I really do believe all pastors should be on social media.
I know for many it seems like a dangerous endeavor, or maybe a waste of time. But, for the reasons I’m about to share with you, I think it would be a tremendous waste of resources for us to overlook Twitter, Facebook and other media outlets as an asset to our ministry.
I’m not unaware of the dangers or the pitfalls we might encounter along the way (I’ve encountered and overcome many of them myself). I’m just optimistic that when we commit our social media usage to God—just like anything else—He uses the tools of culture to reach lost people in His name.
Here are five reasons I think every pastor (yes, that means you) should be using social media:
1. This is the language of the culture.
Especially for those of us for whom social media was a later addition to our lives—as in, we weren’t born into a world of iPhones—social media can feel a little bit like a foreign language to us.
What is an RT, MT or emoticon?
What does “LOL” mean?
Why do they call it a tweet?
But I think it’s important for us to learn the language of our culture so we can speak directly to the people we’re ministering to. It’s the same reason Jesus spoke in parables about agriculture and fishing to his first-century audience.
What would happen if we saw social media as a gift for reaching the people who need to hear about the love of God?
2. People really do find churches through Twitter.
I have friends who were pastors at a small church plant, and because of an online platform they were running, they also had fairly large social media platforms. At staff meetings, the other pastors would share stories of people they had met at parks or grocery stores or play groups who ended up visiting the church.
By contrast, this couple would share story after story of people who had found the church because of their blog, their online magazine or simply because someone had retweeted something on Twitter.
These people may not have ended up at church at all if it weren’t for the use of online media.
Why not use both methods to invite people through the doors of our churches?