I use social networking and have seen great benefits to our kids ministry. In the day and age we live in if you are not leveraging social networks I feel you are limiting your ability and the overall effectiveness of your ministry.
I met Michael Chanley through social networking and can tell from many conversations we have had that we have the same heart and vision for what social media and networking can do for the future of kids ministry. I have personally been blessed and made many connections through www.cmconnect.org if you aren’t on cmconnect join up today it’s free. I appreciate all that Michael does for kids and family ministry. Michael has a huge hart and vision for family ministry check out his blog.
Here are some of his thoughts on Social Networking:
Why Social Networking Matters
At first glance twitter seems really self-centered, even egotistical. Seriously, who cares what you are doing right now? Facebook can become worthless, self promoting, and pointless. Then there is MySpace. I suppose its reputation precedes it… trashy. Ugh, that community went down hill really fast.
However, all of these sites can become a valuable tool to the minister who is willing to think outside of the box. You just have to keep your mind sharp and your heart pure. I’ve often struggled with my focus in this area. The number of “friends” or “followers” we have can become a competitive distraction. We can get confused and place too much emphasis on the loose social ties we too easily create. It smells to me like running for class president in High School and then thinking that everyone LOVES you if you win. Sorry Summer, I voted for Pedro… that Napoleon can dance.
As men and women of faith we know better. Our calling is not to be popular. We are to be salt and light. With that in mind, social networking can be one more arena where we fight the good fight.
Here are a few ways to keep your social networking free, purposeful, and pure:
1. First, think pure. Measure your actions online (and elsewhere) against God’s Word. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Phillipians 4:8
2.Twitter to mobile devices. Use your personal account to tweet the silly random things you do all day; but, then create a second account to announce goings on at your church or in your organization. Then, encourage your tweets to follow your ministry tweets on their mobile device.
3.Facebook with focus. Create a group to connect your church, community, or ministry in digital friendship.
4.Bounce your eyes at MySpace. If you find dirty images, avoid them or get a filter. Still to much of a temptation for you? Well, don’t use MySpace or find someone who can handle it and disciple them.
5.Connect with a purpose. Join a free social network (like www.cmconnect.org). Use it to manage your volunteers, events, blog, groups, interests, videos, pictures, etc. If you want a similar site for the parents and families at your church, try www.parentunity.org.
We can not afford to ignore Social Networking. It is a powerful tool with tons of potential to reach people and connect with them. It’s free, it’s fun, and it works for ministry. The people in your church are probably already there. Don’t you think you should join them?