Sunday, October 25, Northeastern Iowa Synod congregation members joined church goers across the country (and Canada) and checked in, tweeted, posted and instagrammed what was happening at their churches.
It is no coincidence that this took place on Reformation Sunday
Martin Luther was all about using the technology of his day to spread the good news of God’s love for all people. The printing press made it possible for him to get his message out across Europe. Social Media increases the opportunities for spreading the Gospel exponentially.
With Pew Research reporting that 74% of online users have a social media profile, it is likely that most church goers are on social media. However, while these folks will happily post photos of the meal they are enjoying when they go out to eat, the idea of sharing what they are doing at church still has not occurred to many church goers.
Social Media Sunday began in 2013 with Carolyn Clement on Twitter at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tarriffville, CT to encourage church members to use social media at church.
This year it was an ecumenical movement with many denominations across the US and Canada participating using the hashtag #SMS15.
Over 3 million people saw tweets with the #SMS15 hashtag. It made an impact.
Many of our Northeastern Iowa Synod churches encouraged people to check in or post from church and shared photos of the worship service.
Nazareth Lutheran in Cedar Falls invited people to use their phones during the service. After church they were invited to write their favorite bible verse and share a selfie with the verse.
Trinity Lutheran in Mason City passed out flat Lutherans and invited members to share selfies with Little Luther.
Some pastors sent in lines from their sermon and I made memes out of them to share.
Social Media is here to stay.
Technology is not keeping us from being connected. It is how we stay connected today.
Social Media Sunday is a way to help church members connect their Monday to Saturday lives with what goes on in church on Sundays and to bring the Word they encounter on Sunday into the rest of the world.
Hopefully the day will come when every Sunday is Social Media Sunday.
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