I have learned in life that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and that not every new thing is a good thing. So when it comes to social media (though I am a young pastor at the age of 32), I was late to arrive at the party.
Yet, what I have learned over the past few years is that we can definitely use social media and social networking to the advantage of our Lord and His Eternal Kingdom. Here are a few things I’ve learned.
1. Facebook Is a Wonderful Way to Know the State of Your Flock
“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.” Proverbs 27:23
It can be difficult to keep up with a growing church. As our attendance climbs over 500 I find that I am struggling to keep up with some basic prayer needs of our congregation. I have found Facebook to be a tremendous tool in getting to know our people and connecting with them on a daily basis. With this being said you must be warned that you will likely see things posted that worry you as a pastor. People are very free with their words and feelings on social networking sites. I encourage you to not become reactionary and do something rash when you spot something that surprises or disturbs you. Instead, be patient and use this tool to give you a better reading on the true state of your flock and how you can best lead and feed them.
2. Twitter Is a Great Way to Expand Your Influence
I am personally very new to twitter, but I have already seen its benefits. I have connected with pastors, believers, and seekers from across this nation that I would never have had influence with aside from twitter. This site allows you to get a quick thought, message or important link out in 140 characters or less.
3. Vimeo, Youtube, and Podcasting Are Creative Ways to Gain a Larger Audience
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2
At Southern Hills Baptist Church we now have as many people listening to Sunday’s sermon online as we do in person. I know that we would rather have all of those people in our pews rather than in front of a computer, but not everyone around the world will be able to make it to your church every Sunday morning. However, you can still reach them through these inventive formats.
4. A Blog Will Allow You to Connect with Your Congregation More Often
In the last few months I have started a blog. I used to laugh at the idea. I knew that I didn’t have time to sit around and write “extra sermons” for four or five random web-surfers. I have recently seen some of the advantages of having a blog open of which is allowing your followers to learn from you more consistently. On a random Tuesday morning if you think of five tips that will help every father, you can briefly write those out and post them so that your congregants will be able to grow.
I know this list is not extensive, let alone conclusive, but I thought I might share what I have learned about using social media to advance the kingdom.
What are your thoughts on social media? What forms of social media are you using?