guidelines that we often call the “one anothers” of the New Testament.

These may or may not be familiar to you, but try to hear them with the ear of one who is engaging the culture via social media:

  • “Be at peace with each other” (Mark 9:50, NIV).
  • “Love one another” (John 13:34, NIV).
  • “Be devoted to one another. . . . Honor one another” (Rom. 12:10, NIV).
  • “Live in harmony with one another” (v. 16, NIV).
  • “Accept one another” (Rom. 15:7, NIV).
  • “Agree with one another” (1 Cor. 1:10, NIV).
  • “Serve one another” (Gal. 5:13, NIV).
  • “[Forgive] each other” (Eph. 4:32, NIV).
  • “Submit to one another” (Eph. 5:21, NIV).
  • “Encourage each other” (1 Thess. 5:11, NIV).
  • “Spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24, NIV).
  • “Pray for each other” (James 5:16, NIV).

This list is only partial, but it’s a good starting checklist as we answer the question, Am I being relational? Part of the redemption story is the beautiful benefit of our being able to relate to one another within the body in a new way.

Brandon Cox, Rewired

A NEXT STEP

It’s never been more important to produce quality social media content that people actually want to interact with. How can you use social media to practice the one-another commands at your church?

  • Are your social media platforms an integral part of your ministry strategy?
  • Do you use social media platforms to tell the stories of God’s work in your people’s lives?
  • Do you connect with staff and volunteer teams through the use of social media?
  • Do you lead your teams to connect with others through social media?
  • What social media content are you producing that people most want to share with others?

Using social media is just the latest extension of the New Testament’s one-another ministry. When you as a leader understand and practice social media as a one another ministry, you are well on the way to living out the presence of Christ within your congregation– and it becomes very obvious to those who are connecting to others.

 


This is part of a weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders. SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; and each solution is taken from a different book. As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

5 Social Media Cautions for Pastors

Recently, Mark DeMoss addressed a group of fifty senior pastors on the topic of social media. As a well known Christian public relations guy, I expected a list of pros and cons. But Mark shared 30-minutes worth of cons only, focusing on the unintentional abuse of social media by leaders and the downsides of engagement without reflection. After a few days of ruminating on his insights, the following “cautions” are my re-articulated points of his advice to pastors.

Crucial  Caution #1: Beware of a gradual grip of narcissism 

As someone who studies the brands of ministries and Christian leaders, Mark made a provocative statement. He noted that there is little difference sometimes between the social media of famous Christians and those just “famous for being famous.” While social media doesn’t change the heart or create narcissism, it certainly can be a tool to accelerate an unhealthy focus on self.

Crucial Caution #2: Don’t let immediate emotions get the best of you

The instant access to publishing on social media means that we can start “talking” in public while being frustrated and angry. Recently Perry Noble, the lead pastor of NewSpring Church, tweeted his frustration at American Airlines. His blog and apology for “I freaking hate American Airlines”  is a worthwhile lesson for any pastor on social media.

Crucial Caution #3: Consider whose benefit you are posting for

The question is, “Who is your constituency?” Who really is the designed beneficiary of your social media content. You? Your family? Your peers? Your congregation? Your “followers?”  Is it the people who sit on the front line of your ministry or other pastors in your network? I think it is easy for pastors to post content that is positioning themselves rather than serving the people they lead. 

To help calibrate the social media content for a pastor, Mark suggested asking this question: “Would an unemployed person in your church, whose spouse is battling cancer, appreciate your post?” 

Crucial Caution #4: Manage content to minimize “dueling brands”

It’s possible over time that the messaging of your social media feed starts to contradict your mission. What types of content create a disconnect from your true calling among the people in your sphere of social influence? To dramatize the reality that your social media is always emanating a brand, a message and a mission, Mark posed the scenario: “What if the next time your were introduced, they pulled up your instagram feed instead?” Would your most recent pictures and content be a suitable introduction? Would the mission and values of your life and ministry be present?

Crucial Caution #5: Don’t respond to critics in the social media space.

Because Mark deals with crisis management, I thought his black and white advice on responding to critics was helpful: Don’t! Due to the public nature of social media and the inherent lack of accountability and control of people who can attack, manipulate and fabricate, he recommends not responding.

One humorous example Mark gave involved a pastor who was responding back and forth to a critic on twitter. The pastor, with tens of thousands of followers, engaged in what become a social debate with the critic. The pastor soon realized that the critic only had a dozen followers. The critic was criticizing and no one was listening. No one was listening that is, until the pastor starting responding.

