Creative Pastoral Search

A few days ago The Telegraph ran a story about a church in Essex "who have been without a vicar for 16 months have taken to YouTube to advertise for a replacement." Their creative effort is worth 3 minutes of your time. So What? Searching for a new pastor / priest / vicar / spiritual leader is a challenging undertaking for any congregation / parish.  While denominational churches must follow basic denominational protocols, all congregations can include creative expressions as a part of Read More …

Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus

In less than a week a 4 minute video, Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus, by spoken word artist Jefferson Bethke has received over 10 million hits.  It is a video with an important message that is worth watching, sharing, and discussing. So What? Organized religion has many strengths, but must not be blinded by its weaknesses.  In listening to the poets words over and over again, I hear a prophetic call to put Jesus first in all contexts (including that of institutional religion). Read More …

Social Media Tools for Churches 101

Alys Drake, communications manager for Howell Marketing Strategies, recently wrote a guest commentary in the Commercial Appeal that provides churches with a "social media primer."  She includes six basics: Blogs Twitter Flickr and Tumblr Facebook Geolocation (e.g. Foursquare) Other (YouTube, Ustream, Vimeo, podcasting, QR codes, Google+) So What? In the article, Drake states, "Information is spread at lightning speed via social networks like Facebook and Twitter in a way I Read More …

7 in 10 Now Use Video Sharing

According to the latest research by the Pew Research Center, 7 in 10 (71%) of American adults who go online now use video sharing sites.  The current number represents a five-percentage-point increase from the 66% of online adults who reported being video-sharing site users a year earlier and a 38-point increase from five years ago when the Pew Internet Project took its first reading on use of such sites. So What? Around the time the folks at Pew started this annual survey, many larger Read More …

Most Americans Are Now on Facebook

Arbitron and Edison Research have conducted an annual survey focusing on trends in digital platforms since 1988. The 2011 report shows that the majority of Americans aged 12 and older now use Facebook.    In three years the percentage of people using Facebook has risen from 8% to 51%. So What? Churches are also getting more involved on Facebook.  According to LifeWay Research roughly half (47%) of all congregations now have a presence on Facebook.  Creating a Facebook presence is typically Read More …

The Limits of Social Media for Ministry

Maurilio Amorim is CEO of The A Group, a media, technology and branding firm in Brentwood, TN that consults with some of the country’s largest ministries, leading churches, and Christian publishers.  Founded in 2001, The A Group has transitioned from a traditional marketing agency into a marketing technology  and branding firm, leveraging social media and mobile technologies. To connect with Amorim, friend him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or read his blog. Amorim recently blogged about Read More …

Managing the Social Network Map

Two maps offer a compelling visual case for the changing geography of social networking.   The first map was created for XKCD in 2007.  The second map  was created by Ethan Bloch, Co-Founder and CEO of Flowtown.        So What? Christian community has always been about helping people become and remain connected.  Most local churches tend toward the extremes of being incredibly savvy or only marginally interested in social networking.  On a continuum from incredibly savvy to Read More …