In staff meeting this morning we had a great talk about our ability to connect with people online through our websites, Facebook, and twitter. Sunday we had an amazing baptism service and in fifteen minutes after the event there were pictures of that experience on Facebook from the people who experienced it! NOT THE STAFF…from people who just wanted to share the experience! We love it! We are trying to connect with people online, to allow them in and live life with our staff team. We are so thankful for the people who are part of GCC and our online presence is allowing us to connect in a different way with many people. Check this out from a blogger you need to follow. His name is Tony Morgan and here is a thought from a recent post he made, go check his blog out! Read what Tony had to say about ministry online…
I’m amazed at the number of churches that still view the web as primarily an advertising mechanism to let people know who they are and what they’re doing. Go ahead. Visit several church websites. Really doesn’t even matter what size the church is. With few exceptions, you’ll find their web strategy is essentially a bullhorn approach. The church is standing on a streetcorner of the web yelling at the people passing by:
- “Come to our services on Sunday!”
- “Let me tell you about our men’s ministry!”
- “Join us for the golf tournament or fishing derby!”
- “Serve on one of our ministry teams!”
- “Give money to our church!”
- “Here’s what we believe!”
It’s a one-sided relationship. The church views the web as a place to promote their agenda. No interaction with the audience. No stories of life change. No solutions to help people experience community or discipleship online. At best, you may be able to watch a video of a service, but you certainly won’t have the opportunity to engage a conversation with others about what you’re watching.
Essentially we’ve taken the Sunday service bulletin and we’ve put it on our website. That’s the web strategy for the Church today. “Here’s who we are and what we’re doing. Join us!”
The rest of the world views the Web very differently. For example, outside of the Church, people go online to:
- Meet other people and build relationships
- Share what’s happening in their life and tell their story
- Get a taste of the experience, primarily through video, with the opportunity to interact
- Have the ability to share slivers of content with others (3-minute clips, not 45-minute messages)
- View content on demand on their time
- Create content to add their contribution to the bigger story
Rather than looking at the Web through the eyes of a Facebook and YouTube and Twitter user, though, we’re still looking at the Web through the eyes of a Sunday bulletin reader. That approach works for the people who are already attending our churches. It completely ignors the people who we are trying to reach.
And that’s the problem. We view the Web as an add-on. After we’ve figured out how we’re going to do ministry, then we want to know how to use the Web to promote our ministry.