If' you're just joining us, I've been posting a series of blog posts from a recent conference in which I was invited to speak on the subject, Benefits of Technology in Ministry. Here's the first post.
The third benefit of technology, and this one really applies more to social media and the web, is: Presence.
Pastor, church leader, business owner...the new front door to your establishment is now the web. And, increasingly it's not just the website. It's also becoming the conversation you extend via Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools.
It's a fact that more and more employers are using these tools to aid in the recruitment and hiring process. Guess what? Although I don't have the statistics to back this statement, I believe more and more people are choosing where to attend church based on the presence the church/pastor has online.
The days of the church web site being more of an online bulletin or brochure have passed...umm, last century! It's now more imperative than ever that your ministry/pastor be proactive in having an online presence that is authentic, approachable and relate-able. If you're sole purpose of having a Facebook page is so you can: a.) say you have one; b.) simply allow people to post on your wall without you interacting with them, then you're wasting your time (and mine). Realize this...it's about connection and conversation.
As I stated in my training workshop, some are forcing the issue that community can be created online. I'm not ready to go to that extreme. Community is deep, personal and I believe involves life-on-life interaction.
But here's what I am willing to say...although I don't think community can happen, connection most certainly can happen. And when you have connection, you find commonality which can open the door to community.