Religion & Social Media in real life

Church-of-Twitter

Photo credit:  New Castle Presbytery

I have been attending the same church in Morgantown for four years.  During my first week at West Virginia University I attended it because it was within walking distance of my dorm, and I never left.

The congregation is small, but inviting.  The people are kind, and over the years I’ve integrated myself as an official member, worship leader and occasional fill-in Bible study facilitator.

Morgantown First Church of the Nazarene is located on Garrison Avenue a few blocks up from the downtown Dairy Mart.  The building is well cared for and was once home to a congregation numbering in the hundreds.

When I first started attending in the fall of 2009, the Sunday morning attendance average was around 10.  The church has been through some rough times and several changes in leadership, and now we are home to about 30 people on Sundays.

I said all that to say this:  my church, a place that I love and feel at home, should be thriving.  But it’s not.

The church building is located a short walk from downtown, is surrounded by student houses and has the space and resources to branch out into all kinds of other activities besides one service once a week.

Nestled in the heart of a university whose enrollment is upward of 30,000 students, my church has the potential to make an impact on the Morgantown community.  What it doesn’t have are the right tools.  Yet.

Sure, you can find us in the yellow pages.  Last semester during finals week we handed out bagged lunches on campus with business cards in them.  We even have a Facebook page that was last posted from six months ago and last updated never.

If my own church would utilize the tools listed in this week’s posts, I truly believe we could thrive.  We’re not that small church in a rural area that needs social media to reach out to the community.  We’re a huge church with a small congregation in a college town that needs social media to reach out to the community.

facebook-church

Photo credit:  New Castle Presbytery

Social media is the best way to reach a young audience.  Just look at the way other organizations are reaching WVU students.  Every dorm and apartment complex has a Twitter handle and most student organizations communicate via Facebook.

Morgantown First Church of the Nazarene has the capacity to be an integral part of the WVU community.  When I envision its future, I see three services a week and a collegiate Bible study.  I imagine that all the empty classrooms are cleaned up and cleaned out to be used for WVU student organization meetings, Zumba classes and the kitchen being used to serve weekly dinners for students.  I have so many ideas, so many plans and such a desire to impact the student body.

This is a real life example of the topics this blog covers.  I have learned a lot while doing research for this blog, and I hope to use those ideas to increase my own church’s social media use.

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2 thoughts on “Religion & Social Media in real life

  1. aaaaaargh

    The meat of this post doesn’t really seem to start until after the second image. That’s a fairly deeply buried lead. Also, make sure your links do what you want them to – that map link takes us to a map of Morgantown, not the street you name. We’ll be learning to embed Google maps soon, but you can look it up yourself as well.

    Reply

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