This week on the Podcast we want to get practical with 200church pastors about using technology and social media in the church. In 2013 it is foolish for a pastor to avoid technology and social media. We live in a connected world and should leverage that connectivity to be more transparent, better communicators, and to share the Gospel in the world.
This week we have 6 ways that we should use social media and technology in the church:
1. Facebook: Facebook has become ubiquitous in our society to the point that not having Facebook is a liability. This is the fastest and easiest way to communicate with the people in your church and also the best way for you to keep up on their lives. Create a page for your church and encourage your congregation to "like" it, then you can use that page to keep everyone up to date and to share important information.
2. Twitter: Twitter is a great way to get information out about your church and events in short and concise messages. Twitter is also an excellent way to share online resources that may be valuable for your congregation. Here's an example of how Saddleback uses their twitter feed to keep people in the loop. We might never have churches that large, but we still have the same opportunity and tools available to us.
3. Email: DITCH THE HOTMAIL ACCOUNT. As pastors we should have professional looking addresses. When someone gets an email from us it shouldn't be from "firstname.lastname@example.org" or "iloveGodsword@aol.com." Stick to first name and last name and use either gmail or your domain name.com. For example, you can email us at Jeff@200churches.com or Jonny@200churches.com
4. Website: In 2013, your website is probably the first impression your church will make on someone. Before they decided to visit your church, they'll visit your website. No website at all screams that you're out of touch, a bad website* makes people think you don't take your church seriously. There are several services online that will guide you step by step through domain name registering and website building. A fresh website makes a big difference.
5. Blog: Blogs give pastors a chance to flesh out ideas that are being taught on Sunday mornings. It's important to write what you're passionate about and write blogs that are helpful to people in your churches.
BONUS: Youtube/Vimeo: Don't use it unless you can use it well. Youtube and Vimeo channels are an excellent way to share media with your congregation and to keep people in the loop on current sermon series and church initiatives. Videos are time consuming to create/edit/download so creating a channel may not be for the faint of heart.
Don't let the small size of your church discourage you from using technology in a big way. Put your best foot forward into the community with fresh content and use technology as a tool to continue to share the message of Jesus.
*All websites/channels/feeds linked to are for example only. We have no relationship to or with any of the churches linked to. With regard to the bad website, we're not trying to pick on them. We could create an entire list of similar sites if it helped make our point.
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