Social networking as outreach

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This is an interesting set of links on Social Networking and the church. A lot of young people use Facebook messages and text more than email. We can’t ignore how younger people are communicating if we want to reach out. Facebook and Twitter are free. So the only cost is time. But, any form of outreach takes time.

Tim Bonney

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Social networking as outreach: ”

Harriff Frazer Memorial UMC in Montgomery, Ala., already had an active Web presence before this summer. But the pace has picked up considerably since June 1, when the church hired a digital ministries coordinator. Brendan Harriff, a 22-year-old graduate of Asbury College, is responsible for regular updates on the church’s website and its social networking accounts.

‘We get on Facebook and Twitter dozens of times a day,’ Mr. Harriff tells Marty Roney of the Montgomery Advertiser. ‘… It allows us to get the word out about Frazer in ways that are less conventional. That’s especially important in a city like Montgomery that has such a large military community. When all the new military families get transferred here, many are looking for a church home. Facebook and Twitter are ideal for that kind of outreach.’

Mr. Roney’s article also includes comments on this growing ministry field from Mark Chaves, a professor at Duke Divinity School, and a good tip from Baptist minister John Johnston to never forget the irreplaceable impact of face-to-face contact within a congregation: ‘During difficult times and during joyous times, things like a smile, the touch of hand, just having someone to speak with, carries so much power.’

For more on the topic, visit my own story from last year.

(Via United Methodist Reporter Blog.)