How do you get the word out about recommended resources and upcoming events? How do you stay connected with the small group leaders and coaches in your ministry? Where do your small group leaders go to get information about next steps?
The answers to these questions say a lot about whether you’re living in the past…or taking advantage of developing technology to communicate. Sure…there was a time when the combination of office hours and a printed handout at the small group table in the lobby was about all anyone could expect. But those days are thankfully gone! There’s so much more you can do to resource your leaders. Blogs, Facebook, and even Twitter can make a big difference…and you can do it!
How To Use Social Media To Resource Your Leaders
First, let’s talk about using a blog to provide an “always on,” 24/7 resource. You may point out that you have a website page that has information about how to find a group, become a leader, or even a listing of approved studies…but that’s not the point. One of the best parts about a blog is that you (or even a few members of your team) can update it. It’s easy, super easy, to get one started. There can even be free! Here are some advantages:
- Easy to get started. Simply choose a platform (Blogger is free, TypePad is very inexpensive, WordPress has both a free version and an inexpensive pay version.
- Easy to learn how to use. These basic programs are so easy to learn there’s really no excuse. You can be up and running in less than an hour. Instead of waiting for your webmaster or the CMS company to update your webpage…you can do it right now!
- Your leaders can be notified every time there is an update. This is a huge advantage. Think about it…when you update the blog with information about an available study or an upcoming training the blog will automatically let your leaders know.
- Recordings of your new leader training can be posted online.
- You can provide links to recommended small group studies so your leaders can preview them. You can even allow your leaders to rate them after they’ve used them.
- Here are two examples: Allen White and Brookwood Church uses Blogger and provides great content for his leaders. Eddie Mosely at LifePoint Church uses the free version of WordPress is another good example.
I launched my first blog in 2005 on TypePad (on a technicality…I was on Xanga for about a week). TypePad was easy to use. It was an inexpensive solution ($4.95 a month) and it allowed me to run the blog with my own domain name (i.e., www.strategycentral.org). Free services like Blogger tack on the .blogspot.com to your site name. I’ve since moved to WordPress to provide great flexibility and a better look.
Second, take a look at Facebook as a way to connect with your leaders. If you’re not already on to this, a very large percentage of your adults are using Facebook as a way to connect with friends and family. Many of your leaders are already on there! Why not take advantage of a free way to provide an always on connection? Here are some keys:
- Easy to add links to highlighted curriculum.
- Leaders and members can access the latest news.
- You can update Facebook from your cell phone.
Twitter is a surprisingly easy way to connect with your leaders. It’s free. It takes two minutes to set up. Small group leaders who connect via Twitter can set it to update them with a text message. You can easily set Twitter up to update your Facebook page and Facebook to update Twitter.
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I’ll provide a detailed “how to launch a blog” article next week. If you want to be sure you don’t miss it, you can sign up to get the update right here.