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Twitter for Your Church

d-MinFac-Social Media Green Mellen Media
Believe it or not, 140 characters could solve your communication problems

If you're a church leader who feels like your church should be using the social networking tool Twitter, but you're not sure how to leverage it to carry out your church's vision or mission, here are a few techniques that may give you some ideas for getting started.
Showcase your staff. On your church website's "Staff" page, provide clear links to those staff members on Twitter. This is also a good place to link to their profiles on other social networking sites like Facebook. Here's an example:
Show live chats from events. A simple hash tag (indicated by a "#") can go a long way. At a recent youth event, our church encouraged people to use a hash tag when discussing the event on Twitter, and then we pointed parents to the Twitter search results page for that hash tag. Note: It was very popular, but you do run the risk of someone posting something inappropriate; nothing can be cleaned up or deleted.

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Preparing for a Storm

Storm-coming-PreparingDuring a Sunday worship service, a gunman walked unnoticed into a church in a small town in the Midwest. Inside the sanctuary, he shot and killed the pastor. For weeks, TV crews, photographers and reporters camped out in the small town as the church leaders and congregation struggled to deal with their loss and personal trauma of the tragedy.

Faulty wiring ignited a fire that burned down a 100-year-old church in the suburbs of a large metropolitan area. No one was injured, but the congregation was left without a permanent facility where they could worship and carry out their ministry.

The respected pastor of an urban megachurch confessed to an extramarital affair and stepped down from his leadership role, leaving the congregation and church leaders to face the consequences of his moral failure.

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What to Do When Someone Goes Off

pastor-preaching-churchIt was the middle of a Sunday service. The music was done, and I got up to pray.

Suddenly, from my right a woman rushed at the pulpit, ran up the stairs, screamed something, threw a book at me and started back down the aisle. I paused for a moment in mid-prayer, taking in the situation.

Almost every church faces it from time to time. How do you handle those individuals that aren’t quite right?

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Are You Connected?

God is the ultimate filter for every part of our lives—including technologyD-MinFac-Tech

Technology is powerful—drawing you in, altering your world and expectations, even defining who you are. If you’re not careful, what you start out controlling has a way of controlling you.

There’s nothing quite like the power of saying yes. The ability to say yes is heady, immediate and satisfying. It’s the feeling of having the world at your fingertips. No matter what the latest “it” app is, with the slide of that finger, the press of a button or the click of a mouse, your options magically unfold in nearly geometric progression.

But with every yes comes a consequence: when you say yes to all this technology, you attach yourself to a digital umbilical cord that can be difficult to remove—even temporarily.

If you’re not careful, what you start out controlling has a way of controlling you.

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Creating a Meaningful Experience

To be effective, communication must be approached as a broad, multi-faceted spectrumd-MinFac-Communication

 

The church vision is clear; the church leadership and staff is in place; ministerial and operational systems are developed and running. The church is functional and taking shape. With all the given tasks to check off, it can be easy for anyone within a moving organization to get tunnel-vision, and not think about creating a meaningful brand experience. 

When it comes to the mission that God has placed on the heart of the senior pastor and the community, are churches being mindful of their “brand experience” and intentionally living it out? To implement a meaningful brand experience requires the entire team to embody the heart, mission, values, personality and culture of the church. Staff must be given the liberty to take leadership-covered risks in which they can creatively think and become a spot-on expression of the church’s heart. 

The brand experience is every touchpoint an individual would encounter related to the church. Each touchpoint should effectively bridge the church’s vision, goals, theology and community demographics (left-brain stuff) with the heart, personality, creativity and culture of the church (right-brain stuff). When done strategically and consistently, the outcome is a living, breathing, dynamic relationship that every person develops with the church.

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