> Read more from Will.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Rev. Samantha Roach — 07/18/16 10:29 am

I say AMEN brother good word

VRcurator — 06/17/16 10:49 am

The general principles here might not apply to all social media situations. The illustration used in the post was Twitter, not a public Facebook page. In that case I think (I am not an expert on Facebook at all) that negative comments should be curated and deleted.

Adam — 06/16/16 9:50 am

Thanks Will. What about a CHURCH Facebook page (not "Will Mancini" but "Main Street Church" Facebook page). If someone posts on my church Facebook page, "This church stinks because of they don't like children!" ... at that point I'm thinking the church probably ought to post ONE well-thought-through response - not ignore it. Is that right in your eyes, Will?

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Leveraging Social Media to Help Extend the Discipleship Experience Beyond Sundays

According to a recent Pew Study, 69% of internet users utilize social media on a regular basis. The same reported showed that 92% of internet users aged 18-29 used social media regularly. [Pew Internet // Social Media Usage Report]

The age of living our private lives in the public sphere is upon us.

How are you leveraging social media in your church to help extend the learning and discipleship experience beyond Sunday and into the rest of the week? Here are some quick ideas that you could try:

  • Hashtag // Ask your people to use a specific #hashtag during the Sunday morning service to gather up quotes and reflections on the experience.
  • Post a Picture // During the week ask your community to use Instagram to take a picture of where they read their Bible regularly … or a picture of something that reminds them of the message from Sunday.
  • Share a Song List // Ask your worship team to start sharing the set lists from the weekend on Spotify and then encourage your people to follow those playlists.
  • Share Your Slides // Post your slides from the weekend service to Slide Share and encourage your people to share comments about the message and post the slides to their social profiles.
  • Video Reaction // Ask your church to post video responses to the message through YouTube and then share a few of the most interesting the following week.
  • Message Notes // Open up a publicly editable Google Doc at the beginning of the message and broadcast the link to it while asking your people to help make collaborative notes on the message from that service.

What about you? How could you see using social media to extend the discipleship experience beyond the weekend?

> Read more from Rich.


Would you like to learn more about the effective use of social media? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Steve Saunders — 11/21/15 7:18 am

Thanks Rich, great article. I have seen a couple of these have a great effect, thanks for the rest.

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

5 Reasons It’s More Important for Pastors to Use Social Media Than Churches

When I first encountered Facebook it was when I was at a speaking event on a University campus that had access to up-start social network trying to take on MySpace. The student leaders we met with for lunch we’re talking about this amazing new tool for connecting with each other. It seemed like a fun “on campus trend” but never did I imagine the impact it would have on the ministry world.  How could a tool that made it easier for a group of students figure out which pub they were heading to impact our church?

My conviction is that pastors as individuals need to be on social media.  It’s more important that church leaders leverage these tools for ministry than churches use them as organizations. As a church leader are you using these tools as an extension of your ministry or are you still stuck on the outside of this trend wondering if it really can have any impact on your ministry? You need to jump in and get connected! Here a few reasons why it’s important for you to use these tool personally …

  • Distant from Your People // If you are silent on social media you will increasingly be seen as aloof and disconnected as you refuse to be transparent to your community. Imagine a preacher who never told any stories about themselves? People will see you in the same light if you don’t use these tools.
  • Personal Medium // 87 of the top 100 accounts on Twitter are for people not brands or organizations. These tools are designed to make personal connection with people. As a church you can leverage them … but they are meant for people to connect with individuals.
  • Content Curation // Your people are out in the internet finding content of spiritual significance. Using social media to point to other sources of uplifting content is a part of your role. Equipping your people to follow Jesus can’t be outsourced to someone else … it’s a critical part of being a pastor. When you are silent on social media you are missing an vital opportunity to build up your community.
  • Insight Into People // Church leaders live in a bubble … often everyone we know is a part of the church. If we don’t work intentionally at it we will become isolated from the world we are attempting to reach. Engaging in social media gives you insight into the lives of people around you. Listen and watch what people are talking about it … it will give you insights to be a better leader.
  • Don’t Be Left Behind // Social media is moving beyond a fun tool for people to connect with friends to a critical communications channel. Not personally using social media is like refusing to have an email address or deciding that cel phones are too modern of a technology … you will become increasingly left behind by culture. You will lose influence.

It’s not about being cool … it’s about connecting.

Read more from Rich here.


 

 

Would you like to learn more about social media and other practices in the area of Church Communication? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

Download PDF

Tags: , , ,

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Dave Corlew — 02/23/15 9:13 am

Spot on. Great article. Thanks!

