Many of us spend a large portion of our lives online. One recent report shows that 24 hours a week is now an average. A large part of our community in North Baddesley, Ampfield and Chilworth will be active on social media looking for events, wanting to meet new friends and reach new people. If we as church are not there, missing out on all those relationships is inevitable.
As churches it’s crucial that we do connect in to our communities on social media. We can run accounts that help people, inspire them and invite them come closer to God. In doing so, we can take tools sometimes used for hate and discord and we can use them for love, peace, and beauty. It is a case of swords being able to beaten into ploughshares in the all revealing light of Jesus resurrection.
Training at the Diocese of Winchester Digital Day 2019 focused on the best way to use Facebook, and Instagram because they are some of the primary platforms that large inter-generational portions of our community are using. Making best use of the different options to create compelling content that draws people in and engages them in questions around faith is sometimes tricky, but can be easily mastered by all. In concert with A Church Near You the Church of England’s flagship platform, where people are quite literally: searching for church daily an effective social strategy can be transformative, perhaps especially for the smaller church communities.
There are communities where web and social media can provide a more truly church like experience than any physical events, because of the exclusion that physical buildings and practice bring with them. This is a story that is emerging, especially from the disabled community at present. However in general Liz said:
It’s really important that we have these days where we look at how we can use digital not because we think that other – other means and mechanisms for reaching people are outdated and old – you know it’s so important that we still gather together – it’s so important that we have the meeting of people that happens on a regular basis where we can be tactile, we can get to know people, you know physically be around other people. But so many of us are spending a large portion of our lives online. …Such a large part of our community that will be active there, looking for events, looking for encouragements… if we are not there as a church, we are going to miss out on all those opportunitiesLiz Morgan, Social Media Champion for the Church of England