Tag Archives: church social media

My Monday

God bookMaybe it doesn’t matter, you seeing my schedule. But maybe it does. I’ll run through it and talk about some of the things I talk about.

  • I preached yesterday, something I do every few months. The topic, part of a series on God’s characteristics, was “God is loving.” I’ve been updating our church website and sermon podcast with links to the message. (I also DM’d the link to a friend).
  • A lady from our congregation died Friday night. I won’t be doing the funeral, but talked with the family and pastor about the bulletin and the service (What names should be listed? Do you list relationships for the sake of people who might not know everyone? I know that she was shy, but what about a picture of the dolls that she collected for the front of the bulletin? We’ll record it, don’t worry about that).
  • I’ve talked with a person who teaches at our church about a conference that’s coming up. It’s by video this year to save on travel costs. I want to have several people from our congregation attend to learn how to build relationships within groups more effectively.
  • I wrote a memo on how to refine one of learning tools. I used dark room to help me concentrate.
  • I’ve helped the funeral director move the casket into the building, talked with the person in charge of the funeral lunch tomorrow and met her son, moved some furniture and trophies.
  • I’ve talked with a couple of friends at a distance about why Paul (the apostle) was cranky and how to spell a word.
  • I looked up how much it would cost to send a package to Serbia.
  • I added StickyScreen to my browser at work as part of my focusing process.
  • I’ve used Jing to create a screen capture to put on our website where I also uploaded a video about the community carnival we do every year (and told our facebook fans about it).
  • A couple other things
  • four cups of coffee.

What is interesting to me is the mixture of communication tools and media I am using in the course of my day. I bring my social media conversations about audience into the conversation about what goes into a funeral bulletin. I bring Jing and Facebook into promotion for an intensely local carnival.

Some days my life confuses me and I think about how simple it used to be, back when I only had one conversation at a time. But the truth? I wouldn’t trade now for then. Because of you.


on church and facebook

I am not a Facebook person.

I’ll acknowledge that I did stay up to 12:01 on June 13 and I did become www.facebook.com/jnswanson, but that is just about keeping my brand intact (email, twitter, flickr, tumblr, and other things that no longer exist). But I have been much more connected to social media platforms outside Facebook.

When I have come inside the pages of The Book, I have been somewhat frustrated with all the games and quizzes and “how well do you know me.” I have limited the number of people that I have friended, primarily because I lack the energy to connect as well as one ought to with all the people I have known across the years.

grabill missionary church logoThis week, however,  I realized that Grabill Missionary Church has to have a page on Facebook (Grabill Missionary Church).

What led to this shift?

1. I keep having conversations with people in real life who are continuing conversations started in status updates. In contrast to the many Twitter conversations I have with people far away, these are intensely local, mixing off and online. We want to be available for those conversations.

2. There are many people who come to our building on Sundays but who miss pieces of what is going on. How we help them catch up is always a challenge. I realized that I keep seeing some of them on Facebook.

3. We have moved from print to an enewsletter, but there are many people who change emails, who seldom check email. While I was trying to figure out how to connect to some of these people, I realized that some of them were my friends on Facebook.

So, after getting some advice on Twitter, we started a page on Thursday. I invited everyone from our congregation that were already my friends. I included a link in our enewsletter.

As of Saturday night, we have 49 friends.

We’ll keep it simple at first. We’ll let people know when the podcast goes up each week We’ll let people know when the enewsletter goes out.  (And if the link is a bit.ly link, I’ll know how many people clicked) We’ll let people know what the next Sunday’s sermon is. We’ve already put up video about worship and service. And we’ve started putting up pictures from the previous week’s events.

A couple final observations.

1. The intention of the page is to help people who are part of the physical congregation stay connected throughout the week. To use unspiritual language, rather than being primarily about external marketing, this is about internal customer service. However, we will be incredibly aware of people who are looking in on Grabill Missionary Church or on church in general.

2. We’ll remember that only some of our congregation attend Facebook. Others attend email, snail mail, small groups, Sunday school, and other communication and fellowship settings. This will force redundancy, which will be healthy.

3. We’ll stay focused on people rather than platforms. Our passion is not on connecting to new technologies. Our passion is connecting people to God and to each other. This new page will probably help. But if it doesn’t, we’ll blow it up.

So what do you think? Are we thinking about this the right way?