Friday, May 17, 2013


from Internet Toolbox for Churches comes this great reminder....
by dave hakes

Guiding Principles For Social Media in the Church
What should the church do with social media?
The Catholic Church in Australia has addressed this question with a list of social media protocols for its churches.
But what about your church? Do you have protocols for your social media ministry?
Here are a few good and bad examples of social media protocols for your church.

Start and end with people

The main point to remember in all communication is the person on the other side.
The church holds a high value of every human being and this should be apparent in all of its interaction in social media.
Pastors, church staff and volunteers need to keep this principle in mind. You are not writing your own personal responses with your own viewpoints, but representing the church and its positions…and its goal of reaching people with a message.
Expressing true care for people in your posts and responses makes the church unique and even attractive to the social media world.

Make your church visible

Always associate yourself with your church when posting. Your profile must make this clear.
Social media networks allow you to choose what kind of group you are. Pick the religious organization section and mention the church you represent.
This helps people find your church when they are looking for it and tells people where they can look for more information.

Filter your content

The last thing your church wants is a bad reputation resulting from of a bad social interaction online.
Unfortunately, schools have even had to ban faculty Facebook use because of inappropriate material being posted.
Consider having one or two people monitor all of your public posts on your website or Facebook Page. This isn’t a trust issue. It doesn’t mean you don’t trust your pastor, church staff or volunteers.
Instead, see it as another set of eyes to keep everyone accountable. It is also a way of protecting the pastor, volunteers and the church itself.

Bring people into the picture

Pictures and video are excellent tools for interaction with other people online. But the type of pictures posted should always reflect your church’s message.
Obviously, house party pictures, vacation pictures and cute-things-your-child-did pictures are not likely to help spread a message and thus do not belong on your church’s Facebook page.
Use pictures and videos that draw people into your church’s stories and show what your church is all about. Feature pictures from internal and community events at or sponsored by your church, ideally with lots of smiling faces and people enjoying each other’s company.

Don’t leave relationships digital

The goal of social media is to get people involved face to face with your church.
Twitter campaigns, Facebook stories and blogs are all efficient means of creating relationships. But they can easily become ends instead of means.
Don’t make “getting followers” your goal. That’s social media for social media’s sake.
Instead, get those followers to come to church, to an event or to some other function. Try to reach people with your message.
Use social media for what it is, a tool to reach and engage real people.

Don’t throw out the rules

Social media is a tool any church can use, but using it without rules can be dangerous. Using it with the proper rules can effectively spread your church’s message.
Don’t be afraid of social media, use it to your church’s advantage.

What about your church?

Does your church have guidelines for using social media? Do you have anything to add to these suggestions? Let’s talk about it!
© 2012, Internet Toolbox for Churches. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


From Ministry Best Practices comes some great counsel.

Volunteers are the life blood of any church or ministry. Without those who generously give of their time, talents and energy - nothing would be able to be accomplished by the church (humanly speaking of course). Here are some volunteer no-no's and pitfalls to avoid when working and communicating with volunteers.

1. Never ask a volunteer to help “YOU.”
  • Ask them to help the church, or help in a classroom. Don’t make it a personal favor to you. Personal favors won't stand up over the test of time.
  • The focus shouldn't be about YOU.
2. Never thank a volunteer for helping “YOU.”
  • Remind them of your overall vision and purpose when saying Thank You.
  • For example, "Thank you for helping us reach all these kids this morning. You’ve been a great help to all of us!” vs. “Thanks for helping me out. I don’t know what I would have done without you!”
  • And... the church name should be prominently displayed on any thank you correspondence. Make it about the Church or organization, not me!
3. Don’t ask the same volunteer to do the same thing over and over.
  • Don’t abuse the willingness of one person to ALWAYS help when needed. Mix it up! Don't go to the same "well" all the time.
  • You want to avoid not giving others in the church the opportunity and privilege to serve.
4. Never show any displeasure with church leadership to Volunteers.
  • Teach the Power of Buy-In! Representing our leader’s choices as our very own. This shows our volunteers that we are a strong team, and are working together for a common goal.
  • Even if it is someone else’s fault, make it our fault (this is where the power of the Gospel comes in - we can own fault when we know that we are SECURE in Christ). If everyone would do this, then rumors and displeasure with leadership would be stopped early and often!
5. Never ask "How did it go today?"
  • “How did it go today, or this morning?” is an unhelpful question. The question is too vague, and you are certain to get merely a one word answer, "fine".
  • Ask questions that are directed toward the specific outcomes you and your volunteers are working toward. When you do this, it will give you and your volunteers a real and concrete sense of how they are doing, and it will provoke with them a real discussion of issues or concerns that perhaps need to be addressed.