Monday, May 9, 2011

The Bulletin and the Sunday Morning Pulpit.

Thoughts on Upgrading Church Communication

There was a time when the church was one of the primary social networks of a town. Announcements made from the pulpit were sure to be repeated and disseminated throughout the city. This is no longer the case, yet many churches still rely on the bulletin and announcements from the pulpit as their primary means of communication about upcoming events and as a principle method of recruiting.

Times have changed and churches have adapted to some degree. When I served as Minister to Single Adults, our singles began to work the cutting edge, using email groups (Yahoo Groups) to inform each other about bible studies, coffee socials, church events and the like. This was big, but that was 10 years ago. Now, social networks and text messaging are have joined email in the world of real-time communication.

Smartphones are permeating society and nearly all social classes, they function as one of the primary gateways to social networks and are the fastest growing means information exchange today. Ministries can send instant messages to massive numbers of contacts via smartphones and social networks, like twitter and facebook. It is now possible to create instant conference calls even over cellphones, send location maps for events, and share photos. In fact, nowadays entire books can be sent from one computer to another and one phone to another.

Churches and ministries might do well to learn how to implement group messaging applications for quick and effective communication. They also should consider how smartphones and social networks can be a tool in evangelism and discipleship.

Disclaimer: TECHNOLOGY AND TOOLS DO NOT DO THE WORK OF EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP FOR YOU. IT IS EASY TO GET DISTRACTED AND END UP DOING A LOT OF NOTHING. BE CAREFUL.

That being said, here are some interesting applications I came across, but have not tried to use yet. 

GroupMe http://groupme.com

Seesmic http://seesmic.com

Google Voice http://google.com/voice

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