There are two restaurants that are living and dying by their customer comments on Yelp and other sites. One is reacting to negative comments online while the other is proactively courting comments through info cards at the table and interactive comments on the free wifi. The former is struggling while the latter is prospering. Interaction is bigger than mere marketing it is how our neighbors make decisions.
The church has to decide to be more interactive in order to evangelize the mostly online driven community around us.
Interactivity is expected from a broad cross section of our neighbors. People in general will not buy underwear or eat at a restaurant without reading and sharing comments and will not explore the Christian faith without the opportunity of doing the same.
Quoting Justin Wise, “the church and her mission will never perish. This much we know. What we do not know is what our co-creative role in building God’s kingdom will be. We do not know because it is mostly up to us. We can choose to become interactive as a church or we can choose to fade further into the cultural background.” ( The Social Church, by Justin Wise, p. 66)
Ok, but how. This can be done badly and many of our worshippers do not share this sense of urgency. Each church’s context and skills is unique There is no one right answer but two things are certain. 1-it is up to the church and not the public to figure out how and 2-it has to start now.
What if engaging new people is as simple as our own members commenting on their congregation and courting the feed back of others in a shareable way? The technical how-to’s are a bit more complicated but do-able and often free
This site provides a starting place and clears many of the pitfalls. The 5-points of instruction in the marketing plan videos a great start for novice and expert congregations alike. CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT.
Church leaders! Start! Learn the skills of social media, word press and the various means of file sharing. Spend a few bucks on training and a good website. Ask the members comment on why they follow Christ and worship in their congregation and POST them on your sight. Could it be that easy to get started?
This is evangelism. This is a part of our sacred mission. This is urgent.