Chris Bucklew — 03/20/14 10:41 pm

Spiritual Leaders need to be a voice in society. And social media is a great place to connect, and shape society. For those who think it is a waste of time I simply refer you to 2 Corinthians 10. "The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity." - the Message Bible Facebook is a place to use our God-tools! So use them well.

Lisbon Jacobs — 03/20/14 10:45 am

Im a big believer in Social media and that we should adapt to what it has to offer,but we must know where to draw the line. Jesus in Matthew chapter 23 addresses the leaders of the day and and warns them about their proud ways,where they love to be greeted in the market places and to be seen by men,today that same thing is again creeping into the church,they love the 'likes' and al the comments they get,and they advertise themselves posing in their beautifull 'robes' bragging about the amount of hits they got on their latest revelation, and dont forget the long titles and resumes.... When we use social media lets not forget that our example is Christ and we should always show people to Him.Humility is His example.

Kirby Vardeman — 07/08/13 5:21 pm

No one said social media should replace shepherding. The concept is to use it as an adjunct to face to face interaction. Why are so many Internet Christians all or nothing reactionaries?

David Noah Taylor — 07/02/13 11:57 pm

I too, fully agree with your responce Miles, I just wonder why it even needs to be stated. That anyone could entertain the idea that virtual fellowship/shepherding could replace actual fellowship/shepherding is a commentary on the sad direction many Christians are heading. Communication through typing is a terrible way to attempt spiritual fellowship. Any real communication on a spiritual and personal level requires looking into someone's face, hearing the inflections in their voice and discerning their spirit. What's next... digital communion and baptism? Click here for ... worship? And what in the world (literally) is an online church? Where is 'Convient Christianity' leading? Lastly, if the Bible is our rule and precedent and we all know it should be, then the contemporary church has not become just less socially minded than the early church it has become less biblical... and thus less valid.

Jonathan McGuire — 07/02/13 9:10 pm

The general tone of the article is pragmatic and utilitarian. However, media ecologists the world over recognize that the use, or disuse, of such tech effects not only communication itself, but also those who use it. Such effects must be understood, discussed, and taken into account when used. Sometimes, (we) pastors should, indeed, refrain from such activities...and insist our people do so, too, due to the effects they have on human behavior, interaction, and ability to understand speech or read prolonged texts. But I did find this via a Facebook post.

Miles — 07/02/13 7:37 pm

I agree with the notion that ultimately people connect with people on Twitter/Facebook. I disagree with the notion that a pastor HAS to utilize these in order to be effective. Preaching God's Word and ministering to people (in real life) are the two most critical components of pastoring. Social media would be a contextual thing. In some places it's probably more beneficial to be active, but in rural areas I can guarantee it's not as influential. Regardless, social media is a tool that should be wielded well if used (not allowed to be a distraction), but it is in no way necessary for watching over the flock entrusted to you. I'll say it like this, if your interaction with someone is mostly on social media, it is likely a mostly shallow relationship.

Tony Costa — 07/01/13 12:11 pm

Good points, but I appreciate David's concerns as well. The Church at large has become much more "Anti-social" when compared to the early church. Social media has many great benefits, but the great caution is that it never replaces or compromises the pastor's responsibility to tend his sheep in person.

Kevin Wax — 07/01/13 10:40 am

Great article! My people use social media to talk to each other and their friends. If I don't know how to use this channel, or if I refuse to use this channel, I'm losing a real opportunity to encourage them in their walk with the Lord. Well said Rich!

Mike stallings — 06/05/13 1:57 pm

I couldn't agree more...relevance is diminished or enhanced to the degree Pastors are engaged and connected.

David Noah Taylor — 06/02/13 7:05 am

I don't want to appear as one more critical opininon giver ... but... just what are you doing to provide a living demonstration of the church of the scriptures? Spouting my opinion on the social media is fun ... but just what good does it do the people who want to see an answer to the mess called contemporary christianity? I am a missionary in Kenya and am pretty fed up with the western version of church. Sorry if this sounds too critical. People are sick of hearing about Jesus without a demonstraton of what He was saying.

Janice — 06/01/13 2:35 pm

Couldn't agree more. While I'm not as savy as I wish I was, I'm keeping up and learning more every day. Love it!!!

David Good — 05/29/13 9:23 am

Great article. Social Media is such a great tool. I can't understand why pastors don't take advantage of a resource that will take their leadership beyond the pulpit and into the daily lives of their people. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Using Social Media as a Christ Follower: One Principle and Three Questions

After taking LifeWay Christian Stores through a vision process, I not only shop there often, I go with a different mindset. Their mission is passionately engaging believers on their journey of faith. The big idea is to be an oasis-outfitter. A place that feels at the same time like a refreshing oasis and an REI outfitter, for your spiritual life.

