BY CHRIS BUSKIRK
For this Christmas season, the Conference Evangelism Task Force is shifting its emphasis toward making the most of social media.
We want to help people within your own church share information about Christmas services with their personal networks of "friends."
Invitations are far more effective if they come from someone with a relational connection already in place. There are so many people with whom God longs for us to SHARE THE JOY.
With this approach, we anticipate more effective invitations, significant cost savings, and helping our local churches experiment with social media as a tool that could be used effectively at any time.
Christmas, among all the seasons of the year — and especially Christmas Eve — is when the hard heart of society most softens to the appeal of church.
• During Christmas, 61 percent of Americans will attend at least one service. Only 18 percent of people regularly attend church weekly.
• A total of 39 percent of Americans don’t attend church — but 57 percent of those say they would if only they were invited! (Sheila Leith, Churchsource.com )
Here’s what your Evangelism Task Force will provide for your use this holiday season.
At no charge, we will make engaging video content available to SHARE.
Video resources that are being created for the SHARE THE JOY campaign will be available on the Conference YouTube channel "OkumcCommunications." Look for the SHARE THE JOY playlist.
You can add the particulars of the service(s) you want to promote as you make it available to your people from your church’s Facebook page or other social media platforms.
SHARE THE JOY is specific to social media. It will not include other types of public advertising. The campaign will not require use of a find-a-church-near-you website or signing up with a marketing firm.
Initially, the Evangelism Task Force will email your pastor a promotional video to share during worship in late November, to introduce SHARE THE JOY to your congregation and promote their involvement.
Start planning your Christmas ministry! Be creative about how you will draw guests and how you will give them reasons to return as a part of the experience.
Christmas seems to magnify people’s hurts when they are having difficulties as well as their hopes when life is going well. It is a great time for the dynamic message of the gospel of Christ! SHARE THE JOY!
(Task force member Chris Buskirk is pastor at Abiding Harvest UMC in Broken Arrow.)
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