Thursday, October 24, 2013

Social Media Can't Work Miracles

Chris Turner, of D. Chris Turner Communications

Social media has transformed virtually every area of our lives. That’s an understatement, I know, but while social media is a force, it is also true it can’t work miracles. It serves church leaders well to recognize the limitations of social media as they continue to integrate social media into their ministry strategies.

1. Social media can’t improve a ministry or church.
It makes no difference what aspect of ministry it is, if the quality of people connection and the depth of ministry is absent, social media isn’t going to make it better. However, social media could be the sword people use to strike a vicious blow if genuineness and quality are lacking. Churches that want to reap a social media benefit should first concentrate on producing a quality church experience; then they have something worth sharing.

2. Social media can’t improve "customer service."
Ministers and churches that don’t truly value people don’t really offer “customer service;” they tolerate “customer obligations.” Believe it or not, it is true that ministry demands can create an impression that there is no sense of value for the people who support the church. Social media is an excellent tool to enhance the “customer service” experience when it is a fundamental attitude of ministers and churches.

3. Social media can’t replace leadership
Firing off pithy Tweets does not a leader make. In fact, social media can actually expose the disparity between what a leader says and what he or she actually does. It can reveal a character gap. However, social media in the hands of a true leader can be a powerful tool that adds breadth to ministry and serves others well.

Social media can make an immeasurably positive difference in the effectiveness of a minister’s ability to communicate and interact with others – thereby positively impacting their lives, but it can’t compensate for poor quality and poor leadership.

And if quality and leadership are lacking, it might be better for a minister or church to avoid integrating social media. After all, social media can’t work miracles.