A few months ago, a woman from South Carolina contacted me who was very enthusiastic about the way her church was using new technology. After a few conversations, we decided these efforts would make a good feature story topic for our readers.
In correspondent Elizabeth Morrisey’s article, she shares how some churches and ministries are using Facebook and Twitter. What I found most interesting, however, was the portion of the article that described the live webcast efforts of NewSpring Church in Greenville, S.C. and how a ministry team huddles around computers during the service to chat and interact with their web congregation.
NewSpring refers to their webcast as a web campus. While there are portions of a webcast that fall short of the value of face-to-face and personal relationships, there are many aspects that are more appealing than a conventional church service. I thought about the many times I would like the pastor on stage to clarify a point he just made or all of those times you wanted to ask for prayer but didn’t want to draw attention to yourself by approaching the front of the church during an invitation.
Social media has its critics but before anyone criticizes it they should explore its full potential first. Yesterday, three of my Facebook friends shared on their pages that they had lost friends or family members over the weekend. Without Facebook, I would have never known about what they were going through and it gave me an opportunity to share my condolensces and pray for them. I also have a few Facebook friends and some Twitter users whom I follow who are great at spreading daily encouragement to others.
In short, these tools provide the church an opportunity to expand its reach by going where people are. If we interact more with people as the church, ministry opportunities follow.