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This is a guest blog article by Wendy Spoon, web administrator of First Grace Church in Glenpool, Oklahoma.
My husband and I set off to our yearly get-away to The Arcadian Inn Bed and Breakfast in Edmond, Oklahoma to celebrate our anniversary. But it ended up being the beginning of our “Adventures in Social Networking”. You see, Edmond, Oklahoma is also home to LifeChurch.tv. They are a church whose entire ministry is based on internet media and social networking. It got us to thinking about how we, as a church, can reach out and be more effective in reaching people. Finding new ways to introduce people to Jesus Christ.
At this time, we had our church website. One concern is that we were not getting a lot of hits. Simply meaning, that people were not finding us because we had not given them anything to look for. This particular weekend, we were able to talk in depth about what God was leading us to do, and social networking became the topic of our get-away. While in Edmond, we were able to talk to the innkeeper (a member of LifeChurch.tv) and found out ways the church is reaching out using the internet and social networking.
Upon returning home, we began to research Facebook, Twitter, and what it would take to get video and a blog on our website. I have to tell you that before that weekend, my husband had no idea what social networking was, and I had only “gotten my feet wet”, so to speak. So we were embarking on a new journey and without fully knowing what to do, or how to do it, we jumped in to social networking. OurChurch.com played a big role in our social networking adventures. The same week we “went live” on Facebook, OurChurch.com began articles on social networking. We used these articles to gain insight on how to use Facebook and Twitter effectively. As a newbie, we would refer back to the articles and even Google a topic that we needed help in.
We have made links to our church Facebook page available on our website so that it is easy to find. On our contact page, we have included links to our pastor’s Facebook and Twitter. We have a Pastor’s Blog that is updated almost daily during the week, and just this week – we have uploaded our first video sermon.
We are not techies. We just pastor a church that wants to introduce people to Jesus. Since making our church social and interactive, we have went from around 500 hits a month, to almost 3000 hits in a month. In the 2 years we have had our website, we had 1 person visit our church because of our website. With only 2 months of social networking, we have had 5 families visit our church. We get over 500 hits a day on our church Facebook page.
It is exciting because we are using worldly tools (Facebook and Twitter) for Godly means. We aren’t as concerned with who is searching or why, but that we introduce them to Jesus when they find us.