Social Media and Your Church

Cailey Morgan

Today at the Banff Pastors’ Conference, Bob Webber, Mike Engbers and I had the privilege teach a workshop on Publicity, Social Media and the Church. I got to share a bit of my journey working on communications with non-profit organizations, and offered some tips about social media usage. I wanted to post here a bunch of the resources that I found helpful, and Mike’s list of some software for churches.CC Faruk Ateş

Articles on Social Media

Here are two of the articles I have found particularly helpful, that hopefully will clarify some things for you as well:

What would you add to these two lists? Where has your church found success in social media? Both articles originally published on thomrainer.com.

Developing a Social Media Policy

Once your church has decided to use social media as a ministry tool, it’s important to develop policies around its usage. While not from a Christian ministry, the first two resources are helpful for thinking through what policies might fit your context. The last one is especially important for developing a policy around communicating appropriately with minors and vulnerable people.

Technology for Ministry

Here is a list of some helpful available software for churches from Mike Engbers.

  • Backups: Both these services have their advantages but allow for remote backup of a computer to the internet.  You can encrypt the data even to prevent someone from reading the data you archive (don’t lose your settings for encryption as you cannot recover them).  These are both relatively low cost options for a yearly subscription.  Backing up information so it is accessible in a disaster is very important!
  • Networking:
    • Open Mesh Hardware  (http://www.open-mesh.ca)  a low cost expandable wireless network  that is able to be added to easily as needs grow. It allows for an internal network for an office and external guest network. Needs a moderate amount of technical skills to administer.
  • Live Streaming Resources: Live streaming is becoming more and more popular.  IT can be done from a iPhone or a full feature dedicated computer.  Here are some of the resources available:
  • Office Software: Probably the most basic software used in a church office is a word process or and spreadsheet.  There are a growing number of options to consider.
    • www.techsoupcanada.ca – has accounting software and Microsoft software at a charitable discount.  Microsoft Office 2016 can be purchased for $40.
    • Google Apps is  free software that come with any gmail account  www.googleapps.com
    • Open Office – free alternative to MS Office.   www.openoffice.org
    • Pages, Numbers, Keynote (OS X and in the cloud for all platforms)  (www.icloud.com)
  • Church Management: Church management software allows you to manage congregational information, print directories, record information, manage groups, and more.  Some even include finance and giving information.  Some are software installed on a computer while others are cloud based services that you log into a website to access or use an app. Prices range from free to expensive, from one time purchase to monthly costs. If using for financial information, ensure it allows for Canadian tax receipts. A list of options with comparison information can be found at http://ministrytech.com/church-software/. Some examples include:
  • Volunteer Management: These allow you to schedule volunteers and manage them effectively:
  • Worship Presentation Software: Presentation software allows you to display song lyrics, scripture, videos, and more.
  • Online Donations: These sites are some that allow a church to collect online donations.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Dropbox.com – one of several online storage sites that allow you to save files to the cloud to access and share elsewhere
    • Reflector 2  – http://www.airsquirrels.com/reflector/   This software lets you stream what’s on your mobile device to a computer.  This can be used to put the mobile device on a projector screen.  Useful especially for displaying a Skype call, sermon notes, etc.
    • Skype www.skype.com  allows for live video chats.
    • Google Hangout – Live video chats with multiple users.
    • Vimeowww.vimeo.com  online video storage where people can access your videos online.  Free for basic account.
    • Hootsuite –  www.hootsuite.com manage multiple social media accounts and schedule posts

Have resources to add? Want to know more? Shoot me an email at cmorgan@cbwc.ca.

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