Tag Archive: Jesus


social-media-peopleShould the Church engage online and in Social Media?

Absolutely.

There is no question about it and, for the most part, everyone is in agreement with this.

But in terms of “Social Media Ministry” the Church apparently struggles.

Why?

Because the Church, generally speaking, still operates in a system that is defined by “traditional” media. Perhaps a change is in order?

Here are 7 reasons that I’ve identified that have caused more than just a light struggle in terms of Social Media Ministry:

1. Marketing

Some ministries still see the “web” and, as a result, social media as a marketing channel, or a place to promote their “services” (pun intended) and get more people in the door.

Social Media is far much more nuanced and is less about marketing than really anything else.

Creating conversations and dialogue and empowering the people within the space around you is what it’s all about.

2. The “Fit”

Ministries do not really understand where it “fits” in terms of the overall strategy of their particular ministry. Like the 1st point, is it in “marketing” or “branding”? Is it a “new” thing for our congregation? Is it for outsiders or insiders? Strategy…? What’s that?

3. Who

Ministries have no idea who should be “doing” it. Does the Pastor need to blog, or do we need ghost writers? Do we need volunteers or trained paid staff? Who the heck is going to run the campaign and initiatives? Who’s responsible?

4. Control

Social Media can’t really be controlled. That’s a terrifying fact for many of us, including ministries. Coming to terms with this idea can paralyze any initiative or ministry movement.

5. Long Term Perspective

Marketing typically is used for some short term initiative and demands results immediately. Social Media Ministry is not about marketing. But, since it’s been approached that way we think that the results should be instantaneous.

Wrong.

Like most investments it takes time. Ministries need a long term perspective and goal to provide true understanding of the value.

6. Expectations

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Simply put, some ministries expect far too much from Social Media. It still requires a lot of hard work, strategy, and wise deployment. Just because you launched your blog doesn’t guarantee that it’ll bring people into your doors, or that anyone will necessarily read it.

7. Metrics

There’s almost no way to ‘tell’ if you’ve been “successful” or not at times in the Social Media Ministry space. Be at peace in that tension. There are ways to analyze and understand, but be ready to be wildly disappointed… or wildly surprised.

Ah… Humility.

But there is hope. There are a number of ministries that have “got” it. Perhaps one of the first steps is to reach out to those that have done it well and ask for help?

Ah, humility.

Today It’s not enough for a church to “just be there” in the community. “If you build it they will come” no longer applies. People are searching, the internet, shopping Online, looking for something New and want to be WOWED all the time. As if what Jesus did and still continues to do were not WOW enough. The good old “Tent” meetings are not enough. We want more and we want to be entertained !

Before I start preaching, let me get to the point. It’s time for churches to become a part of Social Media. After all, isn’t that the point. To get the WORD out ? And no better way to get the WORD out than through Social Media. It gets out there, it gets around. You never know who you might touch at just the right time.

Who knows, you may just get people coming to your church. Be forewarned, it’s a ministry just like any other ministry in the church. It takes dedicated people, effort and hard work. But best of all, it’s mostly FREE !

So “Go Forth And Tell” the world is waiting to hear.

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So much of the activity I see among leaders today is focused on reaching the masses. “Successful leaders” speak at big conferences, host popular television or radio shows, publish bestselling books, or write successful blogs. Their goal is breadth. They want to extend their influence to as many people as possible.

Sermon on the Mount by Cosimo Rosselli

Jesus had a much different leadership strategy. His goal was not “reach” or popularity. In fact, as strange as it sounds today, he actively discouraged publicity. On more than one occasion, after performing a jaw-dropping miracle, he told those who witnessed it, “Tell no one what you have seen” (see e.g., Matthew 8:4; 16:20; 17:9; Mark 7:36; 8:30; 9:9; Luke 5:14; and 8:56). He was a publicist’s nightmare.

Instead, Jesus focused on true depth and long-term impact. To achieve this, he had a four-pronged leadership strategy:

  1. He taught the multitudes. Yes, Jesus had a public ministry. He occasionally spoke to thousands. However, he didn’t pander to these groups or “tickle their ears.” He confronted the status quo, jarred his listeners’ sensibilities, and often taught in parables. He didn’t feel the need to clarify everything. He often left his audience confused and wondering what he meant. His goal was apparently to shift their paradigm and get them to think.
  2. He mobilized the seventy. Jesus had a smaller, more intimate group to whom he gave specific assignments. He sent them out two-by-two. He asked for a BIG commitment. He gave them virtually no resources. Yet he demanded that they perform miracles. He told them to expect opposition (see Luke 10:1–12) and promised no earthly reward (see Luke 10:18–20).
  3. He trained the twelve. He chose the twelve disciples to be “with him” (see Mark 3:14a) He taught them and also gave them assignments (see Mark 3:14b–19). However, he also shared with them his daily life. Like the Apostle Paul would do years later, he poured into them his very life (see 1 Thessalonians 2:8). Because of this, he entrusted them with power to do the work he himself had done. In fact, he promised them that they would actually do greater works (see John 14:12–14).
  4. He confided in the three. Jesus had an inner circle comprised of Peter, James, and John. He took them on special outings (see Matthew 17:1). He allowed them to witness his greatest glory (see Mark 9:2–3) and his deepest temptation (see Mark 14:33–34). He prayed with them (see Luke 9:28f). He taught them things He did not teach the others (see Matthew 17:2; Mark 5:37–43). He even introduced them to His heavenly family (see Matthew 17:3). They were his closest friends and confidants.

Jesus’ leadership strategy evidently worked well. Within a generation, His followers turned the world upside down (see Acts 17:6). Within seven generations (318 A.D.), the emperor Constantine accepted his message and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. And here I am, almost two millennia later, writing about it.

After interacting with leaders at every level for more than three decades, my observation is that most leaders only focus on the first two strategies. They have a public teaching ministry, and they are good at mobilizing groups for specific assignments. However, very few intentionally train a small group of disciples. Even fewer build deep relationships with a handful of confidants. As a result, they do not have the kind of lasting impact they could have.

The older I get, the more value I see in going deeper with a few. Leading the masses may feed my ego, but it won’t guarantee an impact that will outlive me.

Questions: Are you following Jesus’ leadership strategy? Are you leading at all four levels? If not, what can you do differently to insure that your leadership has greater impact?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Great Leadership Strategy for today !