“I think our pastor is spending too much time on his blog,” said the voice on the other side of the phone. I had to disagree with the caller and spend some time talking with him about why blogging was one of the best way for his pastor to spend his time, even if it meant that he had to cut some of his office time short or send someone in his place to make a hospital visit.
When done well, social media will help a pastor connect with his congregation in a level that, previously, he could only do with a select few. My pastor, for example, Pete Wilson, is an avid blogger, Twitterer, and Facebook user. He has over 6,000 people who daily visit his blog and whose lives Pete speaks into, even though our church only runs 2,500 people in attendance. I keep up with him mostly through Twitter. I know that he had a date with Brandi, his wife, Saturday afternoon and that last week he and his boys played in the snow. In the rare moments that Pete and I have time to meet together outside a board meeting or some other church setting, I don’t have to ask him “What’s going on with you?” I know what’s going on. It’s much easier, then, to move beyond the ordinary and go into a deeper discussion. I find that our conversations these days have more substance and meaning than just those of a couple of years ago.
Social media allows pastors to communicate real life issues with their congregants and potential congregants who find comfort in getting to know their spiritual leaders more intimately without being intrusive and needing to have “face time” with them. It also allows people to get to know their hearts outside the stage setting. Spiritual leaders are husbands, fathers, mothers, sons, bosses and face some of the same challenges everyone does. Social media allows for these real-life moments to be shared.
If you are a Pastor I would encourage you to use these tools to engage your congregation and those you’re trying to reach for Christ. Years ago most pastors, and all committed Christians were expected to knock on thousands of doors in the name of evangelism. Our mandate for evangelism is still there, but instead of wood doors, we now have the opportunity to knock on much larger digital doors.
Is your church and Pastor using social media effectively?