The second question when thinking about using a new social media for your church:
Who are you trying to connect with by using new social media?
Social media is a great way to connect with people, all kinds of people from all over the world. Individuals often want to connect with their friends old and new as well as engage in conversation about things they’re passionate about, and they choose how best to do that often by talking to their friends or by trial and error.
However, churches and ministries are not individuals. Even if only one person will be running your new social media, that person will still be representing your church and working toward the goals you’ve already set. The simple question of “Who are you trying to connect with by using new social media” is a great way to focus your goal. Not every church can do every thing, and not every type of social media can reach everyone.
Deciding who it is you’re trying to connect with will undoubtedly influence what kind of social media you pursue and how you pursue it. A church looking at connecting members of a certain committee will most likely need a more private cyber-space than if the church is trying to relay information about youth group meetings.
The leaders of our example First Church of Citytown have already set the goal for the new social media of encouraging individual spiritual practices. At first when they approached this second step the leaders thought it was fairly simple who they were trying to connect with: the members and regular attenders of the congregation. Then a leader asked if that was too narrow a vision for this social media. Shouldn’t this new social media also attract new people into the church and spread the Word?
After some thought and discussion, the church leaders decided that because of their goal of encouraging individual spiritual practices had specifically been written with the members and regular attenders in mind the new social media should focus on them. There were other goals in the new mission statement that were specifically about engaging their local community and growing their church, and the Outreach Committee already had a plan in motion. However, the church leaders agreed that whatever form the new social media took there should be room for people who are at all parts of the journey which did include new and reinvigorated Christians. Pastor Madison also said that they could re-visit this question after the social media had been in place for a while.
First Church of Cityville’s Social Media Plan
Step 1 (Aim): encouraging individual spiritual practices
Step 2 (Connection): members and regular attenders of the church