We live in a technology and social media driven age, According to a PEW Research Study, 64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind, and 74% of all Internet users are on social networking sites. With all of this connectivity and technology come an abundance of opportunities for church outreach and sharing the gospel that have never before existed.
If believers want to reach this generation, we must learn to leverage modern technology. I believe there are many ways to use technology, the Internet, and social media to spread the gospel, but here are a few.
Social media - People are already there. If you want to reach people, you have to go where they are and they are definitely on social media. Using Facebook, you can create a prayer group, communicate with people via instant messenger, list information about your church/ministry on a fan page, or create pages for small groups ministries. With Twitter, a church can do a Scripture of the day and post Scripture memes using YouVersion's Bible app or Canva. Churches and ministries can also use YouTube and Soundcloud to upload video and audio sermons.
Church website - This is your home base, where people learn more about you. The church's website should contain the vision, mission, statement of beliefs, photos, videos, and social media connections. The Scripture of the day via Twitter can be embedded on the homepage. People will look forward to it and actually visit your website to read it. And, since they are already on the site, they will inevitably click around to other pages.
Video sermons - At my last church we spent a lot of energy and focus on video production because people love video. It has been said that 1.8 million words is the value of a one minute of video. This reaffirms that idea that it is not always what you say, but what form you choose to deliver what you say. People will consume video before they will audio, so why not spend time, energy, and resources in producing videos that reach people. It may seem to be a daunting task, but in my experience it proved to work and we got great responses because of it.
New believers’ website - Your church can have a website specifically designed and designated for people who get saved. The entire presentation of the gospel and salvation process can be done online. When someone makes a profession of salvation and gets saved, you will have this website to direct them to for resources that will help them in the next steps. And, of course, you want to make a physical/personal connection with that person and invite them to church (Hebrews 10:25).
Live video streaming - As I said earlier, there will be people who will not come to a physical building and others who are not able to come because they travel, work on Sundays, or suffer from health issues. Video streaming is a great way to deliver the exact same message to that group of people. With the trends of social media and technology, you can stream directly to your website and social media channels like YouTube and Periscope.
Text & email messaging - According to a study done by MessageSystems and Google, email and text messages are the top two preferable methods of communication, respectively. These marketing strategies are extremely valuable and effective, although highly overlooked and underrated. With email and text, the Scripture of the day comes in handy again.
The key to church growth is to find what works for your church or ministry, never exalt marketing over ministry, and always do what the Holy Spirit leads you to (and not just what the statistics and trends suggest is popular). Do you have other ideas about how to capitalize on using technology to spread the gospel? Let us know in the comments.