Because I’m a father to Abby, my 15-year old daughter, I recently  picked up a new piece of equipment: a book by Kate Conner titled,  Enough: 10 Things we Should be Telling our Teenage Girls.

Here is a takeaway that I think brings immediate value to any Christian using social media.

ONE PRINCIPLE

Conner argues that the answer to problems with social media don’t center around removing social media itself. Rather it involves the commitment to:

Take the good, leave the rest.

She cites 1 Thess. 5:21: “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” Here is where her words grabbed me:

  • Take the enjoyment, leave the addiction
  • Take the communication, leave the isolation
  • Take the inspiration and leave the jealously

Good stuff. And remember what Aristotle said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

THREE QUESTIONS

1. What story am I telling?

If you look at the ongoing communication of social media what is the dominant theme and meaning of your life. What are you all about? Travel? Parenting? Sports? Work? Criticism? Food?

2. If I went back and read all of my social media statuses, would I recognize me?

Conner emphasizes that our heat-of-the-moment selves are not our best selves.

3. If I want back and read all of my social media statuses would I know I was a Christian?

Great questions to bring clarity to your life. What questions would you add?

> Read more from Will here

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

3 Helpful Rules for Pastors Using Twitter

If your pastor is new to Twitter or hasn’t found a good rhythm of how to use it, try my 30/50/20 rule for Pastors using Twitter:

30% message application: Drop hints in your weekend message that you’ll be tweeting life application from the sermon topic every day for the upcoming week. This helps engage those in audience (especially those via broadcast) who can be encouraged and have practical application for the past weekend’s message M-F. It also, obviously, has the added benefit of increasing followers.

50% family/personal life: People want to feel like they know their pastors. Since you live in a glass-house anyway, offer them the view you want to share as you live life transparently. Not everyone can get to spend 1-on-1 time with you. Yet when you share “life”, they do feel like you’re more their pastor than just a pastor.

20% inspiration/information (including ReTweets): You don’t have all the answers, and you’re learning, too. Be human and share what’s inspiring/challenging you and who you’re learning from. This applies to all of us. Those who only tweet their own thoughts, promote their own events and don’t reply to others from time to time are missing the point of social media: engagement.

What other helpful practices have you found in using your personal Twitter account?

Read more from Anthony here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anthony Coppedge

Anthony Coppedge

On the team at Auxano. Lover of Jesus, my wife and my kids. Unapologetic Apple fanboy. Slightly addicted to MindMaps, but in a good way.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Using Social Media to Make Change: What Pastors Can Learn from Arab Spring and Occupy Fall

Social media has started a revolution in how people connect, learn and communicate, and its effects cannot be undone.   – Brian Solis

In 2011, the world was introduced a powerful uprising in the Middle East that would later become known as the “Arab Spring.” Facebook, Twitter and YouTube served as the nervous system of shared repression and fed the rise against tyranny.

A few short months following the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement emerged to rally consumer discontent to protest against big businesses, corrupt financial industries, and rising unemployment.

While history books will pay credit to social networks for their role in aligning restlessness with revolt throughout the Arab Spring and Occupy movements, what’s important to not overlook or underestimate is the shared experiences and sentiment of people. It is people, not networks, who bring about transformation.

Leaders must demonstrate why their vision is important, and articulate how they will lead us toward something more substantial than we know today.

Most notably, social media is helping to facilitate real world revolutions by bringing together passionate people around social platforms to organize efforts and achieve desired outcomes.

And through each, the world learns the importance of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other emerging networks in our society. As the old saying goes, “we ain’t seen nothing yet.” Change is in the air and the ties that bind are formed through the relationships between people who share online connections, experiences, and real world aspirations.

Thought leader Brian Solis has written a manifesto for change, to bring about evolution or revolution for what it is you believe in, for what it is you wish to change in your world. This was written to spark your rallying cry. His intention was to help you unlock what it is you already possess, a vision to see things differently, the way they should be, and a heart to inspire those around you to bring your vision to life.

We are no longer bystanders. It’s time to take a stand. You are an activist for transformation. You are the change agent your organization or cause so desperately needs.

To help lead transformation and change, Solis has developed 10 steps through which a leader can become motivated and aligned with the new mission and vision.

Look in the mirror and you will see change staring back at you. And as they say, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.

Download Brian’s manifesto on transformation here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

What Your Church Should Measure on Social Media

In the Facebook and Twitter social circles, adding more ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ is a popular and accepted measurement of reach. It is assumed that the greater the reach, the greater the influence. However, social media often produces “false positives” based on numbers alone, so what should a church or ministry measure when engaging in social media?

