Should pastors andÂ church leaders regularlyÂ use Twitter, blogs,Â andÂ Facebook?Â Without a doubt!!!Â Though not a pastor, let’s look at the presidential campaign of President Obama for some key leadership lessons.Â
Ranjit MathodaÂ said inÂ a linked NY Times article:
“Thomas Jefferson used newspapers to win the presidency, F.D.R. used radio to change the way he governed, J.F.K. was the first president to understand television, andHoward Dean saw the value of the Web for raising money.But Senator Barack Obama understood that you could use the Web to lower the cost of building a political brand, create a sense of connection and engagement, and dispense with the command and control method of governing to allow people to self-organize to do the work.”
Mathoda points out three key areas for communication:
- TheÂ Ability ToÂ BuildÂ A Personal Brand – Social Media allows a pastor or church leader to continually provide content to theÂ church attenders in a wayÂ that adds significant value to their life.Â In addition,Â pastors can identify and engage their online leaders by reading and commenting on their blogs, following them on Twitter, andÂ connect withÂ them on Facebook.Â
- CreateÂ A SenseÂ Of Connection And Engagement – There is simply not enoughÂ hoursÂ to spend time with everyone in a church.Â However,Â pastors can go daily to where theyÂ -Â online, their computer.Â Â Social networking allows everyone in a church toÂ know whatÂ their leadersÂ are thinking and feeling each day.Â This vehicle also allows people to give feedback to what is happening in the church.
- Allow People To Self-Organize To Do The Work – Twitter and Facebook have been instrumental in the recent Middle East uprisings.Â Similar movements could take place inÂ a church as well.Â Smart pastors understand that social mediaÂ provides multiple points of entry for engaging people in various aspects of church.
Here are aÂ fewÂ hints to help you get started:
- Journaling – When blogging don’t try to write an epistle or book.Â This is a mistake many spiritual leaders make.Â Attempting to do this ultimately causes social media paralysis.Â Simply talk about what you’re learning, thinking about,Â or feeling each day.
- Brevity Is Best – Keep your blog posts to 300-500 words.Â No more.Â You will begin making it difficult on yourself to have to consistentlyÂ generate content.
- Lists – People have become less likely to read paragraphs.Â Lists are scannable and easy to read.
- Vision – Social Media allows you to daily cast vision.
- Stories – As part of vision, tell stories of life change as often as possible.
- Respond To Comments – Remember you can’t meet with everyone.Â Social Media allows you to connect and invest with everyone in your congregation.
- Use Facebook Specifically To Organize Minsitry – Every capital campaign, missions trip, community outreach event, etc.. should have a facebook page dedicatedÂ to organizing, telling stories, motivating, and enlisting volunteers.
Â For additional information on the power of social media, check out these resources:
- Is A Squirrel Dying In Your Front Yard More Important Than People Dying In Africa?
- 20 Leadership Quotes And Principles From Mark Zuckerberg And The Facebook Effect Part 1Â
- 22 Leadership Quotes And Principles From Mark Zuckerberg And The Facebook Effect Part 2
- The Generation Changing The World And What Churches Need To Know
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