The continued proliferation and adoption of social media into our culture is astounding. This trend opens a massive doorway for ministry opportunities. If you still aren’t convinced, watch this video. Visit this site for the statistics and sources.
So many times, we as the church feel pressured to go Hollywood, entertaining and big budget to impress people with the gospel. Truth be told, stories “sell” the message. Don’t believe me? Pick up the best selling book of all time and read out God’s redemptive story as it played out in the lives of real people. It is called the Bible. Books as big as the Bible rarely make the best seller list. What beats all is the story of Christ. There is something about God with us that impacts people. That’s why telling and sharing about how your story intersects with God’s and how Christ has changed you is more impact full than any laser light show, rock concert, or multimillion dollar endeavor.
The emergence of this new media has opened opportunities to tell our story more widely, more effectively, and more efficiently. It has also broadened our audience beyond our imagination. However, this should not distract us.
Educational video provider, Common Craft has created an excellent new video about protecting reputations online. This information is excellent for youth, college students and anyone new to the social media realm. For the seasoned social media veterans, it is a good refresher on the power of our work online.
As we connect with and minister to individuals online, it is imperative that we both protect and educate them to avoid things that will tarnish their reputation or the image of others. In regards to Christian influence online, it is also important to teach Christians to refrain from activities that would hinder the spread of the gospel or taint people’s view of the Lord’s body. Likewise, conversations and debates over theological and doctrinal issues need to be seasoned with grace and wisdom. People decades from now will be able to read those comments. How will they be perceived?
Last week a former student directed me to Daily Booth. I generally have enough social media projects going on to keep me busy but I decided to check it out. Here is my review and suggestion for ministry.
Daily Booth is a mix between photo sharing, blogging and microblogging mixed into one. As it integrates together it forms a social networking type vibe. It allows you to snap a photo from your webcam or upload a recently taken photo from your camera. In addition to that, Daily Booth offers mobile/email upload features. Once your photo is in the pipe, you can add your post to it (no length restrictions). Your profile allows you to follow and be followed by other Daily Boothers where comments and conversation can ensue. Their live feed scrolls all the user uploads in real time allowing users to watch and interact.
Comparing Daily Booth to other social media sites makes it look insignificant in the grand scheme of things. While it does integrate with Twitter, there is no RSS feed or badge features to integrate with another blog or Facebook notes. I’m sure this deters many from using it.
BUT, in my few moments of establishing an account and watching the live feed I saw a post that said “I cant keep doing this…God please help me..” I was amazed. People kept revealing some heavy things going on in their lives and their pictures showed a lot of pain. What surprised me the most was that they were predominantly teenagers.
While Daily Booth isn’t the most high tech social media service I feel like it has potential as a useful ministry tool in 3 ways.
Understanding the hurts and lives of today’s youth.
Direct ministry to the youth on Daily Booth
I tool to suggest to your teenagers as a way to express themselves and begin a conversation for teaching and mentoring.
Welcome to SMM. This site exists as a resource to ministers and those who are interested in ministering to individuals both in and outside the church. Our aim is to give practical tips welded together with theological principles to assist in the use of technology, especially social media, to initiate and enhance ministry opportunities.
It is our prayer that these tools will be used to improve communication and support relationships where the name of Christ will be shared and the name of God will be glorified.
If you are a social media beginner we hope you find the sight helpful. Please don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. If you are a social media expert, please join in the conversation and help all who desire develop and improve their skills to engage the world for the cause of Christ.