Blogging / Et Al / Social Media

Twitter for Churches Webinar Provides Fresh Ministry Ideas

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve updated everyone on what’s going on Twitter-wise at LifePoint. Last week, I listened in on a “How Twitter and Social Media Can Revolutionize Your Church Communications” webinar given by Anthony Coppedge and sponsored by Worship Facilities Magazine. More or less, the webinar reviewed Coppedge’s The Reason Your Church Must Twitter ebook, but it gave me some more ideas for incorporating Twitter into the life of LifePoint.

Good Reminders

The webinar reminded me that Twitter does not replace what we’re doing at or on Facebook. Twitter is simply an additional method we’re using to communicate with our people. The number one benefit of using Twitter to communicate is sending text messages to cell phones for free. Neither the website nor Facebook can do this, and we’ll be thankful we have this communication system in place when we one day need to send word to our people faster than email or phone call.

Fresh Ideas

As these type of things always do, the webinar got me thinking, and I came up with a few more ideas for Twitter at LifePoint. For starters, I’d like to implement a LifePoint-specific hashtag (i.e. #lpco), so when our people start using Twitter heavily and (hopefully) begin conversations with one another regarding LifePoint, we can all track one another with this hashtag.

I’m also going to commission Chris to redesign the announcement screen graphic for Sunday mornings; the new graphic will include (very brief) instructions for getting LifePoint updates to cell phones. Once we have all the key ministry leaders using Twitter to communicate with their people, I’ll add a list of all Twitter accounts to our bulletin, so people can subscribe to those accounts, too.

Things To Do

Here’s where things start to get hairy, well, they feel hairy to me. I have lots to do, and there’s specific order that I’d like for them to happen, but that sort of depends on my leaders.

  1. Get key ministry leaders on Twitter. I already have our pastors on Twitter, and the next logical step is our main leaders. We have a keymin meeting on Sunday, and Twitter is on the agenda thanks to CB, the youth leader and the guy who leads the meeting. My biggest challenge is communicating that each separate group can a) use Twitter to communicate better but b) that’s going to look different for each ministry so c) it’ll only be as good as they make it. If they get on board, Sunday night and Monday morning are going to be filled with getting them set up.
  2. Get our people on Twitter. As I said above, we’ll introduce church-wide announcements on Sunday mornings with a new screen graphic, and once the key ministries are up and running, I’ll add their ministries to the bulletin. Even so, I know how reluctant people can be to trying new things, so I’m thinking a Twitter 101 workshop. Something real “quick and dirty.” Maybe 45 minutes after services one Sunday. Encourage people to bring their phones or laptops. Quickly explain Twitter, define the essential jargon, describe how to use it at LPC, and get people set up on their own machines.
  3. Repeat #1 and #2 until they stick. We all do this; we say we’re going to try something new and stick with it, but we inevitably fall off the wagon. I imagine I’ll have to stay on the leaders and our people to get them using Twitter consistently.

So that’s what I’m facing. I guess I’ll be spending some of my week working on handouts for the ministry leaders.

In other news, I’m uber excited for some upcoming networking opportunities. Tonight, I’m going to the Blogaronis, Springfield’s local blog awards. No, I wasn’t nominated, but my blogging pal Teresa and I want to meet some local bloggers. Then in April, there’s a Springfield tweetup for area tweeple. Very cool. And I’m also going to Oklahoma City in April to attend a Church 2.0 forum. Lots of networking, which scares me because you know how I don’t like small talk or meeting new people, but since I know I have blogging, Twitter, and church 2.0 in common with all these new people, I’m hoping that takes the edge off. W00t!