By Aaron Springer
Social media is all the rage in the church world. Everyone is tweeting, updating their Facebook pages, statuses and groups—but is there a point or a strategy to any of it? Over the past year, a group of tweeters have come together who see the church's great need for a strategic approach to social media.
Meredith Gould started the #chsocm chat (church social media, pronounced "ch-sock-em") just over a year ago after talking with people who noticed the same thing: the church isn’t using social media—especially not strategically. So the @chsocm account was born and they’ve been having weekly Twitter chats ever since. Meredith is a delightfully feisty woman who, along with a select few, moderates the chats via Twitter every Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. ET to discuss three topics every week. Each chat begins and ends with a prayer asking God to unite them as a community, giving thanks for every opportunity to reveal his presence and asking for guidance in their discussion.
It's Not About Numbers
It's clear the key participants of #chsocm are incredibly passionate about seeing social media used strategically and not with a 'gluttonous' mindset.
"It’s not a numbers game," Meredith said. "We’re not necessarily interested in how many followers you accumulate. I see social media as a powerful way to fulfill the great commission. These tools allow us to communicate with one another in radical and revolutionary ways."
We need to develop what Meredith calls "brand ambassadors." Pastors need to understand that there's far greater value in encouraging congregants to be involved with social media, talking about their church and faith as individuals than there is in simply posting sermons and then re-tweeting links to them.