How a social media hub is different from a Church directory
I’m writing this in a vacuum, because I haven’t exactly seen done what I am proposing here. I just see a need. So here’s the proposal, and if you have any suggestions or revisions based on experience with a church that’s doing this please leave a comment.
Social media, as we have come to know it, is with us to stay. The platforms will migrate over time, but a generation has grown up communicating on line, and overall, I would say that for the church, this is a good thing. We can start a conversation at a weekend service, and continue it all week. We can learn that people have specific interests, and send them links to articles and channels of interest. It replaces the classic “encouragement notes” or “thinking-of-you cards.”
- Ideally, a church directory lists every member and adherent. A social media index lists only people who want to share their various social media platforms.
- A Church directory contains addresses and numbers for mobile phones and land lines. A social media index has names and locations for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, tumblr, WordPress and YouTube pages.
- A Church directory often exists in print; a church social media hub exists only online.
- Church publications generally promote the church’s own social media pages. A social media index highlights what the church family is doing online.
- Church directories are usually only distributed to the people whose names are contained in them. A social media index can just be a page on the church website — “Central Community Church on Social Media” — with no restricted access, because each of the pages concerned are public anyway.
- Knowing that anyone in your church can access your pages is a wonderful way of keeping yourself accountable for what you write, post or link to. Your social media pages may reflect a personal family focus and other interests and hobbies you have; but ultimately you are aware that fellow church members might drop in at any time, unannounced.
- Social media is constantly changing. A social media index for your church family needs to be updated on a regular basis, perhaps weekly.
- If any social media platform from any church member is reported to have questionable content, all their listings would be removed.
If one of the basic problems in the church is that we don’t really know each other, I know of no other way to change that than to be interconnected online. This allows us to get to know each other to a greater degree.
Graphic: Sacramento Metro Church of Christ (click image to link)