Notes from “Social Media and The Local Church”

As part of the 2011 Fall Believers’ Institute Kick-Off, Pastor Scott Allen recently ministered on Social Media and The Local Church. We have provided these notes as a reference. Recap Social Media and The Local Church with Pastor Scott Allen anytime on our media page – click here.

Psalm 34:8 – Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Scott paraphrase – Taste (my life) and see that the LORD is good (to me… And to you, if you’ll trust Him)

1 Peter 2:12 (God’s Word Translation) – Live decent lives among unbelievers. Then, although they ridicule you as if you were doing wrong while they are watching you do good things, they will praise God on the day he comes to help you.

Quote – “Let all the brothers… preach by their deeds.” St. Francis of Assisi

Matthew 5:13-16 (NKJV) – 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Luke 14:16-23 – 16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled…'”

Luke 14:23 (God’s Word Translation) – “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go to the roads and paths! Urge the people to come to my house. I want it to be full…” “Compel them to come in”

Invite
Entreat

How?

By living our lives out loud, in front of all who watch… And you would be surprised who is watching. By living a Psalm 34:8, 1 Peter 2:12 and Matthew 5 kind of life that says “Taste (my life) and see that the LORD is good (to me… and to you, if you’ll trust Him)”.

It’s how we’re supposed to respond to the heart of the Master toward the people of this world and his command to His servants, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled…’

What are, and where are the the highways and hedges in our world today?

Our social world and personal realm of influence has expanded to the entire world due to Web 2.0 and the advent of Social Media.

What is Web 2.0? Web 2.0 and social media represent a shift from the Internet being the information superhighway (ever heard that term?) to the “conversation” superhighway, putting the power to publish our lives and our message in our hands.

Social media is a tool that invites people you know from the “highways and hedges” into your living room and opens your life to them. It is an effective doorway for people to “taste and see” that the Lord is good to you and He wants to be good to them.

Social media is an opportunity for you to be salt and light, and conduct your lives and conversation to be a tool to draw others in, and be an outlet of kingdom conversation with others of like, precious faith.

2 Corinthians 1:12 (KJV) – For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. So, to that end, as a church, and many of us on the church staff are “having our conversation” in this world through social media. In the staff section of emic.org, you can find links to many of our our individual social media profiles.

Social Media and The Local Church Statistics and Information

(Social Media and The Local Church Slideshow – View in New Window)

General

  • Over 50% of the World’s Population is under 30 – and 96% of them use social media
  • Imagine reaching 50 million people with your message. In the past, this would take years – with Radio it would take 38 years, with Television – 13. Then the internet came along and shortened the time it would take to reach 50 million people to only 4 years. Social media changed everything – Facebook grew to over 200 millions users in less than a year.
  • Facebook is the largest of all social media networks. Facebook started in 2004 and gained nearly 1 million users by the end of it’s first year. Today, 7 years later – it has grown to more than 750 Million active users – of which at least half use Facebook on a daily basis – thats over 375 million active users on any given day.
  • Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project. It has over 19 million articles in 282 languages. It has become the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet having 365 million readers.
  • If Wikipedia were made into a book it would be 2.25 million pages long and would take over 123 years to read.
  • More videos are uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than all three major US networks created in 60 years
  • 2 Billion videos are watched on YouTube Everyday – That’s nearly double the prime-time audience of all 3 major US broadcast networks combined.
  • 24 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
  • Twitter – A social networking service that allows users to answer the question “what are you doing?” by sending short text messages to friends – started out as a texting (sms) service.
  • Twitter has about 190 million users
  • On Flickr (an image based social media service available from Yahoo) some 3000 photos are uploaded every minute
  • A new member joins LinkedIn (a business-oriented social networking site) every minute

Facebook:

  • If Facebook were a country it would be the worlds 3rd largest ahead of the US and behind China and India
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
  • There are more than 250 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices (Parents – this means that your teens aren’t just playing Fruit Ninja on their smartphone – they are connecting with the largest community in the world.)
  • 3 Billion Photos per month uploaded to Facebook

Twitter:

  • 25 Billion Tweets were sent in 2010
  • Hashtags – Think “searchable list” only instead of on Google it’s on Twitter. Place the # symbol in front of any word and “viola” you have either created or contributed to a searchable list.

LinkedIn:

  • LinkedIn has over 100 Million users worldwide
  • 80% of companies use LinkedIn as a recruitment tool

We had several great questions asked via Facebook and Twitter. Here are a few of these questions and their answers.

Question: Is there anything we should “beware” of regarding social media?
Although several social media sites have taken drastic measures to upgrade their privacy and security – there are of course many things to “beware” of when using social media. Facebook offers a tool called “Places” that allows users to “check in” or mark where they are on a map using the GPS on a smartphone or the IP address of an internet connection. This tool can be valuable when marketing a business or organization, but dangerous when used to check in to a place of residence or private property. Not only do you automatically give away your location to everyone on the web, you also could expose yourself to organized theft groups who use websites to track when people are away from their homes by monitoring social media sites. It’s best to use these tools, and any location services provided by mobile devices and social media, for strictly professional or organizational purposes. For more information on how to stay safe on social media sites – read this article  – Managing Your Digital Identity on Social Media Sites (Eagle Mountain Church does not take responsibility for content posted on other sites)

Question: Does Social Media take away from our quiet time with God?
It certainly can! Like every media outlet or entertainment source, social media has the potential to distract us from spending time with God. The key is in learning how to manage time.

Question: How can social media help me as an EMIC member? Are there benefits to connecting via Twitter or Facebook?
By using social media, we are able to get news and updates to our followers, as well as help members stay connected to the ministry of Eagle Mountain Church. Follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter and start connecting today.

Question: How do you recover from a possible wrongdoing with social media (i.e. a professionally miss-understood post, friendship, etc)?
With social media, it’s always best to fully think through any possible implications or confusion your words may cause. If your post requires a more thorough explanation to fully understand or to not be taken the wrong way, then it may best be said via a blog or other long-form communication. Recovering from a miss-understanding on social media can a be difficult and humbling process. Just like repairing relationships in the real world – honesty and admitting to mistakes goes a long way.

Question: How is social media affecting the marketing world, and what does that mean for the local church?
Upwards of 90% of individuals trust peer recommendations over advertisements. This means good and bad experiences and opinions are shared, in many cases immediately. The marketing world has had to drastically adjust it’s approach, steering away from conventional advertisement in exchange for a grassroots, sociable, and more personable concept. The local church can greatly benefit from taking hold of these systems. In several ways, social media has taken down barricades that prevented the spreading of the gospel. In the past few years we have seen social media used to directly impact changes in government, democracy, and entire countries. The world is wide open to hear what we have to say.