Social Media and the Church

Social media is a big deal. In case you’ve been wandering in the Sinai Desert for forty years, you have probably heard of social media and probably have an account on at least one of the major social networking sites. Speaking of the Sinai Desert, imagine if the Israelites had Twitter accounts (“Still wandering in circles…getting tired of quail and manna. Wish there was a @TacoBell nearby… #ineedChacos) or, better yet, if Moses was on Foursquare (Moses just became the Mayor of Mount Sinai!).

Anyway, there are a vast multitude of applications for social media in almost every setting, even the local church. In fact, integrating social media into your church could be one of the smartest moves you make for spreading the Gospel, marketing the church, and promoting congregational growth and interaction. Though social media will never substitute for personal contact, discipleship, and evangelism, it is a very helpful tool in bolstering the effectiveness of the local church. It allows the church staff and members to extend the reach of the local body beyond the walls of the building (itself a tool in church ministry). Below are a few ways the different social networks can be used in the ministry of the local church, but first some recent statistics about the “Social Media Revolution:”

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Chick-fil-A: Moootivating Cowmittment

“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.” -Ken Blanchard

In case you missed it, this past Friday (7/8/2011) was Cow Appreciation Day at all Chick-fil-A locations across the United States. For those poor souls unfamiliar with this great holiday, Cow Appreciation Day is a day when Chick-fil-A customers can dress up as cows and receive free food in return (an entree for wearing a shirt; a combo for dressing head to hoof). In other words, it’s an opportunity for the raving fans of Chick-fil-A to celebrate one of their favorite restaurants. Do I happen to be one of those raving fans? I’ll let you decide from the photo…

What is it that Chick-fil-A does so well to mootivate this type of cowmittment from its customers? One word: values. Anytime you walk into a Chick-fil-A you will be greeted by a friendly employee and will be treated like a family member the whole time you are there from employees asking if you’d like refills and taking your trash to the familiar “My Pleasure” anytime you thank them for anything. You almost forget that you are visiting a fast food restaurant built around putting friend chicken between two pieces of bread. Being treated in such a kind way (ie the Golden Rule) leads to brand loyalty in the minds of customers. Now that I live in a town without a Chick-fil-A, I make it a point to visit one whenever I am near one around a meal time. It is also one of the few restaurants that I order food from without looking at the price of what I’m about to order. Yes, the food is exceptional, but the way in which the company takes care of its customers is what keeps me going back…even dressed as a cow.

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