5 Ways Churches Can Connect with Digital Natives
“In the beginning was the Word…”
So starts the story of Jesus in John’s gospel. For centuries, the church has centered on words about the Word, writing and speaking, making creeds and debating doctrines. We debate the meaning of words in Greek and words in Hebrew and try to find modern-day language counterparts. Books and sermons and songs are all words about the Word.
The internet is moving us to a culture beyond words to images because the speed at which images can convey information. There is a reason brands pay big bucks for product placement in movies, just to get their logo or merchandise on the screen for a few precious seconds.
Millennials are the first generation where all things digital is their native tongue. Images and video are the language millennials use to express themselves and connect with others. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” according to the familiar adage. “So it makes sense that, in a world full of more content than we can possibly absorb, images and video are the go-to format for connecting with Millennials,” writes Jerry Hudson.
In his article, Hudson then details how major brands use Instagram and Tumblr to effectively market and connect with millennials. “Brands that travel on these platforms are considered more cool and hip — and more in touch with the [millennial] ethos — than brands that don’t.”
In what ways is your church using media feeds like Instagram and Tumblr in hopes of connecting with millennials? Here are a few ideas…
- Use humor. Yes, spreading the good news is a serious and important work, but the world is already full of serious stories. Find ways to make people laugh, to spread joy, hope, and a smile.
- Crowd source a video. Some professional athletes do a phenomenal job of posting videos of themselves or others and their abilities. Fans then try and re-create the original video and hilarity ensues. Videos could then be edited together and posted on other social media.
- Inspiring photos with Scripture and your church’s logo. Use God’s handiwork in nature to illustrate a verse from the Psalms. Again, invite other contributions here as well.
- Use hashtags wisely. Hashtags can be used to help spread your message to others. Keep it short, simple, and broad. Also, explore other images within the hashtag before posting.
- Information. You can use both Instagram and Tumblr to communicate times of services or upcoming series titles or community events. Note: Make sure these posts are not the dominant message of your brand.
Using Instagram and Tumblr wisely can provide a sacred space for art and creativity to help share the image of the Word.