If you won’t take my word for it that congregations, pastors and church leaders need to be engaging on social media, perhaps you will take Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s word for it.

When she addressed the attendees at the ELCA Worship Jubilee Living Voice in Atlanta, Bishop Eaton stressed the importance of congregations and leaders using social media.

Martin Luther was wise enough to use the tools that were available to spread his message.


I’m quite certain Martin Luther would have a Facebook and Twitter account.

He certainly would be blogging.  And probably Katie Luther would be sharing her beer brewing tips on Pinterest.

It is necessary for congregations and leaders to engage on social media, both for the sake of their members and for outreach to those, not in your church.  Social media is the new mission field.

If you are not on social media, you are missing opportunities to minister to your own members and you are missing opportunities to witness to how God works through the mission of your congregation and of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

I believe I have heard all of the reasons church leaders give as to why they will not be on social media.  I do not dispute the reasonableness of those reasons.  But I would challenge everyone who has a good reason to stay away from social media to finish your sentence,  “I am not on Social media because…” with “and therefore, it is worth it to me and the church to miss opportunities to minister and to reach out.”

I am putting it that strongly because that is how important I think social media is for your ministry.

Once on social media, there are better ways than others to engage and use social media.  I am available to help congregations and leaders get started and to improve ways to use social media for outreach.  I can come to congregations and I can do presentations at women’s meetings, youth events and conference gatherings.  There are several articles on using social media on this blog, and we have a YouTube Channel with several how-tos.

You can also type in #CHSOCM on Twitter, Tuesday evenings at 8 pm to read a tweet chat among church leaders using social media in church.

But first, you have to get on!

I look forward to seeing you on social media.  Friend me on Facebook.  I friend everyone!

Pastor Joelle Colville-Hanson
Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

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.


Digital Ministry