This article is the second in a series of developing social media practices in a church or ministry. Read the Introduction.
In the post “Social Media Resolutions” six questions were asked for churches considering getting involved in new forms of social media. We will be looking at each individually over the course of the next few weeks. Today we begin with the first question.
Question 1. What are you aiming to do with your new social media?
The various kinds of social media are different types of tools. If you were trying to hang a picture on your wall you wouldn’t pick up your handsaw. You would pick up your hammer and a nail. Or, if you’re in a place where you can’t put holes in the wall or don’t want something that permanent, you would use those hooks that come off cleanly. Using the right tool for the job and for your context makes all the difference in the world.
So what is your community aiming to do? Think in terms of the big picture. Communicate more clearly? Engage in more conversations? Create a prayer chain? Use more artwork in worship? Connect with your neighbors? Let the world know where you are and what you do? Stream your worship services online?
This question is often discerned as part of an ongoing conversation between church leaders and members. Maybe someone has pointed out that when Mrs. Smith died on Monday the majority of church members didn’t know until the next Sunday. Maybe your worship committee wants to use more artwork to reflect the multicultural congregation you have. Listen to the conversations that are happening and to the silences within your community.
However you can get the aim of your new project written down. This will help guide the rest of your journey.
For this series, we’re going to use the fictional First Church of Citytown as our example. First Church is a medium-sized congregation with a building in downtown Citytown. The church employs one full-time minister (Pastor Madison), a part-time minister for pastoral care (Pastor Dean), a full-time church administrator, and several part-time staff. First Church also has a leadership board of lay people who assist in church governance and vision.
Last year, First Church rewrote its mission statement. Included in the new statement is a goal that the board thinks social media can help with: encouraging individual spiritual practices.
The aim has already been set through the work the church did while rewriting its mission statement. Great! On to the next step!
First Church of Citytown’s Social Media Plan
Step 1 (Aim): encouraging individual spiritual practices