For a church to successfully move from using an attractional model of social media (thinking of it as a digital Sunday bulletin) to a conversational model that seeks to move online conversations to off-line relationship, certain changes in how we view our communities are going to have to be made. An important principle is that the local church, like it or not, must learn to live relationally with community. This principle is not about relevance; it is about relationships. Unless the local church first identifies the cultural context where they find themselves, they will struggle to use social media to engage with their community.
Principle: Understand how your church should live relationally with its community.
Application: Identify cultural context of the community where your church ministers.
What is the culture of your community? Is it rural, city, thriving, dying, young, old, the hub of the area or the spoke? Who lives in your community? What do they value? Where are they digitally?
It takes time to identify the culture but without starting there, your social media efforts are stumbling around in the dark.