Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Social Ministry Internet Presence

If a church or a youth ministry wants to launch a social ministry presence there are some things that you can and should do to make it more successful.

Whether it is through myspace, facebook, beebo, virb or any other social website, having a social internet ministry can enhance what you do as a church. Doing it with the right motivation and following through with it can be a way to keep people connected as well as break outside the walls of your church.

Here are a couple of principles you can put in place to make it more successful:

Assign A Leader - Having someone lead this, just as someone would lead a physical ministry within your church, is key. This is something you just can't throw up. If all you are going to do is start a myspace page or facebook page and leave it...DON'T. Do it by having someone lead it. This person could also become your internet pastor. Remember, the internet has quickly shrunk the world. Don't let your presence be just another site.

Listen - One of the purposes is creating conversations with those within and outside of the church. This means a two-way communication. Remember you are creating relationships it's not all about you.

Respond - When the tough questions come don't shy away...respond. Respond in a way that communicates care and God's grace.

Open the Dialog - It is said that America is the loneliest place to live. Many people want to belong. A social internet presence can be a great entry place for someone. Initiate the conversation. Ask a question.

Encourage - There are plenty of people that are hurting and need the encouragement that they can make it. Be that to them.

Acknowledge - Be aware of what is going on in the world of your community. When someone is hurting acknowledge and care. When someone is doing great...celebrate. Add something to their world.

Stay Transparent - Don't be more than your not. It's often easy to hide behind the anonimity of the internet. Be real as a leader and as a church.

Listen - Once again...we live in a world that is hurting. Make sure you are listening.

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