Elizabeth Drescher's name (and recent book Tweet if you (Heart) Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation) seem to keep coming up a lot lately. Recently, in conversation with the question of how churches might more effectively be using their digital presences, she says,
The church shouldn't be trying to sell a product or retain a customer with social media. If your measure of success is how many people are coming to your Facebook page, or how many people follow you on Twitter, that's not necessarily a sign that you're engaging people on a spiritual level.
Which I might amend only slightly:
If your measure of success is how many people are coming to your Facebook page, or how many people follow you on Twitter, that's not
necessarilya sign that you're engaging people on a spiritual level.
"Social media becomes the connective tissue from one Sunday to the next," [Drescher] said.
Implying that a huge variety of elements in the life of the congregation can be carried in those transmissions: news and events, yes, but also learnings, prayers, scripture, and deepened relationships.
That's how [pastor Earle] Fisher, also a college professor, tries to use Facebook and Twitter.
"We're not always in the field," Fisher said. "A lot of us don't have time to get out and meet everyone and shake hands with them," he said. "It's no substitute for one-on-one connections, but it does seem to help."