Are you using social media to lead and grow your ministry?
Oral Roberts, the founder of Oral Roberts University, was a master at adopting new technology to advance the gospel. TV was the innovative media at the time. The biggest shift in communications recently has been in social media. A Christian leader should adopt the innovative mindset Roberts had and discover the value of these new resources.
Perhaps you are already heavily involved with a blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media tools. If not, I urge you to give one of these media resources a try. It can give your congregation and ministry partners a more intimate look into how God has shaped and is shaping your faith.
Empower Your Team
Having social media initiatives is a must for every church and ministry. These platforms are an effective and inexpensive way to communicate to your community of faith and reach new circles of people. So how do you get involved in or enhance your social media efforts? Start by looking at the people around you who can leverage these new technological resources to fulfill your organization’s mission.
There are probably great candidates on your staff and in your church to whom you can delegate this digital task. Ask them to prayerfully consider how to use social media to reach new people or teach in a new way.
The great and scary part of social media is that everyone can participate. The snowball effect of empowering people to talk about your ministry could be exponential. One person’s connection could reach thousands. Think past paid staff for a moment: Are you equipping and empowering your church members and friends to strategically help your ministry?
You almost certainly have volunteers who would be ecstatic to guide your social media efforts. You can quickly identify this competent group and get them brainstorming. Empower them to think in new and creative ways to meet the needs and calling of your ministry.
The applications could be endless. You could start a team of social media ambassadors to promote your organization, organize volunteers via Facebook to take food and clothes to families in need, and encourage your congregation to post how God is speaking to them on Facebook and Twitter during your sermon. Whether you engage paid staff or volunteer assistants, you can reach more people and effectively propel your mission by releasing them to drive your social media.
Set a Digital Standard
Posting on any social media platform can feel a little like shouting in public. There are many Christians misusing media and shouting the name of Jesus in detestable ways. Your leadership is instrumental in encouraging a Christ-exalting digital footprint in your church.
This paraphrase of Philippians 4:8 may serve as a starting place for discussion: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—tweet, post and blog about such things.”
There is a new frontier of ministry in front of you, and the landscape will continue to change. Take the lead in using social media to fulfill God’s mission for your ministry and guide those around you in uplifting ways to interact.
Jeremy C. Burton, APR, is director of public relations for Oral Roberts University and manages social media for the university. ORU was recently ranked in StudentAdvisor.com’s list of Top 100 Social Media Colleges.
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