Yay! Today I’m celebrating more than just Canada Day (I am Canadian, eh!), I’m actually celebrating the one year anniversary since launching this website. So in this article I’ll be reflecting on what I’ve learned this year with helping Christians use social media. And if you read to the very end I have a special announcement I’ll be making (you can just skip down if you are so inclined).
There are a lot of people out there helping businesses learn to use social media. But let’s be honest, most small to mid-size churches can’t be treated the same way. For one thing, unlike a business most churches can’t afford to hire social media guru’s. So social media training for churches is quite different. The pastors are super busy, not just leading a church but also leading a team of volunteers. For another thing churches have a different aim. Their goal is not to build wealth, but to build the Kingdom of God by reaching lost souls and by strengthening the community of faith.
So while the basic principles of what I write and teach are similar to what you’d find in any business, the approach and unique emphasis is very different by necessity.
On that note, here are 5 things I’ve learned after one year of blogging on this website.
1. The need is greater than I imagined!
I know this because the number ministry leaders who subscribed to my email list this year is shocking. My email list has grown nearly 500% since it’s conception one year ago! And that’s just my email list. People from all areas of ministry reach out to me with questions. I get emails from frustrated teenagers, middle-age women who run the communications ministry of their church, pastors, board members and even individuals who feel led to start a new ministry and want help launching with social media.
The need is great indeed! And I’m convinced that the future of this website will go beyond just helping churches, and into helping individuals and small teams fulfill the calling they believe God has placed on their lives.
2. The number one challenge is…
Every time someone subscribes to my blog I always ask them to share with me their number one frustration with social media and today I’m going to reveal to you the most common answer. It is this: content. A) Where are people to get enough content (especially churches) to keep their social media presence active? But other contenders , other areas people tell me are their pain-points are B) their congregation is apathetic about social media and C) the church leadership doesn’t see a need and views it as a waste of time.
This would partly explain why one of my most popular articles this year was “From Apathy To Passion in 6 Easy Steps: Get Your Congregation Engaged Online.” But if you’re like most ministry leaders struggling with content, at the bottom of this post is an announcement you won’t want to miss.
3. My most popular article so far is…
“Why Some Churches Need to Stay Away from Social Media.” Now there’s actually a story behind this article.
I wrote it and loved it. I felt like it was excellent and so I decided to submit it to Christianity Today as a guest post. The article was applaud but ultimately rejected because “it doesn’t meet our needs at this time.” Bummed out I decided to publish it on my own site rather than continue to shop it around. Not a few days later Ed Stetzer wrote an article on CT about “Why Your Church Should Be On Social Media Right Now.” It was a good article but I felt it didn’t go far enough. So I decided to register on the site, praise Ed for what the article did say and encourage him to take it to the next step. Then I linked my comment back to my site.
And it was through the combination of my comment on Ed’s article coupled with my article that I decided to publish on my own site that landed me the speaking gig for the Going Digital conferences. It seemed like a God-thing. But the article in its own right has been quite popular and is still my number one for visits and comments.
4. My main reader is not who I thought it’d be…
Honestly, when I launched this blog I wanted to target lead pastors. But as it turns out most of my readers are… (drum roll please…) passionate lay leaders or other church leaders such as youth pastors, media directors, children’s church leaders and regular church folk (you’re awesome!) who really want to see their church tap into social media.
This is exciting because it really opens up doors for me. In fact, a surprising number of my subscribers are individuals and couples who have a passion and feel called to start their own ministry and want to learn how social media can help them do that. Recently I actually sat down with a young couple who felt called to an itinerate ministry. We sketched out a plan that involves self-publishing and launching a book and building social media platforms that will help them fulfill their calling. I’m excited to see what comes of that!
5. This is tough stuff… but oh sooo rewarding!!!
Every time (like 98% of the time) when someone from a church reaches out to me for help with their social media platforms there are huge hurdles to jump. HUGE! For some it’s the technical. For other’s it’s personality conflicts within their church (such as when a board is divided over whether the church should take social media serious. But in every cases, the task of helping churches overcome their unique hurdles (by the grace of God), has not been easy. If you’ve tried to launch a social media ministry in your church, you know what I’m talking about.
But here’s the thing… it is sooo worth it. When someone gets back to me with a testimony, when I hear that a person’s journey toward faith in Jesus began on Facebook, when I hear of ministries that are growing because of their social media activity (at least in part), that makes it all worth it. The internet and social media are not going away. If a church or any type of Christian ministry wants to make a long-term impact for God’s Kingdom online, today is the very best time to get on with it.
As I said earlier, the number one challenge people tell me they have with running a social media ministry is where to get the content necessary to keep their platforms consistent, interesting, engaging and growing. So I’ve decided to hold a one-time free 45 minute webinar called The CONTENT BUCKET DRIP.
It’ll be a free video-GooglePlus hangout webinar with me and whoever registers for it (limited to the first 50 people).
In the webinar
- You’ll see me face-to-face
- I’ll talk about your three main sources of content
- What a content bucket is
- And how to drip content from your buckets into your platforms automatically
In addition to this I’ll provide a free download that you can use for your content buckets and share with you some tools I use to easily and quickly create and/or distribute on the go.
WHAT? The CONTENT BUCKET DRIP Webinar
WHEN? July 23, 2015
TIME? 10 am Eastern
HOW LONG? 45 Minutes to 1 Hour
WHO? Anyone who wants to more effectively use social media for God’s Kingdom
Remember, this one-off webinar is limited to only 50 people. Actually 49 (because I’m in on it). Sorry, it’s a limitation set by GooglePlus. I’d keep it open to hundreds if I could, but it’s out of my control. Register right now before someone else takes your spot!
Whenever I run these webinars people always ask me if it’ll be recorded. I would love to say that I’ll be recording this one, but I’m not sure at this. I can’t make any promises. So if this is a webinar that you really don’t want to miss I’m giving you almost three weeks notice. Mark July 23 at 10am Easter Time off in your calendar. Set aside 45 minutes of your morning.
What is your ministry worth to you? I bet it’s worth at least 45 minutes of your time educating yourself to be more effective in your calling, wouldn’t you agree?
So mark that date and time off in your calendar and register by clicking the button below.
Remember, you don’t have to be a pastor, board member or anyone operating in an official capacity. If you want to reach more lives for God’s Kingdom with social media, this webinar is for you. You do not want to miss it. I promise it’ll be every bit as rewarding as I’ve been saying. You will not be disappointed.
But just say – for sake of argument – that you are disappointed. What have you lost? 45 minutes out of your year. That’s it. And that’s not even a loss. You’ve heard the phrase “sometimes you win sometimes you lose.” Real leaders know that’s a lie. The truth is “sometimes you win, sometimes you learn!” Which is kind of like a win-win.
So register for this webinar today, as in RIGHT NOW. The only way you can lose is by not registering.
Well, I’m off with my wife and daughter to enjoy the Canada Day parade downtown. Happy Canada Day!