How many social media sites would you figure exist? Three? Five? Seven? I’m not exactly sure, but I know that seven isn’t even close. Just look over this Wikipedia list of “major” social networking websites. Well over a hundred are listed. And that’s just the major ones.
So how many social media websites does your church need to plug into? After all, if there are over 5,000,000 people on the social media network About.me, and if you want to make the biggest impact for God’s Kingdom as you can by reaching the most people you can, doesn’t it follow that your church should be on that (and every other) social media platform?
Well, no, actually. The fact is if your church tries to overextend itself not only will it fail in its mission to impact the digital space for God’s Kingdom, but it may actually be harmful to your mission and ministry.
So here are four reasons why you should be selective of the social media websites that your ministry plugs into.
1. You can’t be everywhere at once.
Not even in the digital space can you be everywhere at once. While there may be countless places that you can go in the digital space, your resources are limited. When God established your ministry he placed you in the home, the building, the community, that you’re in. You are there for a reason. Consider your social media presence the same. Pray and ask God where the best place online to devote your resources to and then commit.
2. You’ll never attain excellence.
I believe God wants our best. He wants us to commit to putting our hands to whatever plow we’ve taken up and to push forward without looking back. In other words, God wants our excellence. Now notice I didn’t say that God wants excellence from us. I said he wants our excellence. God doesn’t want the best that exists (with that kind of thinking, those of us who are not Olympic athletes shouldn’t bother working out at all!). What God wants is our best. Our excellence.
But there’s a huge learning curve with social media. If we choose too many platforms we’ll never be excellent at any of them. You’ve heard the phrase Jack of all trades, master of none. God would prefer us to be excellent at one trade, one social media platform, than the Jack of all of them.
3. Focus brings clarity.
When you focus on one or only few platforms rather than on many it’ll bring clarity to your mission and help your people stay focused.
The last thing you want is to have the people in your church confused about your mission and your presence. If they’re even a bit unsure of the direction your church is going with its social media strategy, you can bet that your people will be at a complete loss. I remember hearing someone say once that a mist in the pulpit is a fog in the pew. It’s true for everything. If your social media ministry is scattered all over the map, you’ll be accomplishing a whole lot of nothing. You’ve heard the saying, if you stand for everything you stand for thing? It’s true with social media too. If you’re everywhere on social media then you’re nowhere on social media.
4. The mission deserves attention
Ultimately think about your purpose (i.e. your “why”). Why are you building a social media ministry? With some nuances aside, the big reason is no doubt to impact the lives of real people for God’s Kingdom. Here’s the thing, that takes personal attention. There is a “social” element built right into the heart of social media technology. The real world and the digital world are so tightly linked that people can literally feel the digital world pulse on their wrist these days.
So to give your mission – the people you are trying to impact – the attention they deserve and need to truly minister to them, you need to be selective about which social media platforms you plug into as a church. If you want real impact in the digital space, don’t think big. Think small. Think focus. Find your target, and love on them through the digital sphere with as much love as you can muster.
Question: What criteria do you use to select the social media platforms that your church leverages? You can leave a comment by clicking here.