Social media presents those seeking a new call with great opportunity but also potential risk. Today, you must be digitally savvy not only to help land a call, but to manage your digital connections and communication during the interview, call, and transition processes.
Calling is a heady, intense, and disorienting time and often the last thing on your mind is digital media. I’ve just been through it myself and these nine big things I learned.
What you need to know is that just nine months prior, the day after Christmas, a Woburn police officer, Jack Maguire, was shot and killed under very similar circumstances - while intercepting suspects from a jewelry robbery. We were also just days away from the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The robbery and shooting had brought back the painful memories of Jack’s death to our collective consciousness. The memory of 9/11 loomed as images of that day were continuously replayed in the media. We were emotionally raw.
I was up early the next morning, wondering how, as a pastor and neighbor, to support the community in the wake of our shock and grief.
Much of the conversation around social media and pastoral transition revolves around whether and how to stay connected to former parishioners on social media. I address this in another post. However, I also want to highlight some of the other, less discussed, ways technology plays a role in pastoral transition.
One important step in pastoral transition is digital disentanglement - handing over access, control, and information about the congregation’s website and social media platforms to those that remain.
This can be a bigger job that we expect. Often, we don't appreciate how digitally integrated we have become in our ministry settings until its time for us to leave.
One of the most common questions about social media in ministry — “How much time do you spend on Facebook?” — is quickly becoming an irrelevant one.
Today 46 percent of American adults own smart phones and nearly 20 percent of Americans use a tablet or e-reader. They manage multiple social networking profiles, spending upwards of 15 minutes a day on Facebook alone, and carry out many everyday tasks like shopping and banking online.
As the Internet goes mobile and we spend more time there, the line between our digital and face-to-face lives is rapidly blurring.
This integration of our digital and analog lives, whether we choose to embrace or resist it, is changing our lives and, therefore, the practice of ministry, in profound ways.
Today’s ministry leaders are called to be present and minister not only in person, by phone, snail mail and email, but also via text message and social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
I experienced this myself recently when one of my parishioners — I’ll call her Sally — had surgery to remove a tumor from the right side of her brain.
Member participation is absolutely crucial for effective digital ministry, and yet there is very little guidance out there for people in our congregations. Most of the advice focuses on the role of professional ministry leaders.
Member engagement helps puts the "social" in social media by extending the community, amplifying the Gospel message, and helping move away from a one-person one-message model of broadcast media.
Here are five ways members can participate in and extend the digital ministry of their congregations: