And Jesus saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19

This year CMTA for the third year will be offering a newer teaching and equipping track called, “Tech” / TECHNOLOGY on the new and emerging communications tools for the church.

Click to access WorkshopsbyTrack_2015.pdf

Why? More and more people are going to their computer or internet or their phone first for checking out a church to obtaining their Christian resources. Furthermore, even more people are getting their information from “blogs” and using “social media” and smart phones to communicate. Thus, fewer and fewer are going to the classics of a phonebook or a brochure or even a church, a class, a pastor, or a book for their information and that also means Christian information and resources. Thus, the internet is the new printing press and prime communication platform and marketing machine for today’s church and ministry!

This is why most of the bookstores, Christian ones too, are closed or closing (which saddens me). So, we need to know why we should be on and use the Web and what is now called Web 2.0 or “social media” to enhance your ministry. This is something to embrace and even promote and it need not be scary. Like, what does that “www” mean on your screen? “World wide web,” or internet for short. And while we are at it, .Com refers to commerce, .Org, is for organization and.Net is for the network).

Now what is called “social media?” Are online places that people can have a free mini website to communicate rapidly to one another and countless others, like Facebook. And that and little blue bird is an excellent way to tell people why they should go to your church or use your ministry or how you can help them and then we all can chirp about our day on Twitter. We need to know how to do this well, what works and what does not and how to place our church or ministry for God’s glory on these new and ever increasing printing presses of the twenty-first century. What is needed for you to do?

How it can be used effectively for Christ’s glory? This is what we will be showing you at CMTA this year! How your church can effectively use the internet and social media for God’s glory!

Have no fear, the web is here! And.. Oh my, look what you can do with a phone now! Look like it like this, you are having a dinner party that you spent a lot of time and money on, and your visitors are waiting for dinner, one that they have been smelling and planning for, and you just have them sit, wait and wait. They showed up after all, they worked all day; they are hungry and have been looking forward to this food and fellowship. Yet, once they arrived, you have them waiting for hours while you show the home movies and wedding album. Younger people want their information and resources “here and now” and fast, they will not wait for the mail or a call back, they want to click on their computer and see what they want instantly and then get it. And even more so, get their information on their smart phone and then talk to and reply to you in “real time,” as in here and now. Then, they will tell all their friends instantly, hundreds, even thousands of friends, instantly! Thus, you can use it to market your ministry or not and disappear from sight, or “site,” like the boarded up Borders by my church.

The difference between Facebook and Twitter? Twitter is short and quick and your message is in 140 characters or less will give instant short blurbs of information that anyone who signs up to them and others can resend that info too. So, this is all about not waiting for dinner, an instant platform of communication to state what was your church like, how were they treated how the teaching was, what they felt and experienced and so forth. And… I love this, instead of making dozens or hundreds of phone calls to announce or change an event, one short quick message is now all it takes!

What is and how to use a Blog? Blogs are basely smaller websites, larger than social media and tools to show who you are and what you offer, what is new and to provide more facts and information. However, they can be so much more. You can use online tools to help people find a small group or mentor, or have online spiritual coaches post the latest Bible study or sermon or resource. Connect with your social media networking to promote as well as build a community to connect with people. You can even have forums for online Bible studies, mentoring, communicate to missionaries, Q&A, and messaging for immediate access to help people in transitions, crises, and socialization.

This can be great for you, as these tools give countless others instant access to your ministry! Did they like your church or product or not will soon be broadcasted, as they will tell, did they get what they wanted from your ministry, they will post that on their Facebook page which also allows even more wordage, pictures, connectivity and a backlink to your church for others to find you. Thus, both of these are marvelous marketing machines. If you are not on the web or not using it effectively, or they can’t talk to you on Facebook, which a is a great contenting tool to communicate to many of if not all of your friends and family at once, even share pictures, then they assume you are not interested in them and they will not participate or connect to you or your ministry! If you want to reach out, then be the fisherman Jesus called you to in Matthew 4, and use a net, the web!

Thus, Web 1.0 (the internet) and Web 2.0 (social media like Facebook and Twitter) and Web 3.0 is your smart phone, these are yours, now your primary connecting tool and dispenser of information, as well as your contact list. This is where you tell of your highlights of ministry or products. Let them know what is new, even send out a devotional.

Need ideas, take a look at the big companies and ministries and glean your ideas accordingly.

Dr. David Bourgeois, one of our previous speakers, a professor at Biola University, gives these startling facts; I believe that we are now in a “post website world”. What do I mean by this? We are now to the point that your website is NOT the primary way that people want to interact with you online.  Yes: the website is important! Yes: you should still have a website! But you now need to understand that your strategy for reaching out needs to go beyond the website. 

But where do you need to go? The simple answer is: you go where the people are! According to a 2010 Pew Internet Project study, 61% of adults now use social networking sites, with the percentage changing to 83% of users between 18 and 33.  Another Pew study shows that 72% of adults use their mobile phone for texting and 38% use them to access the Internet.  The trends show us that these two areas, social and mobile, are where the biggest growth will be in the next decade.  Your ministry’s strategy for reaching out must include these two technologies. 

You can do it and uses the web even a phone to help spread awareness of your ministry. This allows you to get to know you, your ministry and church and them to know you and most of all Know our Lord!

Rev. Richard J. Krejcir, Ph.D. is a Board member for CMTA and the Director of Into Thy Word Ministries, a missions and discipling ministry, author of several books, pastor and speaker with over 30 years of pastoral ministry experience, and he has done web ministry before the web since 1988.

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