That is the nickname given to my presentation and talks about use of social media, mobile apps and other collaboration technology in the work of the church. Often, I hear a familiar retort:
“We can’t use technologies like that because our [clients or congregation members--or fill in any constituency] don’t have access to it.”
The truth is—you might be very surprised to find out that they not only DO HAVE ACCESS but they are using it a lot more than you think to gain access to the information and services that are important in their lives. The real truth is that it is the church and not those we minister to who are not making use of technology that better connect us with the faithful.
A case in point is a recent study by Neilsen. Here are the headlines:
“In the U.S., Hispanic consumers’ usage rates of smartphones, television, online video, social networking and other forms of entertainment make this group one of today’s most engaged and dynamic populations in the digital space, according to Nielsen’s recent State of the Hispanic Consumer: The Hispanic Market Imperative report. Mobile presents a significant avenue of opportunity for marketers looking to reach Hispanic consumers – Hispanic mobile users send or receive 941 SMS (text) messages a month, more than any other ethnic group. They also make 13 phone calls per day, 40 percent more than the average U.S. mobile user.
Social is another platform where Latinos are especially active and rising in numbers. During February 2012, Hispanics increased their visits to Social Networks/Blogs by 14 percent compared to February 2011. Not only are Latinos the fastest growing U.S. ethnic group on Facebook and WordPress.com from a year ago, but also Hispanic adults are 25 percent more likely to follow a brand and 18 percent more likely to follow a celebrity than the general online population.”
So the long slow decline in church participation, membership and pledging might have more to do with making the church more accessible and relevant to those it seeks to serve and responding to their needs with information, connections and support when they need, how they need it, where they need it most. Sometimes that is NOT Sunday morning at 10am.
A key finding of the Church Growth Program Action Planning Process was that the single most empowering action the church could take to stop the decline in participation was to throw open the doors to the church in a virtual as well as real sense to make the mission, ministry, programs and services of the church more accessible.
June 2nd, 2012
Grace Cathedral Ordination Day
12:30pm to 2:00pm
We will have another CHURCH2GO workshop presentation June 2nd 12:30pm to 2:00pm as part of the ordination day events at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. ALL ARE WELCOME.
Guest presenters for the workshop will be:
- Dr. Pascal Kaplan, President, iCohere, a social collaboration software solution widely used in business, educational and nonprofit settings.
- Gary Hunt, Member of the Diocesan Executive Council and convener of the Membership Growth Team of the church Vitality and Growth Project.
We’re preparing a presentation on how such technology can be adapted and used to create a Social Network for the Episcopal Diocese of California that would throw open the doors of the church and create a virtual community accessible to all. Bring your questions and come try out some CHURCH2GO technology you can use today.