Where were you?
Nona Jones is recognized as one of the world’s foremost expert on building The Kingdom through social technology and motivating thousands of church leaders each year to reimagine social media as a strategic tool for ministry.
She coined the term “Social Ministry” while writing her best selling book, “Social Media to Social Ministry”, and helped build and lead Facebook’s global Faith-Based Partnerships strategy, coming alongside churches and pastors around the world to shift their thinking from church as “building” to church as “community.”
Let’s start with what Digital Strategy ISN’T
All too often we use the word “strategy” and the word “tactics” interchangeably. Chasing tools and tactics is not a recipe for how to be effective, it’s a recipe to be tired.
A digital strategy is more than a calendar or a schedule of events. A strategy is answering the why, the who, and the how.
It’s the intentional thought that goes behind all of your tactics and tools. You have to start with the question, “Why are we here”, and then consider how you can use digital tools to accomplish your why.
A digital strategy is also not loosely affiliated buzzwords or a methodology adapted from a church down the street. It’s personalized to your context and your community with practical and tangible applications.
KNOW YOUR WHY
Because a platform exists does not mean that you have to be present. You have to go back to your why, and understand what you want to accomplish by being there. Digital tools and platforms are about way more than just being present; they’re an opportunity to extend your ministry beyond the walls of your building.
A straddled strategy is all about being everywhere at all times – but if you attempt to be everywhere, you’re really nowhere. You’ve just divided your focus into simply pushing content, and not creating intentional ministry opportunities.
You need to ask yourself, “why are we here” and “what are we hoping to accomplish”?
WHY HAVING A DIGITAL PRESENCE MATTERS
Two out of three churches in America are declining in attendance. And the vast majority of churches are declining due to relevancy, and a lack of presence online.
It has become a cultural norm to familiarize ourselves and build trust with a brand, an organization, or a person online before we connect with them in-person.
Having a digital presence meets people where they are and begins the process of building a relationship and connection.
WHERE DO YOU START
Start with getting the right people together who can speak into the strategy of your church alongside you. Although you can muscle through it, there’s great value to getting both outsider and insider perspectives as you begin to build your strategy.
Innovation almost always happens from people who allow outside perspectives to speak into their work. It cannot be the same three people who meet in the same staff meeting every week, it has to extend beyond the insiders and to people who are going to look at both the 30,000-foot view and the deep dive that will give you steps one, two, and three to reach it.
STRATEGY IS FOR EVERYONE
If you hear the word “digital strategy” and automatically want to tune out, don’t. A strategy isn’t just for the big guys, it’s for the normal guys too. Thinking that strategy only applies to churches with a thousand people, and a staff of fifteen is a limiting trap.
Strategy is about being a good steward with the vision that God has given you. What you are doing matters. Your purpose matters. Your calling matters.
And if all of that matters, then it is worthwhile to invest in a clear plan for your church.
Connect with Nona:
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode HERE
Notable Quotes from Episode 3.1
“We use the word strategy interchangeably with what we really mean by tactics. A strategy is a combination of why and how.” – Nona Jones
“You haven’t been called to every space. You have to know why you are there.” – Nona Jones
“Strategy is for every church. The idea that you have to have a thousand people attending your church before you can have a strategy is a false belief that limits the potential of your church.” – Michael Lukaszewski
“Your purpose should never change; it’s the “go out into all the world” call that every church has their own version of. But your mission is current. Your mission is “ what are we doing right now to accomplish our purpose?” – Michael Lukaszewski