This week I’ve offered up a lot of advice, detailed the rise of mobile and religious apps and told you the tragic tale of a should-be college church. Sounds like a lot of lip service, huh?
The million dollar question is, is anyone actually listening? Is there anyone out there implementing these strategies or anyone who can help make engaged, mobile, hip religious institutions a reality?
The million dollar answer is yes.
Social Media Church has been providing a weekly podcast of conversations with church leaders about social media since early 2012. They provide real world examples of churches that are doing it right—using social media to build an effective ministry. You can visit their website, follow them on Twitter, see their pins … well, you get the idea.
They’re actually doing the things we’re only talking about! This organization’s employees work with real churches to jump start or better their social media use.
Social Media Church also has a partner publication, Faith Based Media, which covers a lot of their interviews and more in blog form. The blog is full of information—everything from athletes-turned-pastor to Facebook tips for pastors to how to use Google effectively for churches.
As far as the focus of this blog, this site hits the nail on the head.
According to Social Media Church’s records, there are 440 churches in the United States that have “Internet campuses,” or the option to worship online. These churches live stream their sermons and worship music. This does not include similar religious organizations that do this with mobile applications we talked about earlier this week, so I’m sure the number is even more impressive.
The podcast host and creator of Social Media Church, DJ Chuang, works as a freelance strategy consultant and has over 20 years of experience in helping churches, parachurches, private foundations, non-profits and publications better their leadership and social media strategies.
The most recent podcast was posted on September 18th, and contains an interview with Mark MacDonald, Creative Brand Strategist at BeKnownForSomething.com and the upcoming communications director at Community of Faith, an organization with church campuses in Texas and Mexico as well as worship services, communications experts and an array of community groups. MacDonald will be working on the church’s logo, working on new design elements and even creating an entire communication strategy for the church (much like a business plan). I bet you didn’t even know churches were working so hard to keep people engaged! (I know I didn’t!)
In this podcast, MacDonald talks about why communication (and the use of technology that furthers it) is so important to the church. He also describes a project he is working on that is set to launch in October called the Certification Lab, a program that will connect church strategists from all over and allow them to share ideas and collaborate.
I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about what Social Media Church is doing. If every religious group would follow their lead, I think we would see an increase in membership, media coverage and interest across the globe.