Saturday, March 20, 2010

Free PDF book: Facebook as ministry tool for pastors, missionaries and churches

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 500 million users. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. (Learn more)

Facebook reached an important milestone for the week ending March 13, 2010 by surpassing Google in the US to become the most visited website for the week. Fifty percent of users log on in any given day. People spend more than 700 billion minutes on the social network each month. About 70 percent of Facebook users are outside the United States.

Chris Forbes of Ministry Marketing Coach has put together this free easy-to-read e-book for great tips on how pastors and other ministry leaders can use Facebook to multiply ministry. Topics covered in this free e-book include:

  • How to make the most of your profile information
  • Tips for Networking with People in Facebook
  • All about groups, messages, poking, etc
  • Meet prospects for your church
  • Learn more about the members in your church
  • Testimonies from pastors who use FaceBook
Related article: How Trinity Baptist Church, San Antonio, Texas, USA is using the Internet

Trinity’s presence on the Internet includes live streaming feeds of the Sunday morning worship service, as well as Monday night college worship service, weekly video devotionals featuring Hollon in different locations titled “My Prayer for You,” a Facebook fan page and Twitter feeds.

Also, members of the congregation can post prayer requests and make financial gifts online. It also allows mission teams to communicate their victories and prayer needs in real time, rather than waiting to return home to share their stories.

Trinity sees boundless opportunities for ministry through the Internet, Smith said.

“Evangelism can really be expanded,” he pointed out. “You can reach across the globe, reaching new people, new cultures, and the gospel message can go to the ends of the earth through the Internet.”

Smith, a seminary student enrolled in video classes over the Internet, said the church eventually plans to present discipleship opportunities online. Through his class, he has seen the potential for interaction and connectedness, even when the participants are hundreds of miles apart.

Trinity has experienced a greater level of connection among its members through its online presence, he noted. Many members have become better acquainted through Facebook, he said. While they may sit on the same pew for an hour a week at church, the opportunities for interaction on Sundays are limited.

Although the format may be new, Hollon said, the use of the Internet offers just one more platform for Trinity to be a caring, ministering body. (Read the complete article)