Recently I noticed a congregation making a new push into social media. They started a Twitter feed, a Facebook fan page, and a Wordpress.com blog. Good for them! It’s great to see more churches engaging social media.
Their Twitter page had a background image and a link to their church webpage - two best practices for a Twitter page. I was excited. Then I followed the link to their website and my excitement dropped.
Unfortunately, church's website did not reflect the same spirit that their push into social media was trying to convey. Specifically, their welcome statement said quite explicitly that people should go from this website to worship, from worship to fellowship, then from fellowship into a ministry at the church.
Now, the value of social media it allows people to connect with your church in many different ways. It is open and people can decide how they want to connect and participate. At Redeemer, we have a saying when it comes to newcomers, "Nothing is straightforward and everyone is different." The same goes for folks engaged in social media. People come at things in many different ways. This church’s welcome message immediately takes this wide open portal of social media and narrows it down to a proscribed process. It tells you not just the next step, but the next two after that, and in which order. And they’re telling you what to do.