Are social media in your church a part of the activities and life in the congregation? Or are they something going on parallel to the offline activities? Are they an integrated part of the life, worship and activities? Or are their only connection to the church that the people in the congregation also express their faith online?If it’s the latter, the church leaders in your church (you, if you’re one of them) might be struggling with how to integrate social media in the church.
Posted in: DigiLit– September 11, 2012
In my church we decided to start in the centre, with the Sunday service and the sermon. We chose not to post the sermon online afterwards, not to webcast it live. There’s nothing wrong in doing so, but it makes the online activity sepatare rather than integrated with the offlife activities. No, we wanted something that would make our online effort an integrated part of the creation on the sermon.
Every Monday we post the scripture for the coming Sunday on the church Facebook page. The churchgoers are invited to share their thoughts and comments on the text, or ask their questions. This enables them to spend a few minutes posting a comment, which could be the most crucial point in the whole sermon. You can post during a break at work, while commuting, at home, when you wake up in the middle of the night… anytime. The priest reads the comments and uses it as input for the sermon. The priest gets help to see what thoughts and questions the people have, making this very helpful and inspiring. This leads to a more relevant sermon for everyone in the church, whether they are active online or not. Some Sundays the comments may serve as a guide to what focus the sermon should have, while other Sundays the semon could address directly what’s been posted. I think it’s of vital importance to integrate social media in the church. Apart from the positive effects already mentioned, it also helps to promote the church, not by advertising, but through engagement. The Facebook friends of our churchgoers see that they post commets and questions about scripture. It shows how the Bible is relevant today in everyday life.
What examples do you know about? Please share a comment or a link about how your church is integrating social media and life in your church.