why churches can't afford to ignore social media (for new wine)

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Why Churches Cant Afford to Ignore Social Media

Why Churches Cant Afford to Ignore Social MediaDr Bex LewisDirector, Digital FingerprintResearch Fellow in Social Media and Online Learning, CODEC Centre for Digital Theology, Durham UniversityMarch 2015 for http://www.new-wine.org http://j.mp/churches-new-wine

Why Churches Cant Afford to Ignore Social MediaWith 255 million people using Twitter, and over a billion people using Facebook, if your church is serious about reaching out to people you cant ignore social media. This fast-paced overview will introduce you to the why, what, where, who and when of social media, pinpointing the main social media platforms, and demonstrate how using social media can support your mission.

1 hour! 1

https://twitter.com/drbexl Lets tweet each other

Lets Tweet Each Other 5 mins what kind of things do people find in common in 60 seconds?

Social Media all about RELATIONSHIPS, so we are going to start by getting to know each other as if we are on Twitter in some ways we are looking at the kind of issues that will arise, including some exercises that you could do with youth groups.. 3

Image Credit: Facebook Meme

What do many people think digital is about?

Is this your experience? Right, so were going to see what else we can do with this (remember that was built in an era of give it all away, freeness, etc. and in recent years has been taken over more commercially) 4https://twitter.com/hanelly/status/405754162555944960/photo/1

(as a child = hidden behind a book) 5Even though in practice, face-to-face communication can, of course, be angry, negligent, resistant, deceitful and inflexible, somehow it remains the ideal against which mediated communication is judged as flawed.Prof Sonia Livingstone, Children and the Internet: Great Expectations and Challenging Realities.2009, p26

What do we think about this as a quote and also how much do we value written communication? discuss6

SOCIAL media

DISCUSS: What comes to mind when you think of social media? (1 good/1 bad each?)

Often people focus on media, but we want to focus on social this is where its different from traditional marketing, etc.

Commonality finding a starting point & getting to know each other, etc with a strong focus on LISTENING to the people engaging with you, and looking for material that they might find shareable. A lot of it is based on relationship building, so that people will look out for you and look for material to actively share on your behalf.

Youre looking to provide information, engage in dialogue, listen to your audience build a community who will be interested in the other things that you do .. 7The Big QuestionsWhyWhereWhat WhoWhenTo achieve what?

How do the digital tools help achieve this?

Now, these may surprise you, as you may expect that I come in, tools first, and say lets do it all digitally, but as it has been for many years, and will be for many more we should start with the PROBLEM(S) that need solving, and then look at how the digital fits into the mix. 8Why?


Qualman 4 mins (business focused, but worth thinking about)



(from early 2014) GO LIVE and watch the numbers go up

So, we want to think about how to choose the best platforms for a given subject / brand / group of books were going to look at what you already have 11The Church Front Door?For many churchgoing is no longer the cultural norm. People dont actively ignore the church: they dont even think about it. Matthew 5:13-16 calls us to be salt and light in the world, and for thousands in the digital age, that world includes social networks such Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. With literally billions in the digital spaces, the online social spaces presented by churches need to be appealing, welcoming, and not look like they are just an afterthought: they are now effectively the front door to your church for digital users, and you ignore those spaces at your peril.

http://www.churchgrowthrd.org.uk/blog/churchgrowth/growing_churches_in_the_digital_age Image Credit: Sxc.hu

An article, I wrote - the church is just not on many peoples radar .. On a Sunday the Cathedrals of the shopping mall and the football pitch draw people in and provide the social spaces that people used to get from the church so is there something else that Christians are seeking to offer (But also need care that not using that space just to promote what you doing if the church community gets onboard can see true community). 12The digital environment is not a parallel or purely virtual world, but is part of the daily experience of many people, especially the young. Social networks are the result of human interaction, but for their part they also reshape the dynamics of communication, which builds relationships: a considered understanding of this environment is therefore a prerequisite for a significant presence there.Pope Benedict XVI (2013)


As the church has previously sought to understand overseas cultures, for the purposes of both discipleship and mission, so now it seeks to engage with digital culture a space where many spend a considerable amount of time daily. (previous) Pope Benedict XVI put it this way (2013): [quote]

The Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 9:22-23) was mission-centric, respecting and adapting to the culture in which he found himself, rather than imposing himself upon it. 13"If you want to build a presence in the social media platform, then you need to be present." - @unmarketing

Think about notions of presence is it about quality or quantity of presence? Have you got good relationships with people, so that they will be quality ambassadors, actively looking out for material from your sites looking for ways to use it and incorporate in what youre doing 14

Networks of Networks

If I share something on my own page far more likely to pick up comments than if its on a page, so in some ways calls for a different relationship between work/personal life (e.g. I know most about CPO because I know Russ trust/authority built up). 15We are not selling something to the world that will make more people like us, believe in our story, join our churches. We are trying to be something in the world that invites connection and compassion, encourages comfort and healing for those in need, and challenges those in power to use that power in the service of justice and love(Drescher, 2011, 127)

Building relationships takes time, but church has never been about bums on seats, so much as about encouraging those who attend to live full lives of discipleship. Many of those who enjoy the digital spaces are skeptical about being preached to. We live in a world of pull rather than push media (show me why I will be interested, rather than tell me I should be interested), but as Elizabeth Drescher says:

We are not selling something to the world that will make more people like us, believe in our story, join our churches. We are trying to be something in the world that invites connection and compassion, encourages comfort and healing for those in need, and challenges those in power to use that power in the service of justice and love (Drescher, 127).16Rev Prof David WilkinsonGod is a communicating God: In the beginning was the word, and the word was God. God is extravagant in communication he is not a silent God who has to be tempted into communicating with people.

Image Credit: Durham University

We are created by a God who rejoices in our 2-way communication with him we are called also to be extravagant communicators

Image taken from Durham University website. 17

Push/Pull Media

Thinking through how things have changed we dont PUSH the message at people we seek to be intriguing and draw them in with good stories (you know how to do that, right?) 18

Image Credit: Purchased Stockfresh

Social Media: More than the cherry on the cake!Needs to be built into everything that you do, not a last minute afterthought but sending a tweet once youve done everything else youve needed, rather than thinking about how it works as part of the WHOLE picture and thinking youve done social media = a problem.

How to choose the best platforms for a given subject / brand / group of books


Lots of options.

want to find the right tool for the right job?.. If you want to know more download this 6-7 page document I try to keep updated.. , and youll see different tools are use for different things! 21

Facebookhttp://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2015/01/2015-facebook-marketing-success-kit-infographic.htmlFB = core for friends = busy, still growing (maybe not of as much interest to some younger users as others are on there, but still a functional platform)

1.3bn people using thisPersonal profile, page, group

(Find friends; Post status updates; Comment on others photos; Post & Tag people in photos; Leave public messages on the wall; Send private messages; Join Groups, Like Pages; Link to other social media; Set up events)22

Twitterhttp://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/twitter-facts-2015/612443Lets look at one of the fastest growing tools out there Got:

New connections via shared interestsBuilding your brandPre/During/Post Event ConversationsBreaking newsAsking questionsSharing good resourcesSharing pithy statements/quotesBeing polemical

http://www.landingnet.co.uk/blog/the-truth-about-all-this-twitter-ing-twoddle/ 23

YouTubeImportance of how to factual/helpful, or BE CREATIVE people have little patience in thi