Consider these stats from the Pew Research Center:
• 57% of all American adults are on Facebook • 73% of those aged 12-17 are on Facebook • 64% of those on Facebook visit Facebook daily • Half of all adult Facebook users have more than 200 friends
What might these facts mean for outreach in your context? Social Media is not a fad and it is not going away. It is the new mission field. A Facebook page is an easy way for you to begin to engage with people. It can be used to build community and relationships among your own members who are on Facebook. But it also has great potential for outreach. Even if you only have a few members on Facebook, what is the potential for reaching others with the Gospel if those few members share your content with their friends, many of whom are unchurched?
When you engage with people on social media, you communicate a willingness to speak in their language and on their “turf”. This is what successful missionaries have done in all times. Social media is just another mission field.
We in the Northeastern Iowa Synod believe so strongly in this that the job description for Director for Evangelical Mission has been written to include helping synod leaders and congregations use social media for outreach.
The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.
Latest Posts By The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson