I wanted to title this -"Everything changes - get over it" but you have to know my weird sense of humor not to be offended by that.
As many of you know I have been around media and communications for a long time. Things have changed a lot. The biggest change, of course, has been the shift from print media to electronic media. Social media is a very large part of this. This article is a little more detailed than some. It may be confusing so I have written a short "take-way" at the end of each section.
Before I say anything else, though, we always need images. Pictures, pictures, pictures and videos. People are used to seeing good quality photos online and a smile if worth a 1000 words. If you can hold a phone straight and get things in focus, take all the pictures you can and send them by email to staff or the office. Texting them makes them really tiny files.
During the past few years we have switched from a paper focus to an electronic focus. That means that everything we have is created for electronic media first. Even the bulletin is using graphics designed for Facebook and social media and music etc is being pulled from a subscription service. This newsletter is electronically based. Most people now access information on their phones not a computer and so the mobile version of websites have to look good.
Our current strategy is multivalent. You get this newsletter, which has everything in full. Events have articles to go with them. You get thoughts, opinions and explanations. The weekly bulletin is available on paper and electronically. The information there is more shorthand and if you want to know more you can come back to this newsletter. There are often posters in Church, these may or may not have QR codes which you can scan with your phone and that will lead you to ex
actly the same articles which are linked from this newsletter. Announcements in Church happen, but they have been getting too long. With all these other methods of communication we hope that you will be able to keep up with things. There are QR codes for the electronic bulletin, giving and other things you might need. Let us know what you think.
Electronic communication is standard for Redeemer. You can always request paper. We communicate through may different avenues. Let us know if you are having trouble getting hold of things.
Paying for things
I pay the grocery store and most other stores by tapping my phone on the terminal. When I go into a retailer that does not have this ability I have a little voice in the back of my head that tags them as out of date. Why won't they make the investment in me, the customer? Small retailers are more likely to have tap to pay because of the sorts of companies they use to process payments.
Electronic payments are safer than paper ones. I watched a lady write a check a few weeks ago and, if I had been a criminal, could easily have take pictures of both her check book and her drivers license. Phone payments are really secure because you can only pay by unlocking your phone and the number the store sees is not your actual credit card number, it is a sort of "forwarding number".
Giving and thoughts about pledging are changing in our society. We have a long way to go on learning about pledging and fundraising because we cannot just "lift" business models. If we did we would target people with a lot of money and we would offer services which attract them. That is not what Church is about.
However, we can change the way we collect money, and we are beginning to do that.
We have the option of electronic giving through a touch terminal in Church. We have "text to give". We also have the option of online giving and pledging. You can also write a check or give cash.
Social media does not equal Facebook. In fact, Facebook is becoming obsolete with people below the age of about 25. There is a reason why Facebook (or their parent company Meta) owns Instagram which is used by some younger people.
Below are some of the social media platforms which are growing most quickly, some of which you may not have heard of (and not all of which will survive!).
8 billion users. in 2019 there was a scandal around user information but three years in the social media world is a long time, nothing was proved, and the company is still exploding.
Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces
Spotify Greenroom/Live Chat
This is information not a suggestion that we do all of these things. If you are interested in helping out, let me know. You can offer a platform not listed here! The key to how we do things has to be to have strong guidelines. What is the voice of the Church? How do we put our point across in comments without making ourselves look stupid? Who will we repost from? Some organizations like Samaritan's Purse do great work but they are diametrically opposed to our inclusive stance. This is one of our leading edge ministries and we can expand but we need to understand both the impact we can have and the damage we can do.
Social media is complicated. We have to have a variety of things going on. We cannot do it all. More people need to be involved. We need guidelines for content and for how we, as a Church, portray ourselves publicly.