FACEBOOK

A simple rule of thumb about your church and ministry Facebook Fan Pages:

‘Likes’ are good. ‘Comments’ are better. ‘Shares’ are best.”

  • When someone ’likes’ your page, it means your wall content can show up in their News feed. This means you have a chance of them seeing what you’re sharing without them coming directly to your Facebook page.
  • When a person ‘comments’ on your page, it means they have chosen to verbally respond and engage in dialogue. Note: it’s a good idea to respond to their comment by name if a response is warranted.
  • When someone ‘shares’ your wall post, they’ve found enough value that they believe what you shared is worth sharing with their friends, too. This is the beginning of something ‘going viral’ (gaining momentum) in social media, and increases your reach to include those not in your ‘friends’ list to those in your friend’s friends list.

TWITTER

This 140-character, short status update service has put a lot of emphasis on the number of ‘followers’ you have. Early on (and still to this day), it was easy to gain thousands of followers by simply following people and hope they follow you back out of consideration or obligation. In fact, there are services that will allow you to mass-follow people by the tens of thousands. Some people have auto-follow features that reciprocate your follow, while others feel the obligation of courtesy to follow-back. What you end up with is a whole lot of followers, but very few people you actually influence.

Without a relationship of value, having a zillion followers on Twitter is insignificant.

When people choose to follow you, they find what you share to have value, which means you have some level of influence in their lives.

WHAT TO MEASURE?

These social media truths beg the question: What should churches measure with social media? The answer is simple, but gaining the answer is highly intentional and somewhat complex:

Your metrics should only consist of that which you value and track.

Good metrics are measurements against your goals. Any other kind of measurement is potentially true, but irrelevant. Build social media metrics from existing references of data. In other words, find a correlation & track it because the metrics you gather are only as useful as the insights you can apply from them. Metrics are indicators; over time, they reveal trends.

Obviously, this means that each local church will track and measure different aspects of their social media activities because the context of their church, vision and ministry is unique. No two churches should measure the same things for the same reason in the same order of priority. 

How is your church measuring your effectiveness and Return On Ministry in the social stratosphere? What values and goals match your church’s unique vision that you find valuable to track, measure and evaluate? Based on these truths, what will you begin to measure differently?

Read more from Anthony here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anthony Coppedge

Anthony Coppedge

On the team at Auxano. Lover of Jesus, my wife and my kids. Unapologetic Apple fanboy. Slightly addicted to MindMaps, but in a good way.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The One Social Network Every Church Leader Needs to Use Regularly – for Now

If you could only be on one social media network as a church leader which one would it be? If you wanted to focus your efforts on a single network for simplicity sake where should your energy go? Where should you start your social media work as a church?

Facebook

In the current state of the social web Facebook represents the best place for church leaders to invest their time. Over 1.1 billion people are currently on the network [1]. 23 percent of Facebook’s users check their account 5 or more times daily [2]. A recent study showed that 77 percent of consumer focused companies and 43 percent of “business to business” focused companies have acquired customers through Facebook [3]. Users spend over 400 minutes every month on Facebook [4].  All those statistics add up to the fact that the people you are currently working with and the people you are trying to reach are on Facebook.

Your Social Media Strategy Needs to Start With Facebook. But Wait … there’s more to the story.

Social networks follow social lines. (Shocker!) There is evidence that people’s “offline” friends impact the social networks that people connect with “online”. So if people in your community start getting interested in Instagram or Google+ the value of those networks goes up for your people and might make it more popular than Facebook in your community. This is called “the network effect” … as more people connect to a social network it becomes more valuable because more people are connected to it. It’s a virtuous cycle that spreads social networks. You need to do a little investigation to see what “other” networks might be popular within your community.

The “network effect” works in reverse as well. As people start leaving a network it becomes less valuable to the people on it. As people leave and stop interacting more people leave and stop interacting. It becomes a vicious circle. This is how Friendster was displace by MySpace … which was displaced by Facebook. Just because Facebook sits on top of the social media world today … doesn’t mean it always will. As church leaders we need to keep an eye on this trend as we look to the future. The skills you develop on Facebook today will be transferred to whatever network will replace it in the future. Social Media is here to stay as a vital communications channel but the specific networks will come and go.

Which network have you seen the most engagement with as a church?

Read more from Rich here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Dave Shrein — 08/15/13 9:51 pm

Thanks for posting. This is a great kick starter to begin using social media. Sometimes it's so hard to even know where to start. We have experienced the most success on Facebook but find a higher consistent engagement from our instagram followers.

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.