I remember the days before I had a cell phone. When I turned 18 I was able to buy my first Nokia cell phone! It was a great moment! I could play the game "snake" and call my friends wherever I went. The technology was amazing but as I look back, that phone is no longer useful compared to current technology. We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing culture.
We have a choice. Do we embrace technology or run away from it?
The church has responded. Some using it as a tool and others pushing it away. Using social networking/technology as a vital tool in ministry.
Why is it important? Simply communication. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about being "all things...." We have an opportunity to creativity communicate the gospel to a broken world.
Social networking is not a replacement to face-to-face interaction. It is simply a tool.
Tips on using social networking for ministry?
- Twitter: Sign up and begin one personally. Use it as a way to share your life experiences and thoughts that God lays on your heart. Use it to share scripture, blog posts, quotes and encouragements to others. I think in the next few years, twitter will overtake Facebook and email. I think it will be a primary communication tool in the future (unless something else overtakes it). Sign up and being one for your ministry. Make it simple for people to remember and make sure it is updated at least twice per week. If you do not update it, it has lost its purpose and you will lose any following and chance to impact others. Upload your ministry logo and explain in the description
- Facebook: Everyone seems to have an account these days, even grandparents! Facebook is the primary tool to communicate to all ages. I would have a page for your ministry to update and keep current. Group pages are useful but are more exclusive because it takes more time to add new people. I prefer a "page" that people can like on Facebook. It is easier to join and less cluttered. I am a part of a few youth pastor closed groups on Facebook that are helpful in sharing thoughts, encouragement and ideas. Click here for helpful tips to link accounts together to make it easier to update multiple accounts.
The most important aspect is making sure the updates are consistent and timely.
What else would you add? How do we do a better job of using social networking for ministry?