Yesterday, we learned that “The World is Obsessed with Facebook” via this video by Alex Trimpe:
While the Church doesn’t support obsessive behaviors, we certainly promote connectedness and communication that create relationships and build up the Body of Christ. Just today, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S., was quoted as having said,
All media have the opportunity to bring people together to overcome our differences.
at Catholic Television of San Antonio‘s annual Leadership Luncheon. With the way our world is spinning, I have no doubt that media will continue to play a major role in the unification of people who have legitimate differences: social rank, economic status, cultural background, moral upbringing, etc.
Given the statistics and the theology, why isn’t your ministry on Facebook yet?
TIME? If it’s a matter of time, find someone who has more time, or is willing to make the time.
- It can take as little as 5-10 minutes per week (depending on your level of activity) to update a Facebook page and interact with people who partake of it.
- Ask around among your members, parish staffs, councils and organizations to see who has a Facebook page.
- Find a local young adult, Catholic university or even high school student whom you can trust and who already spends time on Facebook to act as your eyes and ‘ears’. (Offer volunteer hours if you want!)
KNOW-HOW? If you’re not familiar enough with Facebook or social networking to start the page on your own,
- Seek out persons who do. (Ask around!) Get their advice, ask them to spend an hour helping you familiarizing yourself with this powerful social phenomena.
- Look up tutorials. You can find free articles and videos all over the ‘Net. DO NOT let someone con you into paying ridiculous amounts of money for seminars. Look up the Catholic Media Guild and Nonprofit Webinars.
- Contact me, and I’ll give you some pointers.
RED TAPE? If your organization has strict guidelines for Internet use, discuss your desire to establish a Facebook presence with whomever has the authority to give you an OK. Before you do so, keep the following items in mind:
- Read the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Communications Social Media Guidelines.
- There are over 25 dioceses on Facebook, and hundreds of Catholic ministries and organizations with Facebook pages.
- Fear and trembling is reserved for God, not for new ways to communicate with His people. Make it work.
More and more Catholics – whether active Mass-goers, lapsed, fallen-away, or potential – have made Facebook a regular part of their communications routine. It’s time to make this a priority.