Several years ago, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged Catholics to use the web and social media to reach others . In a video released by the vatican on YouTube , he says in part, “So that the Church and its message continue to be present in the great “Mars Hill” of social communications as defined by John Paul II and so that it is not a stranger to those spaces where … people search for answers and meaning in their lives, you must find new ways to spread voices and images of hope through the ever-evolving communications system that surrounds our planet.” Pope Francis has recently said much the same as recorded in this article from the National Journal.
Due to this from the Pope, the Vatican added a YouTube account, a personal Facebook page for Pope Benedict then, and for Pope Francis now, an iPhone app and Facebook app. Outside of the Vatican, many of those in the Church have heard the call and startedblogging and creating other online resources like Open Source Catholic .
If the leaders of the Catholic church are advocating social media use for Catholic outreach, shouldn't we be engaged in a social media strategy for our ministires of solid Gospel truth?
Most of us have used old outreach options such as “door to door” newspaper ads, radio spots, phone calling and post cards for years. Not that these are wrong, but if they are effective, they are also expensive, require a lot of effort and often annoy as many people or more than they reach.
Why should we help people find truth? Well, because they are looking for it.
Why should we use social media and the internet to help them find truth? Well, because that is where people look for information – the information highway.
Check out the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life , about 92% of Americans believe in a higher power, 28% have left the religion of their childhood and 16% don’t identify with a particular religion at all. This means that there are people who are unattached and searching within those who believe in a higher power, and many of these folks are actively searching for answers, especially when life is difficult and certainly as God leads and draws them.
Is your ministry involved in this outreach medium? Is your ministry part of the conversation in social media. Can those who are using social media to find answers, truth and local help find you? If not, don’t miss the opportunity. Get involved today. Put a strategy together and use this mostly FREE and highly highly utilized communication channel to expand your reach.
If you need help or advice, don’t hesitate to contact us at PurposeLaunch Ministries. Our purpose is launching yours.
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- Mike Glanzer
Purpose Launch, LLC Advancement