Thursday, July 12, 2012
“Being privy to this type of exchange and countless other [Facebook interactions] on a daily basis proved to be a very valuable tool for ministry. What happened to me is an example of what some social media experts call “growing bigger ears”, or using social media to become better informed about constituents and what they care about. The concept highlights social media’s unique two-way quality. That is, social tools are not intended to simply broadcast a message out into the world. Instead, what separates social media from all other forms that came before it is its unique capacity to facilitate an ongoing, real-time conversation among the people it connects. Therefore, the value that social media offers to anyone in ministry resides precisely in its capacity to create a feedback loop.If a church is so big that it needs social media for a feedback loop, well....
Social media can do a lot of things in a church - building community most importantly - but if the pastor does not have a lot better feedback loops than that, we have a problem. Either the church is too big or the pastor is simply not listening.
Even in a bigger church there are many ways to "hear" that pastors often do not tune into to. Body language during a sermon can tell the pastor all he needs to know. The din level during the friendship greeting, or as people file out speaks volumes. Do people cluster around and talk after or make a beeline to their cars?
Personally, a pastor that needs social media for a feedback loop needs to work on his listening skills, not his computer skills. He may be a little too focused on his ministry and not on those to whom he ministers.