Religious Organizations Can and Do Benefit from Social Media

For every nonprofit feature of the week so far, I’ve discussed how each local nonprofit uses traditional, well-known social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+ to create awareness and further their mission. However, not every local nonprofit relies on traditional methods.

Crossroads Church is a church plant part of the Acts 29 Network. It started as a group of people in a picnic shelter and has grown to house more than 160 people per week in a small building in Westover. According to Pastor Chris Priestly, Crossroads Church exists to, “spread a passion for Jesus Christ for the joy of all people within the city and extending to all nations.” The church wants to see people meet Jesus, join others who love Jesus, grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, and get involved in Jesus’ mission for God’s glory and the good of our city and world.

So how do they attempt to accomplish this mission? Crossroads does this in several ways.

Facebook. The organization uses a traditional Facebook page. It appears they update the page frequently and always with new information or reminders to help keep the interest. In addition to information about the organization, the pastor in addition to the person running the Facebook page posts quite a bit of supplemental material concerning the mission of the church. This also helps engage readers. The page currently has 378 likes.

Twitter. The church is primarily made up of younger people between the ages of 18 and 27. Therefore, they use Twitter to help “market” to that demographic. The Twitter page seems to be updated less frequently than Facebook. For example, the church last tweeted on November 2nd. It would probably be beneficial to the organization to tweet more often. I also think it would help to apply some of the concepts they use on Facebook. They should provide links and suggestions to supplemental material as well as regular updates on the happenings in the organization.

The City. The thing that makes Crossroads Church unique is the fact they use their own social media site to communicate with one another and meet needs of the church and of each other. The City is a web-based software used to help connect people into the community, build deeper relationships, mobilize service and mission, and proclaim the Gospel. Originally created by Mars Hill, the social media service is slowly catching on through Acts 29 network church plants everywhere. The City recently also launched an app for smartphones making it even easier for members to communicate. I recently sat down with Crossroads Pastor Chris Priestly to talk about what The City means to Crossroads Church.

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