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Using Social Media in Your Congregation
Curator Kate White
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Curator Matt Burke
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Finding Solutions through Positive Deviance
Curator Tim Shapiro
For The CRG Created For The CRG
How Do You Use Social Media?

How does your congregation use Facebook? If you are a clergyperson, do you manage Twitter or Instagram for ministry? How about Pinterest or Snapchat or YouTube?

An instrument for ministry

The congregations that make the best use of Facebook and other social media are the ones that view these tools as instruments for ministry, not just for marketing. Certainly there is a marketing component to social media. Yet, if the marketing component drives the use of social media then an opportunity for a purposeful connection with others is lost.

Promoting interaction

I know a congregation which uses Facebook for comments on the sermon scripture passage for the week. This congregation of about 150 in worship have an average of 10 comments per week regarding the sermon text.

Another congregation uses social media for people to post prayers. Facebook becomes a kind of virtual Western Wall. Instead of folded pieces of paper placed between stone crevices, electronic petitions are shared.

Click 2 Save is a helpful book about social media as an instrument for ministry. The authors, Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson, address the question, “Is there more to social media than public relations?”

Discerning your use of social media

If you are a clergyperson, you might think about how you want to use web-based, interactive tools. Clergy face this question: How do I navigate relationship boundaries between my personal life and professional life when using social medial?

I’ve learned from Pastor Monique Crain Spells. Monique is the director of recruitment at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, and she is also the pastor at Levi’s Table. At a Center-sponsored workshop, Monique described how she has chosen to be present on social media as a pastor. It is part of her ministry just as pastoral calling, teaching, and preaching are part of her work.

Choosing to use social media predominately as a professional tool for ministry may not work for everyone. But it is a choice that gives clarity regarding the purpose and use of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and others.

More resources

Click here for other resources about social media and congregational life.

 

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Social Media Church
This podcast features various church leaders discussing how they use social media to engage people online.
article article
Is Your Church Using Social Media the Right Way?
This short article offers three specific principles for attracting and engaging worshippers.
book book
101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide
This book offers tactics for congregations to better communicate through social media.
book book
Social Media Guide for Ministry: What It Is and How to Use It
Written by a social media pastor, this book makes a case for viewing social media as a helpful congregational tip and offers tips on how to use a variety of outlets.
book book
The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways
Written by a church communications professional, this step-by-step guide explains how and why churches shoould engage in social media in order to spread the good news.
book book
Web-Empowered Ministry: Connecting With People through Websites, Social Media, and More
This comprehensive guide frames the internet as a powerful took to share, teach, and connect people with Jesus and provides tools for congregations to start a web ministry.
article article
Digital Disciples
This article looks at how one pastor was able to incorporate technology and social media to benefit faith formation of youth.
book book
Click 2 Save REBOOT: The Digital Ministry Bible
This social media overview expands on how modern-day platforms can impact the congregational mission and ministry, providing guidance on websites like YouTube.
book book
Networked Theology: Negotiating Faith in Digital Culture
This book explains how media influences personal theology, providing tips to talk faith online and create a faith-based community response.
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