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Mission in a Virtual World, for The Salvation Army


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A session being run for those training within The Salvation Army, looking at social media/digital and mission.

Published in: Spiritual
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Mission in a Virtual World, for The Salvation Army

  1. 1. Mission in a Virtual World for The Salvation Army Dr Bex Lewis Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing, Manchester Metropolitan University Director, Digital Fingerprint Tweet @drbexl 127/03/17
  2. 2. Tweet @drbexl 227/03/17
  3. 3. Let’s “tweet” each other…
  4. 4. Tweet @drbexl 4 27/03/17 Image source: Stockfresh
  5. 5. WHY SHOULD THOSE IN MINISTRY BE ONLINE? Tweet @drbexl 527/03/17
  6. 6. Tweet @drbexl 604/03/17
  7. 7. &version=MSG 7Tweet @drbexl27/03/17
  8. 8. Tweet @drbexl 827/03/17
  9. 9. How can the church be a leading light within our society, if we are seen as irrelevant, refusing to engage with the latest technology? Can we lead by example, and show that we are not afraid to experiment, not afraid to fail? If we’re not in the digital spaces, the latest ‘public square’, then we can’t offer an ‘example’ to influence the wider world. We need to be part of people’s everyday conversations, and not just arriving when we have a message to ‘sell’. Sharing our everyday lives, in which stories of humour and vulnerability are particularly powerful, allows us to connect – including with journalists, who find spaces such as Twitter a useful hunting ground for stories, and to build up trusted relationships with potential contributors to stories. Lewis, B. (2017), ‘Social Media Fast for Lent? Not for Me!’, The Medianet, lent-not/ 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 9
  11. 11. Tweet @drbexl 11 04/03/17 social-networks-and-messaging-services/
  12. 12. Tweet @drbexl 12 27/03/17 Source: 024/26826/cmr_uk_2016.pdf, p22
  13. 13. Tweet @drbexl 13 27/03/17 /technology-making-us-anti-social.jpg
  14. 14. Tweet @drbexl 1427/03/17
  15. 15. Tweet @drbexl 15 H/T @God_Loves_Women 27/03/17
  16. 16. @drbexl
  17. 17. 27/03/17 oads/imported/uploads/2015/01/cycle_0.jpg Tweet @drbexl 17
  18. 18. Humans Tell Stories “When we met the women, we realised how this was actually real. This wasn’t reading research on paper any more, they had real stories so we wanted to give them the space they deserved. It was never a box ticking exercise, we just wanted women who embodied the spirit of the campaign. And that’s who’s in it.” 27/03/17 interview Tweet @drbexl 18
  19. 19. What makes people share? • Social Currency: We share things that make us look good • Triggers: Things need to be in our consciousness to want to share them “Different locations contain different triggers. Churches are filled with religious imagery, which might remind people of church doctrine…. And once these thoughts are triggered, they might change behaviour.” • Emotion: We want to share the things we care about (exciting is more shared than sad) • Public: If something is public, and on show, it's visible to others and enters their consciousness • Practical Value: People like to share useful bits of information that we think will help people • Stories: Humans tell stories - and useful information can be embedded in what seems like idle chatter! 27/03/17 Berger, J. (2014) Contagious, p.74 Tweet @drbexl 19
  20. 20. EXPERIENCING GOD IN A DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT Tweet @drbexl 2027/03/17
  21. 21. Jesus often encountered people individually. Social media gives us the same personal access to people. This is an every-member ministry, and it’s exciting and inspiring. Rev Pam Smith, author, Online Mission & Ministry; Priest in Charge, iChurch Tweet @drbexl 21 how-social-media-is-changing- the-church-57405 27/03/17
  22. 22. Tweet @drbexl 2227/03/17
  23. 23. • I can't separate my faith from my actions, including those in public life. If people of faith are in public life faith is there too. @JennRiddlestone • How can you separate faith from your public life? Is private faith true faith? @loulou_uberkirk • If being a Christian is loving God and loving others, even if I don't announce why I'm doing something, my faith is unavoidably in *public.* @Hstanley_ Tweet @drbexl 2327/03/17
  24. 24. Carl Medearis Relax, enjoy your friends. Enjoy their company along with the company of Jesus. Point him out, freely, without fear or intimidation. You’re not responsible to sell him to them. You’re simply saying what you’ve seen. You're not the judge. You’re the witness. 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 24
  25. 25. Tweet @drbexl 25 27/03/17 Images via
  26. 26. Tweet @drbexl 26 27/03/17 https://s-media-cache- 9221fd4c59c1e8.jpg
  27. 27. [If we are…] means by which God communicates and reveals himself through his Spirit, then our blog posts, status updates, tweets, artistic images, and online comments should be products of a life transformed by Christ and indwelled by his Spirit. As restored image bearers, our online presence and activity should image the Triune God. Byers, A. Theomedia (2013, 196) 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 27
