Individuals and communities need to know what they’re going for and what medium or social media platform will be best for that. If you are looking to streamline communication between staff people, Twitter is not the place to do that. Google Docs might be a good place to start, though.
It’s never a good idea for church leaders to just jump onto a bandwagon simply because a new bandwagon has come around. We need to thoughtfully reflect on our callings and how social media can help us embody the Gospel to our world and keep us connected to each other.
If you’re not sure where to begin in social media to do what you want to do, take a look at Bruce Reyes-Chow’s new book: The Definitive-ish Guide for Using Social Media in the Church (published by Shook Foil Books). It’s an e-book, and if you don’t have an e-book reader you can download software onto your computer in order to download and read this book.
The Definitive-ish Guide is great. It’s an easy read that is still thoughtful, thought-provoking, and empowering for current social media users and non-users alike. Many of the themes I have talked about in this series of posts are directly addressed by his book. In fact, had I read this book before I started this series I probably wouldn’t have written these posts! I just would’ve told you to go read this book!
If you and/or your church is currently not engaging social media, the worst thing you could do is continue doing what you’re not doing. We don’t need to assemble whole committees for social media; we just need a few individuals in a community who are dedicated to trying out some of these new ways of communication. While you don’t need a committee, you can’t be a lone ranger attempting to drag your church into social media. You’ll burn out.
For example, a church leader (with the consent of other church leadership) could ask someone to start and manage a Facebook page for six months for the church. (Not a bad way to engage a geeky youth/young adult/adult otherwise not too involved) Then, evaluate how that page is doing and whether or not that individual wants to continue managing the page. They could train someone else to take over if they did not want to continue. Facebook is free, it’s a set time commitment, and there’s space for thoughtful reflection.
I hope this series on social media has been helpful. I am grateful to Jordan Whitt at PC(USA)’s Special Offerings for inviting me to the social media event at GA220.