Keywords: church social media, church marketing, church social media strategy, church facebook page, social media for churches
Where it's Being Done Well
we can’t realistically keep up with everything. I can’t be on ALL social media. And I can’t fill up all spare moments with social media. This would actually be harmful to my prayer life and my other duties.
But I can be intentional about bringing gentle messages of faith to the online world.
Depends upon how the new media is used. Direct personal relationship is the keystone (so studies find) for conversion and media influence is remarkably small there. On the other hand, the Forum is an attempt to use social media to duplicate the dynamic of the generation of saints who sparked the great Catholic renewal in 17th century France - and that has been (in my opinion anyway) very fruitful. Largely because we are using a form of social media that is already used by the majority but simultaneously gives us the power to protect the conversation from those who have other agendas. There are certain things that can be done exceptionally well online and somethings that can't. Judging which is which is critical to impact.
Studies of widely used and effective evangelization tools like the Alpha course as used in many Anglican parishes in England found that if there was no larger overall vision and effort in place, the great tools made little or no long term difference in parish life. It was inserting a foreign body and the parish immune system recognized it as such and sealed it off or repelled it. Without leaders with evangelical vision who know they need to use many different tools at different points to foster discipleship, even the best tools fail to bear the fruit they were created to bear.
Evangelization online must compliment and work in conjunction with real relationships. We must however find creative and effective ways to inculturate the gospel to an online world desperate to hear the good news of Jesus.
Green is the color of most of our Church year. Green vestments on the priest and deacon, green banners hanging behind the altar, green plants adorning the sanctuary. After the glitz and glamor of the Christmas and Easter seasons, this season in our Church year can seem, well, ordinary.
The period in our Church year that follows the Christmas season, and then again follows the Easter season, has an unfortunate name—Ordinary Time. The name comes from the fact that while we are outside of special seasons, the Church simply counts the time as it passes (3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, etc). It's counted time using the ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd...) which is how it got it's name. Of course, being that it's also outside of the special seasons, it often feels mundane, routine, ordinary as well.
Rev. Larry Rice, CSP explains Ordinary Time this way...
Parenting Lessons in Humility
Of all the great teachers in my life, my most surprising teachers have been my own children. Clearly, they do not help me gain basic knowledge or life skills (I do that for them), but they have opened up for me the path to virtuous living in ways that I could have never foreseen.Caring for my children has provided me with ample schooling in the virtues of patience, kindness and love, to name a few.
However, my children first taught me to practice humility, which was the gateway to desiring to grow in virtue and holiness at all.
During World Youth Day 2013, Pope Francis issued a challenge to today's church:
“[W]e need a church capable of walking at people’s side, of doing more than simply listening to them; a church that accompanies them on their journey; a church able to make sense of the 'night’ contained in the flight of so many of our brothers and sisters from Jerusalem; a church that realizes that the reasons why people leave also contain reasons why they can eventually return.
But we need to know how to interpret, with courage, the larger picture. Jesus warmed the hearts of the disciples of Emmaus.
[I]t is important to devise and ensure a suitable formation, one which will provide persons able to step into the night without being overcome by the darkness and losing their bearings; able to listen to people’s dreams without being seduced and to share their disappointments without losing hope and becoming bitter; able to sympathize with the brokenness of others without losing their own strength and identity.