2011-05-20_19-40-37_16

Be Particular for Universal Appeal

While there’s something to be said for your church, nonprofit, or business trying to create and share content you believe will have universal appeal and really gain the attention of others, sometimes trying to be too much to too many people ends up in you saying nothing at all.

One of the most important things I learned in seminary was the importance of crafting sermons and other content that was very personal to me, that took me and all my uniqueness very seriously. I tried to speak and write about my own experience first, and only then try to find some universal applications for those particulars.

If your church is struggling to come up with content for your blog or other social media posts, it might be helpful to rethink your strategy. Instead of saying how the church universal should use and think about social media first, skipping over how you’re using it and what your successes and failures have been, take a step back. Yes, it’s important to get there – to draw universal lessons from particular situations and experiences. But it might be most helpful to other churches trying to learn social media to be extremely specific (leaving out any personal details about your parishioners, of course!) about your web design and social media efforts. 

Be specific – which social media community has been the most “successful,” in your eyes? While you’re at it, tell the world how exactly you’re defining a “successful” social media presence at your church, which might help others formulate their own goals and benchmarks of success. Did you start using Twitter, but so few of your members actually use Twitter that it wasn’t really worth it? Share that with the world – it might help others know how and when to shift their emphasis to other social media platforms.

Not that you should leave the universals entirely to bloggers like myself :). Feel free to engage in the overarching conversation about how social media is shaping the church, and how the church should shape social media. It’s just that as a church, you have a perspective that us independent bloggers don’t have. Your particular situation is very important to share because in its particularity, other churches can relate and apply your lessons. 

So if you needed a little push to start talking about yourself in your blog and social media channels, consider this it (I know most Christians are very humble and hate talking about themselves :)).