Purpose of Social Media Evangelism
As an initial part of the consultation, it is important to differentiate between social media evangelism and social media marketing. The intentions of social media marketing are to result in customers, listeners, or viewers purchasing a product or prompting some call to action. However, the evangelistic task has one desired result; salvation through Jesus Christ. Using evangelism as the central thrust, organizations should seek present Christ in such a way that it compels the listeners, viewers, or recipients to want to experience Christ more deeply. Each post, video, or media presentation should be done in love and not the religious tactic of
fear. Love engenders a spirit of wonder, where fear spawns anger and distrust. Fear seeks to quash wonder and to impose. Love frees to wonder and invite (Sweet, 2010, p.21). Using the social media platform to evangelize should always involve an invitation. Viewers shouldn’t be just invited to church, but they should be invited to Christ.
Benefits of Using Social Media
One the main benefits of using social media to evangelize is suggested by Leonard Sweet, Theologian and Author, when he said, “this culture has a language which is story and soundtrack”. Churches must learn to speak the language (Leonard, Speak the Language). Most social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram are already set up to speak the language. Each of the above-mentioned platforms have stories that can be updated by users and each story can have music added at the preference of each user. On top of the benefit of the platforms already using the language, social media gives us insight to the daily activity, thoughts and behaviors of today’s culture. We are able to listen to people, view their
stories, and get insight into their interests. This meeting them where they are at (Ohio State,
Communication). Sweet also advises not to “harm what the Holy Spirit doing. We are here to make an impression or Jesus dent, not our own. We are to observe what is happening already in their lives and then show them how God is working in it all” (Leonard, Evangelism That You Can Taste, Touch, and Smell).
Solidifying Your Message
Identifying and strategically communicating a message is vitally important to the marketing process. People need to be clear about what the organization is trying to say. From the meeting with the leadership, the evangelism team should be clear on what the overall message of Zion Christian Ministries is. The following chart should depict this idea of message distribution:
I recommended that Zion implement a structural plan for distributing content across multiple platforms. Understanding how each platform works, the recommendations is that each platform be used for specific reasons. Below is a list of recommendations for each platform:
Website: The website is the “one” online platform that the organization actually owns. Everything should feed traffic back to the website. Also, the website should be geared toward visitors and provide general information about the ministry, the pastor, and culture of the ministry.
Youtube: Because of the various benefits of Google Analytics and Google Ads, youtube should be used as means of archiving the streamed worship experiences and any other video that depicts culture! It is likely that if people are googling your ministry or keywords pertaining to a ministry like Zion, then changes are the youtube videos will pull up first.
Facebook: Facebook is the most viewed, liked, and shared platform of Zion Christian Ministries. Anyone should be able to come to Facebook and find anything about Zion apart from specific membership communication. Zion should use Facebook to for communication, streaming, events, and public awareness.
Instagram: Zion’s Instagram should be used to give a behind the scenes insight to all that is going on a Zion Christian Ministries. Stories and post should feature more of a reality show of the ministries culture. More than 59% of Instagram users are Millennials which is a younger demographic.
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