Back to Social Media
On to the Future
On February 2, 2x2virtualchurch celebrates its fifth birthday.
A great deal of our early content outlined social media strategies for churches. You can access this evergreen content on our site in our search box.
But it might be time to look again at the topic of social media and the Church.
Because it remains relatively unexplored—and almost totally unexplored as a mission of the entire congregation.
Why?—when the rest of the world lives and breathes by the networking possibilities created by the internet.
The reason is structural. Some traditions trace their structure to the Reformation. Others claim direct succession from Jesus and Simon Peter. You can’t get much more carved in stone than that! But Simon Peter and the host of reformers never dreamed of the internet. It isn’t part of the pastor’s job description!
There is another, more intimidating reason.
Using the internet is WORK.
Congregations wait for the pastor to initiate this ministry. It’s like asking a fireman to double up as police detective. Two different jobs. Both important.
Consequently, most church websites are static, bulletin-board websites that fail to engage beyond the membership. It is no wonder that churches abandon them when even their members rarely reference them.
To be effective, churches must create a web presence that is interactive and that provides content.
But who is going to create the content?
It won’t work if the pastor is the only participant. In fact, if a congregation allows the pastor to control the congregation’s web presence, they risk any benefit created the day that pastor announces he or she has accepted a new call. The congregation will be starting this ministry over. It may takes years to find a pastor with similar talents and voice. It may be impossible. The inconsistency will be reflected on the site.
The website must reflect the membership.
A congregation’s internet presence MUST involve teamwork—laity and clergy.
The internet requires skills that clergy often lack. The recent BARNA survey reveals that senior pastors participating in the poll are just beginning to accept the internet as a ministry tool—at least about half of them are. Another half are still skeptical.
This transition is tragically slow. The internet is the door to opportunity. A strategy helps.
An internet strategy:
- helps a congregation put its best foot forward. It will be the first impression for would-be visitors. Archaic website = few visitors.
- expands reach. People with spiritual needs who are not accustomed to attending church will find your internet presence, if you post meaningful content.
- helps network in the community and outside your denomination. Who knows what will happen if congregations take a more active role in their communities?
- helps discover resources, both human and cultural, that are eager to share but unlikely to cross paths on their own.
- opens possibilities for ministry.
- helps fulfill traditional roles more effectively. If you limit your contact with membership, relying on them to come to you once a week, you are paddling your canoe with a broken oar.
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contributes to a
societal view that
Church belongs to a
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2×2 is going to take a fresh look at how congregations—even small congregations—can benefit from implementing internet strategies.
We’ll try to find solutions to help you explore your world with your keyboard.