Who is a parish social media evangelization specialist? This question came to me as I read a comment by Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF, D. Min., on my January 12th post entitled How Many Hours Are You Spending in Online Ministry Each Week? In the comment, Sister Caroline, President of the Digital Disciple Network and a pioneer in digital catechesis, was recommending that several parishes share such a person who would train others, write and create content for social media assuring quality content and presentation.
In this post I want address what I think a parish social media evangelization specialist is. I will address sharing such a person with several parishes in a future post.
The parish social media evangelization specialist must be things:
- An evangelizer
- A communicator
- A social media enthusiast
- knows and lives the Catholic faith and is passionate about sharing it with others
- has zeal for inviting others to know this faith and compassion and kindness for those who are on the margins or who have abandoned the practice of the faith.
- is convinced that the gospel message has meaning for every aspect of life and society
- has the skills to share the Catholic faith in word and image on social media platforms with simplicity and joy
- focuses content on the benefit it provides to the recipient
- tells the stories of the community’s life and ministry in an upbeat and interesting way
- links to local, national and world news in the church and society to provide a larger context for daily faith life
A social media enthusiast:
- uses social media platforms effectively
- experiments with various types of posts and media to find the best means to inspire, inform, and encourage his/her audiences to know, love and serve our merciful God
- finds the platform (s) he/she is best on: blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and uses it
Some will read my description and say “I never thought of myself in these terms, but this is who I am and what I am trying to do.” Others will say “I am some of this, but not all.”
Many who recognize how important this ministry is, but can’t find anyone else to do it, often start out “acting as if” they can and are amazed at the good results.
At this point, we don’t have enough specialists to go around. It is too early in this new ministry field. However, we can find people who excel in one or more of the three areas and form social media partnerships or teams who can share the Good News on parish social media sites. And we can always “act as if” we’ve got it all together and just move forward with courage and humility. We will learn from our mistakes. That works, too.
My hope is that as we become more experienced in this area every parish social media manager will in fact be a social media evangelization specialist.
What do you think? Please share your response below. Thank you.
Note to evangelizing parishes: There is still time to order a customized Ash Wednesday video for your parish. Click here. (Scroll to the bottom of the page for the Order Form Request Button. )