I had lunch with a ministry friend of mine recently and the topic of social media came up. Let me set the table if you will by sharing a couple of things about my friend before I get to the main point. First, he is a seasoned minister of the gospel that I have tremendous respect for who loves Jesus Christ and telling others who Jesus is and why they need to have a relationship with Him. When it comes to sharing Jesus, he is the kind of Christian everyday most of us should be. Second, he is not exactly what one would refer to as being technologically savvy.
I’ve been encouraging him to become more engaged with social media and thought that maybe this would be a good blog to post. So, with that, let me share the gist of my thinking on this.
Pastor, and associate pastor and music minister and every other minister in the church: social media has changed. Let me explain. Once upon a time, social media was an odd thing on the Internet that college students, and later much younger kids, used to stay in touch with each other. Before Facebook and MySpace were the kings of the nascent social media landscape, there were Black Board Systems (BBS) back before the Internet became the widely used tool it is today.
Along came CompuServe where files could be exchanged and access news and other events were possible. Then along came America Online (AOL) and many people were introduced to what they thought was the Internet. Remember, “you’ve got mail?” Times have changed friends. Facebook and MySpace sprang up but those were not the last of the social media services that would come along. In fact, much of the Internet has become an interactive environment where we can find the best local restaurants in the area; determine who does the best job with automotive or home repairs, and receive traffic warnings all in real-time.
What was once a very narrow niche has become a critical communication tool for pastors and ministers to use as part of their overall communication strategy. As leaders, we communicate and social media provides us with another opportunity to build relationships and move our ministry forward. In addition to this blog, I also actively use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram (see links on the About Me page). There are others but these are the services I choose to use.
My long-time readers will recall that I have written here about social media in the past and my thinking about these services has changed over time. Social media is no longer something that can be ignored. Not only should churches actively use these vital communication tools but ministers of the gospel should be doing so as well. An online presence that is strategically aligned with your goals will go a long way towards furthering your ministry.
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