How can Churches use Pinterest

Just last week I was asked about Pinterest and how it could be used for churches. I have been watching Pinterest, just as I watched Path, Color, Instagram, and other online software tools that seemed to be based on pictures. I initially thought Pinterest was going to just be another fad but as time progressed (fueled by a large female audience), Pinterest took off and hasn’t looked back. Here are a few links that I looked at first prior to getting started on Pinterest for myself.

My initial thoughts on Pinterest are that it’s the easiest and best way to tell a visual story for your ministry. The church has the greatest story ever about Jesus Christ so why not use multimedia (pictures and video) to tell this story. It’s been years in the making that a network that focused on the most engaging forms of media on the internet, pictures and video, would eventually take off. It just need to be easy enough that anyone could do it quickly and with a low learning curve. Pinterest is just that, easy, visual and engaging. Now, here are some examples of great things that your church can post to get you started on Pinterest. (List below is from Ministry Best Practices Link above):

  • Share inspiring quotes
  • Share photos of your people serving, doing ministry or doing life together
  • Share news
  • Highlight books/music
  • Sharing the gospel/evangelism
  • Share sacred art/stations of the cross
  • Scrapbook your church's body life
  • Create themed boards for your church's singles/youth
  • Highlight your events
  • Share pictures that illustrate your sermon series
  • Highlight your ministry's mission

Have fun and if you are looking for more information about Church and Technology you can check out The iChurch Method today.

How Can Your Church Take Advantage of the New Facebook Timeline Features

March 31st was an important day for facebook fan page owners, the pending timeline features were rolled out to all facebook fan pages. Facebook has been notifying admins for the last 3 - 4 months that this pending change was coming so there was quite a bit of time to prepare. As I started researching how to best utilize these new changes and increase visibility on facebook for churches, I came across come great articles that pointed out the best ways to make this happen. Here is a great article to use as a reference from social media today. Here are the things to focus on with your new timeline: 1. Tell a story - your new facebook fan page is a great way to tell a story with milestones, pictures, videos, and a variety of ways to showcase what your ministry has done, is doing and has planned. 2. Cover image - the cover image at the top of the new timeline page is a great way to showcase what's going on with your ministry. 3. Custom tabs - new custom tabs are much larger in width, instead of 520px they are now 800px which gives facebook developers much more space to work with.

There are other features that can be utilized and are discussed in the article above but the three aforementioned are a good starting point. If you are looking for more information you can find it in "The iChurch Method".

Ministries Need to have great Customer Service

I have been a customer for about year or so at the local cleaners and have spent quite a bit of money there.  Unfortunately, this last time, the cleaners left numerous spots on my white Air Jordan basketball shorts and I was none to pleased.  I took the shorts back to the cleaners and let the owner know that they messed up my shorts and could she please get the numerous spots out.   Prior to picking my clothes up, I told my wife, if this lady charges me for the cleaners mistake, I will never take my clothes there again.  Well, as soon as she showed me the shorts, spots still there and all, she rang me up for $2.83, and with that I gave her $3.00, told her to keep the change and took my business elsewhere.  That was one of the worst cases of customer service I had ever seen.  That cleaners lost over $400 per month in cleaning services over $2.83, and she didn’t even notice.

Which leads me to my point, customer service is very important whether in business or in  ministry.  One of the main focal points of The iChurch Method is to use technology to provide better customer service for your members.  Whether it be through the website, social media, mobile or any of the numerous ways a member can communicate with the ministry, make sure your ministry acknowledges correspondence when they receive it from members as well as responds in a timely manner.

Here are three good examples your ministry can use to increase it’s customer service capabilities.  First, make sure when a user sends an email or request to the ministry online, use an autoresponder to show that you received the email.  Second, if you have a “contact us” form on your website, make sure you also have a “contact us” form on your mobile site so that people can reach out to the ministry even if they are away from their computer.  Finally, when online users reach out to your ministry using social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, acknowledge and respond to users and let them know that your social media channel is a two way, interactive, street.