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If you do not already get emails from The Barna Group, I would highly suggest it.  About once a month they publish research relevant to the Christian community.  This week they posted on “The Rise of the @Pastor.”  You can find the complete article here.

This article talks about the rise of religious content on social media, and also the rise of churches and pastors on social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook.  In the article, they state that “the Christian community’s voice has become a substantial one in the social, digital space.”  I find that Christian influencers are becoming more and more accessible to people through the use of social media.

Twitter is gradually becoming the dominant social media.  Church leaders included are jumping on the Twitter bandwagon.  I found this statistic very interesting:  In the last 24 months, the number of “church-based” users on Twitter has increased by 77%.  Wow.

Check out this infographic from Barna to see the rise in social media.

Social media helps pastors and churches to interact with people where they are.  This used to be in the coffee shops and out in the town, but now it is on the computer.  Churches and pastors need to be where the people are and where the important conversations are happening.  A majority of these conversations are now happening over social media.

If your church does not have a presence on social media, what are you waiting for?

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In order for your church to grow, you need to be ready to grow.  One way to do this is to make sure that you are visitor friendly.  I recently heard that the people in a congregation will usually only invite their friends if they think their friends will be able to follow what is going on in the service.

So ask yourself, if a visitor walked into your church, would they be able to follow along?  Would they understand what is happening?  Try to look at your church and the services through the lens of a visitor.  You must over communicate everything.

I would suggest doing it now, so you are ready for those visitors.  Some people in the congregation might not understand the over communication.  They might say, “Why do you have to tell us what we are doing every week?  We already know what is going on.”  They may know what is going on, but maybe a visitor will not.

Also, you need to have some way to connect with visitors, but also give them a way out if they are not comfortable being singled out.  A good way to do this is tell them where the pastor or staff member will be to greet visitors.  That gives them the choice to either go and introduce themselves or sneak out if they are uncomfortable.  The goal should be to make their transition into your church comfortable and painless.

I think you’ll find that you’ll get more visitors when you are prepared for them.  When you are prepared for growth to happen, that is when it is more likely to happen.

I was reading a book when the other said,

“Christianity is fundamentally a communication event.”

Stop. Think. Underline. Bookmark.

I really loved this quote because it is so true but it goes un-communicated.

How is Christianity spread?
How is Christianity understood?
How was Christianity explained to you?

Communication

Are we keeping the flame of Christianity alive by keeping the communication burning?
Are we communicating about it enough?