Location-Based Church Poll Results

You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source and read the rest of the article if you’re interested in learning more…

Pastor Bans Facebook to Stop Adultery

“I’ve been in extended counseling with couples with marital problems because of Facebook for the last year and a half,” he said in an AP story. “What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great.”

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81% of its members have either used or been faced with evidence from social networking sites in divorce cases in the last five years, including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. A do-it-yourself divorce site in the UK has reported that one in five petitions it handles cited Facebook.

Let’s just say it: “People are getting divorced because of Facebook.”

It’s How You Use the Tool
I say that’s ridiculous. Fun fact: Facebook is neither good nor evil. It’s just a tool. It’s all about what you do with it. Let’s not condemn the entire tool because a few people don’t know how to use it.

It’s easier to live in extremes when there is confusion, and the church is really good at condemning things because they’re too hard to control: books, movies, television, the Internet, etc. What if we had abandoned those mediums because they were occupied by darkness? I shudder to think where we would be without being able to use those tools in today’s world. The church is called “light” for a reason. There have been some courageous, Bible-believing followers of Jesus who took a stand and demanded light in the dark places, and I’m thankful because now it’s our turn.

Facebook for Good
Here are some ways a tool like Facebook can be used for good:

  • Be Real: Let your staff and team be the genuine people they are. Don’t use them as promotion robots. Release some control and let them use Facebook naturally.
  • Remove Barriers: Connections through Facebook tend to break down barriers for people. I know several folks who attended a church already knowing several members. It really helps.
  • Have Conversations: Everyone is busy, but there’s something about a Facebook conversation that most people make time for. Whether it’s four sentences back and forth or month long messages, it can all serve to shine a light in dark places.
  • Evangelism: I think this is an obvious one, but there’s another layer. If you are living a compelling, God-honoring life through Facebook, people will reach out to you with faith questions. We don’t always have to do the pushing.

Author Danielle Hartland brings a great perspective to this issue. Shakespeare was right “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so”. You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source and read the rest of the article if you’re interested in learning more…

Bishops urged to embrace social media to evangelize effectively

Social media is not only here to stay but should be recognized and used as a “new form of pastoral ministry,” U.S. bishops were told Nov. 15 in their annual meeting.

“Social media is proving itself to be a force with which to be reckoned. If not, the church may be facing as great a challenge as that of the Protestant Reformation,” said Bishop Ronald P. Herzog of Alexandria, La., a member of the bishops’ Committee on Communications, in an address to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

Bishop Herzog noted that although social media has been around for less than 10 years, it lacks the “makings of a fad” and is “causing as fundamental a shift in communication patterns and behavior as the printing press did 500 years ago.”

“I don’t think I have to remind you of what happened when the Catholic Church was slow to adapt to that new technology,” he told the bishops. “By the time we decided to seriously promote that common folk should read the Bible, the Protestant Reformation was well under way.”

Know Who You Are

http://www.youtube.com/v/2Kbgd-uWhwU?fs=1&hl=en_US

This advice — directed at churches — is good for organizations everywhere…

When Churches Keep Quiet: Others Fill the Void

Any math teacher will tell you that a blank answer is still an answer. The key is remembering silence literally sucks. It creates a communication vacuum—a marketing black hole pulling anything into it. In the wake of a church’s silence, others will fill the void.

The American church’s lack of voice in the area of creation and origins has sucked in neo-atheists labeling her ignorant and pitting the church against science. A church’s “don’t preach, don’t tell” position on homosexuality leaves society no option but paint it as judgmental and unloving. How? A lack of voice allows other churches to speak on their behalf, offering answers and a theology they might not embrace. View it as guilt-by-association. One church said “A”, and you didn’t say “B”. So everyone is left to assume that because you are also a church, you must think “A” also.

Some churches lose their platform by giving communities the wrong answer, “God hates queers!” Other churches lose their light by offering half-answers: social action without Jesus or justice without the law of God. Most of us have lost ground by saying nothing. Years of separation theology, fear and ignorance have painted the sleeping giant as the town fool. This is no picture for the bride of Christ. So how do we turn off the sucking?

You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source and read the rest of the article…

Church Marquee FAILS

Blogs Take Test of Faith

A news report that challenges conventional wisdom, especially one about a personal/cultural topic like religion, is often rich fodder for online conversation. This was the case last week as a Pew Research Center survey showing that atheists and agnostics were more knowledgeable about religion than followers of major faiths drew significant attention.

For the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, almost a quarter (23%) of the news links on blogs were to a Los Angeles Times story about the survey, making it the No. 1 subject, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The survey from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that non-believers were able to answer more questions about religion correctly than believers, even when one controlled for educational background. It also showed that people were ill-informed on some of the questions related to their own religion. A majority of Protestants, for example, were unable to identify Martin Luther as the primary figure behind the Protestant Reformation. (The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Project for Excellence in Journalism are both are part of the Pew Research Center.)

You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source and read the rest of the article if you’d like to dig a little deeper…

Marketing Progress Poll Results

You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source to read the rest of the article. e1evation = “simply powerful social media”!

Repurposing Content for Maximum Impact

The gospel is to be communicated. This is evangelism. By what means should this communication happen? I get the feeling from the Apostle Paul that it’s “by all means” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

Paul preached and spoke as he traveled the Roman roads from city to city. He wrote and utilized the volunteer help of messengers to spread his ideas. He hit the synagogues, the marketplaces and even the prisons to share the gospel. Yet the tools at Paul’s disposal were quite limited compared to our arsenal today.

By enlarging your congregation’s collection of tools, you can stretch the value of your communications strategy and talk to new audiences in new places via new mediums never possible in the early apostolic era. Consider this:

  • The pastor’s message can be re-distributed by media through the mail.
  • It can be printed in periodicals and publications.
  • It can be offered in a media player on a website.
  • It can become part of a podcast, updating weekly with very little effort or financial cost.
  • Pieces of that message can become blog posts when re-worked for an online reading audience.
  • More pieces can be sent out as a daily devotional email.
  • Nuggets from that message can be tweeted and retweeted, or shared on Facebook.
  • Discussion arising from all of these distributions can create opportunities to converse with people previously out of reach.
  • Those conversations can become the beginnings of new content as the message takes on a life of its own by its listening audience.
  • A short clip from the message (if recorded on video) can land on YouTube.
  • Church members can share the clip on their Facebook wall.
  • The slideshow from the message can be shared online.
  • The slideshow, transcript, and audio and/or video can be packaged together and distributed by download, CD or even custom-imprinted thumb drives for other churches to benefit from.

Should we be creating new messages? Absolutely. But we can also take what God has given already and put it to its fullest possible use, spreading it around in the cloud of content we’re all breathing and then fielding the questions that arise.

The mission has never changed: Get the gospel to the world. But the tools have multiplied many times over, allowing us to do it more efficiently than ever before. Which means we can spend less time fighting to create more content at all costs and spend more time simplifying our message and distributing it effectively.

It’s all about churches this morning @ on the ‘elevation blog’ — due in part to rediscovering ‘Church Marketing Sucks’, subscribing to their feed, and being reminded of their great content. I quoted the whole post above for busy people — pasters, ceo’s, thought leaders — who wouldn’t normally take the time to click through to the source…