Digital mission - 2
From a talk at Stronger Network
The first part of this blog is here..
Liz Morgan is a Church Digital Champion - the Project lead for Digital Labs, the Church of England digital communications training for churches. She spoke in February 2022 about digital mission. She continues her talk:
Where are the wells, the pools and the marketplaces online?
When we look at how Jesus went out in the community, he was never static - staying in one location. He moved to where the people were. Time and time again we see Jesus moving through the towns, the cities - traveling from outskirts to the inner city, to marketplaces, to the wells, to the pools. He went intentionally where the people were. He went to the awkward places. He went to the dark places. Millions and millions of people use social media in this country - more than 30 million people use instagram alone and more than half of those people check in every single day, multiple times a day.
It's an opportunity to reach people in your local area but it's important for us to know why and how we are doing it. It is not as simple as creating a page or creating a social media account and expecting people to come along. We need to be present at the wells, the pools and the marketplaces just as Jesus was in our online communities.
Where could these be for you?
Could it be the local Facebook group that is filled with parents who live and work in the streets around your church building? Join in, be active, be a presence in that community where those people are. It could be as simple as finding the hashtags that are used in your local area. Use those hashtags, be present online in that community and also engage with people who use those hashtags as well. Go and like their posts, comment, pray for them.
Go and find your local businesses online. Follow their accounts. Tell them that they are doing a fantastic job on your high street. Encourage them and give them praise. Share what they're up to as well.
Before Christmas 2021, I was leading some training for a diocese and we were talking about this concept - how can we be present online in our communities. Someone in the room told us the story of how, during the pandemic, they took their live streams where the people were, using her car (with a driver). She got her phone, she went live on Facebook, and would drive around the roads in their town. They would see people out and they would pray for them. They would pray for the roads. As they began to do this regularly, people were watching in their community - people who would never step through the door of the church. They watched them, would wave, would be excited to see that their road name as the car went past. They felt like their vicar was coming to them and being part of their community.
So how can you be present in your community? Where are those pockets for you? They look different for everybody. Go and find them.
Read the third part here.
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From a talk at Stronger Network, 17/05/2022