Last week’s readers’ survey on desired next steps to improve Internet presence and use of social media for ministry reveal a readership that is aware of the importance of an effective online presence. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. The survey has not been closed if you still want to respond.
Here is the profile of the respondents:
- 68% manage or contribute to a ministry website
- 58% manage or contribute to social media for a parish
- 47% blog on religious themes
- 30% manage or contribute to social media for an individual ministry
- 24% manage or contribute to social media for a religious community
- 21% manage or contribute to social media for an organization
- 8% work for companies that provide web services to religious groups
- 5% manage or contribute to social media for a diocese
The above percentages are of respondents not responses. Most of the respondents perform more than one online service for their ministry, hence the total percentage is larger than 100%.
In terms of social media, the respondents have posted on many different platforms in the past six months. The platforms with the highest percentages of engagement are (from highest to lowest): Facebook (92%), Twitter (60%), blogs (53%), LinkedIn (42%), YouTube (34%), Pinterest (26%) and Google+ (24%).
Admittedly, our sample size is small and we cannot generalize from it, but this amount of engagement is encouraging. I also know that some readers are in positions where their role is to sponsor and encourage others to engage online i.e. pastors, department directors, religious superiors. Some of them are very active online themselves, others not as much, but the support of these leaders is critical to growing our online ministries.
Each person who is contributing in any way to promoting the gospel online whether it is for a parish, diocese, religious community, individual ministry, or business, needs to appreciate that you are a pioneer on the digital continent and that you are paving the way for others. Through your efforts to use new methods of communicating the Good News, you are reaching some people who will not hear or see it anywhere else.
We are all learning this new method of evangelization as we go. This can sometimes be very tedious and we wonder if it is worth it. Consider this. The digital continent is vast. People from all walks of life and generations, but especially the young, spend many hours there every week. They will only find the Good News there if believers post it. If we are nurturing the spiritual lives of our readers, inspiring and equipping them to live holy lives wherever they are, we are planting seeds that will bear fruit abundantly in ways that we will never know. We can take heart in Isaiah 55:10-11
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Next week I will report on how the respondents want to improve their online presence.