Today, the Vernacular Curate has written an interesting post about the interaction between social media and the church. I recommend reading the whole thing but here is an interesting quote:
98% of Christians, church-goers and other people of faith who will have no inkling about what this is all about. They have heard some of the names on the news, but will have cast them aside in the way that they would anything that held no apparent relevance, or that which had the feeling of fad or voodoo about it. I don’t blame them – but we have a situation where an increasing gulf is developing between social-media aware Christians, and those who are not.
Whilst this is anecdotal, it resonates with the experience of myself and many of my colleagues. Some of my colleagues have even said that “there is no point engaging with Facebook/Twitter/Whatever as none of ‘our people’ are on it”. I can understand why this seems to make sense. In The Church(TM) the population is becoming increasingly elderly. I can understand why it would seem to make no sense to engage with something that many (not all before you start writing letters to me in little green handwriting) elderly people do not engage with.
Any organisation that seeks relevance in this age must embrace that ages’s self-expression.
Earlier today I posted a blog about QR readers. I wonder at what point The Church(TM) will notice that everyone else has been using them for years. I suspect that we will have a training course in 2017 about how to use them.
Does it matter that a poster has something small and insignificant in the corner that “most of our people don’t understand”? Who is to say who our promotional material is going to be seen by? What does it matter that there is a convenient link to a social networking site secreted in the corner? If people don’t know what it is, does it matter. For those who do, who we freely admit are outside of the ingroup, “our people”, is it not an easy way of connecting in a relevant way with people?
I wonder what would happen if I printed a massive QR code the size of the outdoor notice board that linked to a Facebook Group. Perhaps people would actually look at it and wonder what it is about. I suspect that it may have more of an impact than: