Gwinnett Convention Center opened it doors Wednesday morning to thousands of people, just like me, eager to bleed the Orange Leaders dry of information and resources in the areas of church, children, families, volunteers, culture, and more. Over 60 breakout sessions were offered in an attempt to share as much as they could to equip ministry leaders to serve God and His people more effectively.
You may ask, “Where were you, Joel, in all this?
The choices were amazingly difficult, so I went with a theme – Social Media.
“But I thought you went to learn about kids and family stuff?”
You bet I did, which is why the breakouts I learned from are so relevant. I am convinced more than ever that churches HAVE to utilize Social Media as an outreach and ministry to families. Many churches are there, but exponentially more are not. I’ll be the first to admit that our children’s ministry is just scratching the surface of the opportunity. Many of our churches are still sitting back to see what really becomes of it all, yet the boat is leaving the dock.
Here is a video that Matt McKee showed during one of the sessions that really brought this to light.
So, what is the take away? This is one of the game changers in ministry today. Part of our outreach to Generation X and Y must included a strategy that involves both personal relationships and social media. One without the other is going to make it increasingly difficult to engage our communities as our world becomes more and more connected.
- Consumers want to know the truth.
- Consumers want to be involved
- Consumers want to interact/be social
He says Hollywood has figured this out by something called the Twitter Effect. This happens when a movie has a amazing opening night, then tanks before the weekend is over. This is caused by the people who went to the first night of the movie, but would then post updates and tweets that were negative. No matter amazing the previews looked, it was the rapid spread of the reviews through word of mouth via social media that really determined the overall success.
I often wonder what Paul would have done if he had access to social media in his time. Sure, with anything there are pitfalls and problems, but the reality is that we can no longer consider this a fad. We have the opportunity to spread the Good News in a new way. I believe that we handicap our churches and our ministries by resisting this cultural shift, or game changer. Not only that, I believe we limit the effective spread of God’s Word.
Need help getting your ministry involved in social media? Is your church doing something unique in social media that you would like to share? I want to hear about it, alright?