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Digital Church is Here to Stay: From Social Media to Social Ministry

Digital Church

THE RESPONSE to Covid-19 has had a profound effect on what it means to be a church. It has raised a lot of questions. Is a church still a church if it is an online church? Sure, people have been watching online for years, but what about a face-to-face community? Does online attendance lead to engagement?

In From Social Media to Social Ministry: A Guide to Digital Discipleship, church leader Nona Jones, answers, “church is more than the worship service.” Jones walks us through the changes and explains why and how to build an effective, truly social media presence. And along the way, we pick up some good leadership lessons, too. Here are some notes from the book:

Booknotes☙ We must become less concerned about the number of likes we get on a post and the number of views we get on a video and more concerned about the number of lives that were changed because of them.

☙ We live in a post-Christian society. Indicators of a post-Christian society include dramatically decreased percentages of people who pray, study the Bible, claim a religious affiliation, and attend church. Why? According to many of the millennials surveyed, the answer is lack of relevance, or they are saying it doesn’t relate to their priorities and isn’t integrated into their everyday lives.

☙ Dressing down the church service hasn’t solved the problem because the solution didn’t fit the cause.

☙ A social media plan focuses on getting people to the building for a couple of hours every weekend, whereas a social ministry strategy focuses on how to help them grow in their faith through social technology after they leave.

☙ What if effectiveness were also measured by how far the church community reached out instead of only by how much the auditorium fills up?

☙ A social media strategy focuses on building relationships and facilitating connections between and among people so that discipleship can happen. Relationships are the foundation for discipleship. And we don’t build relationships on the weekends during the ninety-minute services we watch together, even if we are together in a building.

☙ Conversation is fundamental to discipleship because discipleship doesn’t happen by tossing biblical content at people. Discipleship is the product of dialogue about how to apply that content to people’s lives in a way that leads to continual transformation.

☙ The Great Commission is about helping people learn God’s truth so they can apply it to their lives.

☙ How videos are titled and categorized is highly important because people use YouTube to learn how to do things or why things are done a certain way, so titling your sermon on forgiveness “December 31, 2019 Worship Service” isn’t going to pop up if someone searches “How do I forgive someone who hurt me?” Instead, title it as an answer to a question to get the best results.

☙ My primary rule of social ministry is this: if you’re to busy to engage, you’re too busy to post.

☙ Go where the people are, and integrate ministry into their routine.

☙ Instead of shaping an online church to fit offline constraints, you have the freedom to shape your online church around its only constraint: your vision.

☙ Facebook is the only truly social media platform. This is why Facebook will form the basis for our social media shift. Build a Facebook campus.

☙ Identify someone already on your team or within your congregation who has the heart of a pastor and a desire to extend the impact of your church beyond the physical boundaries of your community.

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Dragonfly Effect Nick Morgan

Posted by Michael McKinney at 01:28 AM
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