  28. 28. A good [wo]man brings good things out of the good stored up in his/her heart, and an evil [wo]man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his/her heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45 (New International Version [edited]) 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 28
  29. 29. 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 29
  30. 30. 24/7 Values? What do you stand FOR? • Authentic – be a consistent ‘you’ • Transparent – be honest, where’s the source? • Self-aware – note your ‘tone of voice’ • Integrity – own your own content • Self-control – be aware of consequences • Patience – hold the trigger finger before send • Non-manipulative – ‘love Jesus’ = send this! No! • Kindness – encourage others 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 30
  31. 31. THE DIGITAL AT AN ORGANISATIONAL LEVEL Tweet @drbexl 3127/03/17
  32. 32. For many churchgoing is no longer the ‘cultural norm’. People don’t actively ignore the church: they don’t even think about it. Matthew 5:13-16 calls us to be salt and light in the world, and for thousands in the ‘digital age’, that world includes social networks such Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. With literally billions in the digital spaces, the online social spaces presented by churches need to be appealing, welcoming, and not look like they are just an afterthought: they are now effectively the ‘front door’ to your church for digital users, and you ignore those spaces at your peril. Tweet @drbexl 32 http://www.churchgrowthr h/growing_churches_in_th e_digital_age Image: Flickr 27/03/17
  33. 33. Pokemon? 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 33
  34. 34. Churches: Pokestops 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 34
  35. 35. Creativity: esp Children & Youthwork 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 35
  36. 36. Who does social media? 27/03/17 Check out: and @chsocm Tweet @drbexl 36
  37. 37. Your audience • Who are you interested in reaching/listening to? • What ‘problems’ are you seeking to solve for them? 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 37
  38. 38. 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 38
  39. 39. 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 39 Agree ‘a voice’
  40. 40. Know when to… 27/03/17 Image sources: Stockfresh Tweet @drbexl 40
  41. 41. 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 41
  42. 42. Methodist Church Guidelines • The principles applied to this are: • Be credible. Be accurate, fair, thorough and transparent. • Be consistent. Encourage constructive criticism and deliberation. • Be cordial, honest and professional at all times. Be responsive. When you gain insight, share it where appropriate. • Be integrated. Wherever possible, align online participation with other communications. • Be a good representative of the Methodist Church. Remember that you are an ambassador for Christ, the Church and your part of it. Disclose your position as a member or officer of the Church, making it clear when speaking personally. Let Galatians 5:22-26 guide your behaviour. • Be respectful: respect confidentiality. Respect the views of others even where you disagree. 27/03/17 holders/technology-and-church/social-media-guidelines Tweet @drbexl 42
  43. 43. 27/03/17; Tweet @drbexl 43 Salvation Army Policies
  44. 44. Real Time Response Don’t overthink. Running through committees, endless drafts and approval processes to get a response out there can cause far more damage than good. As long as you have taken the time to assess the situation and can take a rational, respectful tone in your response, even an awkward response is OK to start with, and buys you time to continue to respond to the problem. 27/03/17 s-communications-for-the-social-media-age/ Tweet @drbexl 44
  45. 45. 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 45
  46. 46. 27/03/17 46Tweet @drbexl
  47. 47. Digital Worship? 27/03/17 Illustration by @Mattart1Art Tweet @drbexl 47
  48. 48. Principles of Good Engagement • Be interesting • Be encouraging • Be active • Be helpful • Be authentic • Represent your organisation well 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 48
  49. 49. 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 49 Some of the Salvation Army Presence Online
  50. 50. 27/03/17 See Tweet @drbexl 50
  51. 51. 27/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 51
  52. 52. Tweet @drbexl 5227/03/17
  53. 53. Saint Teresa of Avila (adapted by Meredith Gould, 2010) 27/03/17 t-has-no-online-presence-but-yours.html Tweet @drbexl 53 Christ Has No Online Presence but Yours Christ has no online presence but yours, No blog, no Facebook page but yours, Yours are the tweets through which love touches this world, Yours are the posts through which the Gospel is shared, Yours are the updates through which hope is revealed. Christ has no online presence but yours, No blog, no Facebook page but yours.