Thursday, October 02, 2008

Social Networks in Ministry

Kem Meyer, the Communications Director at Granger Community Church, has a couple of interesting recent posts on the potential role that internet-based social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter can play in the life and dynamics of the local church.  One of them is provocatively entitled "Why is Twitter or Facebook Worth Your Time?"  This is an area of interest to me, personally, and I know it is to some of you who read my blog.  

A couple of weeks ago, our church started a Group on Facebook and we currently have just under 10% of our weekly attendance represented in this group.  Here's what is good about that. Relationship is based on communication, and Facebook has already proven that it is not merely just one more way to talk to other people in our community.  It has, in fact, shown itself to be an effective, genuinely positive way to deepen friendships, to mobilize volunteers, to connect ministry team members, to disseminate news and prayer requests of mutual interest, and, generally, to enable participants to "share life" in a new way and with greater immediacy than is available through other means.  I know of at least one case where members who did not previously know each other become "friends" on Facebook, and then turn that virtual relationship into an actual relationship.

btw, I stole the graphic from Kem's website.


Jannie Funster said...

I have a Twitter accont that I never do anything with and a Facebook I've fallen behind with because I need to simplify my life. (All I use my cellphone for is taling to people, no texting and such.) And I wonder what's the next Internet-based thing we're all going to get caught up in. And the next? And the next? How much more stuff can we stretch ouselves thin on?

I guess this all sounds pretty cynical but my brain can only keep up with so much. For me, technology can get so overwhelming I just want to turn it off sometimes (except for now, ha-ha, as I comment on your blog, since I recently started a blog of my own and am enjoying it so much.)

However, I know Twitter and facebook are wonderful for many people and am glad to hear they are making a positive difference in your community. Heaven knows we all need to spread more word of God's goodness!

okay, enough of my technology rant.

--Jannie. (I found you under the "Songwriting" tag on Blogger.)

NP said...

facebook has opened a whole new door for the staff at our church - We have been much more successful at contacting those "hard to reach" 20 somethings and get almost as much response as the ever popular texting mode of communication . . . Until I got started into both of these venues I wasn't wild about the idea either, but with the amount of time it saves, I'm all over it now.

Barry Pike said...

Jannie, I know exactly where you are coming from. I am in the technology industry and it still drives me nuts. I resisted Facebook for a long time because I knew I didn't need or want even one more thing to help me waste time on the internet. I resisted the urge to blog before that, too.

Now, I'm glad I do both, although the quality of the blog has probably suffered with the addition of Facebook to my life.

They are both seductive, to be sure, and require me to be self-disciplined. Not a bad thing, I guess.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jannie Funster said...

As to your comment on my Kung Fu post, Barry, you totally rocked! I’m totally with you on getting kids to earn things, intead of instant gratification. Thanks! Jannie

and np's comment, that's so cool about appealing to a younger crowd, that's great actually! I hadn't thought of that. Maybe I'll eventually get over my techno resitance. : )