“Ok, Google . . . How do I effectively engage volunteers in social media ministry?”
1.3 million results.
“Hmm. Ok, Google . . . Can I please talk to a real person that has already been down this road?”
If you’re diving into a new role in church communications, you’re already well-versed in the power of Google. But you may have also noticed that Google doesn’t always get context right. It also doesn’t provide validated concepts—you don’t know what information is coming from gurus or real-world practitioners.
Context and validation. Those are two of the most powerful reasons to invest time in building up a personal learning network. It’s a concept perfected by educators, but it’s a necessity for any church communicator looking to expand their toolkit.
Many of my closest professional contacts I’ve never met in person. How can that be so? Well, they “get” my context, since they are going through the same issues I am. So Facebook and Twitter are now two of the most important tools I have.
To show you how I learn, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite “context-friendly” church communication learning groups.
A relatively active group of folks focused on church social media activity. Self-proclaimed, “This group is for support and discussion for those who run church pages (any form of social media platform).” If this includes you, join up!
Another active group that talks about more than social media. Topics can range from visitor card design to bulletins to websites to email campaigns.
Full-disclosure: I’m an admin of this group. I love being a part of this group because we share so much in common: 1) We are in church/ministry communications, 2) We are Lutheran Christians, and 3) I get near-instantaneous feedback on all of my questions all within our theological and doctrinal context.
Not every question I have deals with front-end communication. When I have any tech or audio/video equipment related question, I post it to this group. This group is full of tech-saavy Christians who are active in the audio/visual side of ministry. Most importantly, they love to share their expertise, and for that I am grateful.
#chsocm = Church Social Media
Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Every Tuesday night, a dedicated group of church social media folks gather to share resources and wisdom. If you lean toward Twitter, be sure to connect with the chat sometime.
#cmschat = Church Marketing (Sucks)
Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Another group of dedicated practitioners that discusses a wide variety of topics. The Church Marketing (Sucks) blog is also chock full of resources to equip you to connect.
That’s my shortlist. How about you?
Where are you connecting and learning online? What groups help you the most? I love me some Google, but I’m a firm believer in the power of context and tapping into the wisdom and knowledge of those who have gone before you. Looking forward to learning with you!
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