I am very excited about the launch of my new book, Go Ye Into All The World Wide Web. In the book, I discuss the idea of churches, pastors and leaders approaching their efforts to build their digital footprint from a different perspective. Instead of digital marketing, it is Social Ministry.
To me, Social Ministry goes beyond social media – it encompasses a ministry’s entire digital presence: website, email, apps, podcasts and social media.
Here is an excerpt from Go Ye Into All The World Wide Web where I delve into this concept a bit deeper:
We are living in different times. In order to reach the next generation and keep your members engaged, your ministry has to have a solid presence in the digital marketplace. “Going into all the world” has taken on a new connotation: a strong digital presence allows your ministry to impact the world beyond the pews. Do you have a plan in place that positions your ministry to operate with a spirit of excellence? Is your team (both staff and volunteers) equipped with the skills, tools, and resources needed to support the ministry online?
I have worked with many organizations, large and small, that see the value of digital marketing and social media in today’s competitive marketplace. I have sat at conference tables with some of the most talented marketing professionals developing robust strategies to accomplish the goals of the organization in a variety of industry verticals. While I am a staunch advocate for this process, I think it should be approached differently in the church. When it comes to impacting lives for the kingdom of God, the bottom line should be souls, not traditional marketing deliverables. Now don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a business side to churches venturing into the digital arena. Inherently, having an online presence comes with additional operational costs and a skilled staff to make things happen. However, it is my position that in the midst of the operational costs, staffing needs and the monetization possibility of this work, the main thing needs to stay the main thing: The Great Commission.
So, let’s define social ministry. Social ministry is the untapped, often underestimated opportunity the local church has to disciple and change lives through its online platforms. The task is great, but the plan is simple. The following pages will give you the framework you need to develop a solid plan for your ministry in the digital arena. The plan will give you insights from two perspectives: practical tactics, concepts and mechanics, and the more God-inspired impact you can have through social ministry. You need the information that defines the practical needs to implement the principles I will explain. However, with that comes how things can be implemented in a way that still allows you to approach the work in alignment with what God has called you to do.
Your church’s social ministry should ultimately be an extension of everything that is going on within the four walls of your building. Advancements in modern technology have given you the power to reach far beyond the pews! Once you have a strong foundation laid, build upon it by developing ministry-centric campaigns that have a primary objective to touch souls and enrich the lives of the people you serve. Prepare to mind God’s business in the digital space.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to go into all the world and spread the gospel. Do not lose sight of that and I surmise you will stand in awe of the ways God will enlarge your territory, just as he did Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.
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Until next time…keep minding GOD’s business as you build your Social Ministry!