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:
If one of the maxims of digital ministry is "be where people are," then you need to be on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a social networking site whose mission is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting." Launched back in 2010, Pinterest has recently exploded onto the social networking scene, boasting 20 million users, who spend gobs of time on the site and share lots of content.
It is now one of the top 10 social networking websites and it drives tons of traffic other sites.
I've seen this with my own blog. I recently started sharing my blog posts on one of my Pinterest boards and I already get a high percentage of my traffic is coming from Pinterest. This really got my attention.
Before you lament that you now have yet one more social network to keep track of...Pinterest is actually easy and fun to use and its has great Facebook intergration, so it leverages a network you probably already know pretty well.
Here's how you can get started using Pinterest in your digital ministry:
In a couple weeks I'll be leading an adult forum at Redeemer on the phenomenon of social media and how we, as a congregation, are using it in our ministry. This may seem obvious to readers of this blog, but its not something we talk about all the time at Redeemer.
As I thought about what social media means specificially to Redeemer's ministry context something occurred to me, which helped me contextualize what we are doing with our website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on.
You may find it a helpful way in making the case for digital ministry in your own setting.
In this 50-minute wide-ranging interview I talk with The Rev. Chris Yaw from ChurchNext.tv about church websites, social media, digital ministry, welcoming newcomers and reaching out beyond our congregations. I really enjoyed the conversation, which we did via Skype. Chris has many great interviews on his site including Bishop Mike Rinehart, Phyllis Tickle, Stephanie Spellers, Maggi Dawn, and many, many more. (The video begins with a short ad. The rest is all interview. Enjoy.)