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Vision is Viral

Vision is Viral

Social Media 101 Blog

An interview by Kevin D. Hendricks

Justin Wise is ready to help the church get social. He’s been a social media pioneer and just released his new book, The Social Church: A Theology of Digital Communication. If you’re looking for a practical, how-to guide to social media for your church, this is not it. Instead this is an exploration of the why of social media.

We asked Justin a few questions about churches getting social:

What does a social church look like?

Justin Wise: A social church speaks the language of the culture. Simply put, our society is moving more and more online. A social church heeds the words of Jesus when he says “Go, and make disciples of all nations.” Social church takes into account the communication preferences of others before their own comfort level. A social church has the mindset that says “we are in a dialogue now.” The monologue status the church has enjoyed for decades is gone.

How can churches get started in social media? What’s a good first step?

Justin: The best way to get started with social is to understand what you want to accomplish with social media. And this really goes beyond “we want to have more Facebook likes” or “we want to have more followers on Twitter.” It’s knowing who you are as an organization, what you want to accomplish and then building a strategy for how social media can help you get there.

So, for instance, if a church doesn’t have goals, if a church doesn’t know what the finish line is that they are running toward—social media is not going to be helpful; in fact, it is going to be a detriment to that church. So really the first step in social is understanding who you are as an organization, what you want to accomplish and what your values are. And from there building a social media strategy on top of that.

I know that sounds a bit abstract but it’s really the best way to get started. Social media will just make a poor vision fail faster. Social media has a fantastic way of exploiting weaknesses and exploiting organizations without a vision, without an overarching purpose for their work. So the first step in getting started is to know who you are as an organization, what’s your big idea, what you want to accomplish and what your goals are. And then build a social media strategy that helps support those goals.

Click here to read the rest of the interview with social media guru Justin Wise, courtesy of The opinions are those of the author/interviewer and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the Florida Conference.