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.