Churches & Social Media

mgouldMeredith Gould is the author of The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways, which I named as one of my top books of 2013.  On a more personal level, I have benefited from her wisdom as a communications consultant and as the founder and frequent host of #chsocm.

As the World Cup has progressed, I have been involved in more conversations about social media than usual.  Interestingly, this has even carried over into church life and conversation.  During this time I stumbled upon an xtranormal video Meredith Gould created back in 2011 that is unfortunately as needed today in many congregations as it was back then.

So What?

I know of many congregations who have tried social media for awhile and then, when it didn’t magically produce amazing results, stopped giving it the attention needed.  In some cases the social media effort has had multiple false or at least limited starts with little or no follow through.  In almost all cases when the effort was short-term it was the effort of an individual that led to the launch rather than a strategic decision to include social as a part of the overall communications mix.

  • Have you ever been a part of a conversation that met resistance similar to that illustrated on the video? If so, share your experience.
  • How effectively does your local congregation use social media?
  • What is one area or platform you think your local congregation really needs to improve upon when it comes to social media?


  1. Wow! Thanks, Greg for your kind words, for reposting my video, and especially for the questions you ask your readers. I really and truly wish that video could be viewed as an amusing artifact but I’m told that it’s still being used a lot to make the point about ongoing resistance to using social media. Still. Like now. 2014.

    Recently a couple of bright lights within the world of #chsocm chat (@singingcarolyn and @leistcatalano) created and promoted a nationwide Social Media Sunday effort among Episcopal churches. I actually stayed home to watch the Twitter feed and thought/felt/prayed I was seeing a tipping point happen in real time. At the very least, our sisters and brothers in the Episcopal Church have given us a great model and buckets of evidence (check out the Storify and other recaps) about how social media engages people within and beyond church-the-building.

    More work to be done, but the conversation isn’t generating as much ire as it did years ago. For your efforts in this regard, I give thanks.

  2. Meredith, thanks for your continued efforts to help churches transition from older assumptions to those consistent with the communications world in which we now live. I agree that we have taken some significant steps forward over the last 4 years, but the progress has been uneven. I look forward to being a part of what comes next.

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