Hey Church: Social Networking Is Your Friend!

I spent some time today at work meeting with a lady who is interviewing representatives of different churches about how they utlilize technology. As she asked questions, I knew where I had to steer the conversation… I went to great lengths to talk about how we’ve been using Facebook and Twitter to promote events at Eastridge and to connect with our congregation. She said, “you’re the first person I’ve spoken to who does that.”

I’m appalled to think of how many churches haven’t embraced social networking and used it to their advantage. Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor at Granger Community Church, wrote an article for Collide Magazine that both parodied the major argument against Twitter and Facebook and touted their effectiveness.

“I’ve never heard anyone claim that social networking should replace life-on-life relationships. Quite the opposite—the time I spend in online communities enhances my real-life relationships.”

We use Facebook to promote our upcoming events and series. Nearly everyone on staff has a Facebook account, and we interact regulary with the congregation. We’ve found it’s a good way to see who’s hurting, who’s doing well, whose lives are changing, and it’s also a great way to put names and faces together. (Allow me to take this opportunity to show off our new page on FB; become a fan…)

Twitter is another cool and amazing way to connect. Several of us on staff have Twitter accounts and we tweet the random stuff from our lives as well as insights and wisdom from the reading plan. Eastridge has a Twitter account as well, and we use it to buzz events and notify our followers (the Twitter term) about what’s going on.

In a recent staff meeting, we told some of our social networking stories…connections made, encouragement received, wisdom shared… It did our hearts some good to know that we’re using cutting edge technology for the most important purpose ever.

Hey Church: don’t be afraid of social networking. Harness it. Use it. Enjoy it. It truly is your friend, and it really can be a useful tool.

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