How important is social media in Church Growth?
Today I present a post by guest blogger Mike Holmes. This will be the start of a wonderful relationship between our two blogs, and hopefully Mike will be a continuing guest blogger on our site. Mike the author of I Shall Raise Thee Up: Ancient Principles for Lasting Greatness. He’s also a blogger that writes on leadership development from a Biblical perspective. Please Enjoy.
The web is still buzzing about Pope Benedict’s message to his priests: go forth into the world and blog the Gospel! In his message he acknowledged that cultural shifts have brought conversations online…but…the church must be willing to change its methods to better communicate the Message. He wrote:
“Using new communication technologies, priests can introduce people to the life of the Church and help our contemporaries to discover the face of Christ.”
And it’s no wonder! With his own iPhone App, Facebook page, YouTube channel, his growing influence on the web, and his nickname (via Mashable)–the “social media pontiff” could he tell them any different?
Social media and its social effect
Case in point, the Haiti Crisis:
- It wasn’t the news media that first picked up the effects… it was through Twitter.
- A video of the quake was broadcasted on YouTube
- Wyclef Jean galvanized support through Twitter
- Red Cross raised millions through a text messaging campaign and through their Twitter page…in a matter of moments!
- CNN, in the earliest stages, was the news organization with the most material on the quake, and they enriched their work with social media.
It’s changed the way we do business as 94% of companies sponsoring online communities plan to increase their social networking support as well as engage with other social media tools.
But what about ministry?
Social Media and the Church
USA Today wrote an article today about the changing ministry model. The article summed it up best in saying, “the congregational model is suffering.”Add to the fact that according to a study of U.S. congregations — only 19% say they are in excellent financial health, down from 31% in 2000. Less than half (48%) could report at least 2% growth in worship attendance, down from 58% in 2005. Because of this many churches have closed down or “merged” with more prosperous ministries.
Also Barna group estimates that in 2010 10% of Americans will rely exclusively on the internet.
The landscape has truly changed!
It seems going forward we’re only left with two options:
- Embrace social media as a tool that can be used in spreading the Gospel, meeting the needs of people, and overall Kingdom work
- Or, reject these changes, and continue to go forward.
The choice is yours…
The end of the matter
I must admit…I could care less about church growth!
Leading people to a building means nothing to me!
However, leading people to a relationship, or a greater relationship with Christ is everything! And if social media gives me the tools to do that, affect my community, and inspire spiritual maturity in God’s people…then I’m all for it!
What are your thoughts?
Bio: Mike Holmes is the author of I Shall Raise Thee Up: Ancient Principles for Lasting Greatness. He’s also a blogger that writes on leadership development from a Biblical perspective. It’s leadership by the Book! When he’s not writing blogs or speaking he can be found writing bios in the third person. Check out his website/blog here.