On Reformation Sunday, October 25, 2015, churchgoers across the country are going to be on social media, sharing what is going on in church that day.

 

It is no coincidence that this is also Reformation Sunday.  One of the key tenants of the Reformation was getting the word out about God’s grace to everyone.

Martin Luther did this by nailing his thesis to the door, translating the bible into the language of the people, preaching, writing and distributing pamphlets. We follow in his footsteps by sharing the good news on social media.

Social Media Sunday began in 2013 with Carolyn Clement at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tarriffville, CT encouraging more use of social media by church members.   It is now an ecumenical movement.

The purpose of this day is to

  • Encourage those in church who haven’t tried social media to give it a try
  • Encourage churches who are using social media to expand and explore more ways to use it for outreach and to build community
  • To demonstrate the power of social media to share the message of the gospel beyond the church building.

Even if you haven’t done much (or anything) with social media in your congregation, most folks in your pews have a smartphone.

On this Sunday, instead of asking folks to turn off their phones, ask them to take out their phones or tablets and:

  • tweet a line from the sermon,
  • take a selfie of themselves at church
  •  a photo of a page in the hymnal
  • ‘kids at Sunday school
  • coffee hour

and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (or even Snapchat) with the hashtag #SMS15.
And then check out that hashtag yourself and see who all has participated.

It can be that simple.  Or you can go a little farther.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Make a large cut out of Martin Luther and have a selfie booth.
  • Have a help desk staffed by youth to help people set up a twitter account and tweet
  • Have little Luther cut outs and have kids in Sunday school pose him around the church to snap photos and post on social media
  • Have people write out short (149 character) prayers and hand them in, then tweet them from the church twitter account
  • Have a social media workshop before the event to help folks learn how to use social media to share the Gospel.  (Hint:  I am available to come and lead those.)

Be sure to use the hashtag #SMS15 for all your posts.

Hashtags are what bring everyone around the country together.

Check out our YouTube Channel for Social Media How-tos.

This is a great day to see how churches and church folks around the country are using social media for outreach and community building.

I look forward to seeing your church on social media, Sunday, October 25!

Pastor Joelle Colville-Hanson
Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA

Download this in PDF file to put in your newsletters and bulletins.

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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.

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