Continuing our discussion on social media in ministry and keeping in mind that ministry is about relationships – and no amount of electronic or digital razzle-dazzle can replace one-on-one “face time with the folks” – what other social media tools can you use to enhance and augment your ministry, vision, and communication?
2.Email. A weekly or bi-monthly FYI blast to parents and kids not only helps them know what’s going on when and where, but it’s also cost-effective because there’s no postage or paper involved. You may still have to phone or use snail mail for those who aren’t online, but email is a quick, easy, low-cost way to keep connected and keep everyone in the loop. Options for free basic email accounts include Yahoo!, gmail, msn… lots more. Besides, what’s more efficient – placing dozens or hundreds of phone calls and talking to answering machines, or hitting “Send”?
3. Facebook. Want to share those great photos from the children’s Christmas program (be sure to secure parental permission before posting), announce the next VBS work party or preview a new SS curriculum? Check out Facebook. Over 175 million people are active on FB worldwide. Options include discussion boards, fan or group pages, posted stories, shared links, pictures and videos.
4. Twitter. A new social networking site, Twitter answers “What are you doing right now?” in 140 characters or less. Twitter has been referred to as “micro-blogging” and is a fun way to network with parents and colleagues. You can create a free account in minutes, update it in minutes, and customize the look of your page to reflect your ministry or organization. Post quick updates on ministry news, current events, what’s happening next, and link to hot topics on your blog (uh, you do have a Children’s Ministries blog, right?). Twitter is especially great for people with smart phones (iPhones, Blackberries, etc.) who can send and receive updates on the go, but all you really need is a computer with internet access. For more, see: Twitter 101: A TwitterUser Guide.
That’s the skinny on using social media to promote and enhance communication within your church or organization. But don’t limit yourself to the options discussed here. The sky’s the limit and the possibilities are as great as your imagination and creativity. Go for it!
Children’s workers, parents, teachers, directors and pastors: Here’s your chance to chime in. How do you harness social media and 21st century technology to enhance and improve your ability to communicate who you are, where you’re going and what you’re doing in ministry and why? What works best for you – and why?
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Feeling fatigued? Worn out? Low energy? Join us next time for tips on getting better sleep – and why it matters.