MySpace has been around for six years now, it’s not going anywhere. I still talk to churches that are not sure if they want to jump in with a church MySpace page. MySpace provides the church an opportunity to engage in culture, connect to their community, keep members up to date on events, share sermon audio and video, and the best part is that people can find your church online, unlike your church website. I like to think of MySpace as one of many tools that churches and pastors must use in order to keep connected with their members and more importantly, their community. Over the next few weeks I will cover a few of the social network tools available to churches in an effort to help overcome the fear of taking the social network leap.
1) People in your church are already using it.
Don’t believe me? Here are few of the latest statistics:
· MySpace has more than 110 million monthly active users around the globe
· 85% of MySpace users are of voting age (18 or older)
· 1 in 4 Americans is on MySpace, in the UK it’s as common to have a MySpace as it is to own a dog
·On average 300,000 new people sign up to MySpace every day, this month we broke a record and had 4.5 billion page views to the site in one day.
What I see in this data that really stands out is that 1 in 4 Americans are on MySpace! One fourth of your church has a MySpace profile!
2) Your church is about building relationships, so is MySpace.
MySpace currently has built over 10 Billion friend relationships. MySpace is allowing for people to connect at a much faster pace than ever before.
3) Jesus engaged the culture in which he lived, MySpace is the culture we live today.
One issue I hear from some pastors is that MySpace is evil. They seem worried about whom might add them as a “Friend” on MySpace. My only response to this is that churches should be engaging culture, reaching out to those who don’t know Jesus, which MySpace is full of. I cannot think of a better opportunity for a church to reach out to non-believers than through MySpace. More than 14 Billion comments have been posted on the site, users send around 50 Million mails per day (more than Yahoo, Hotmail, or Google), upload 8 Million images per day, there are 60,000 new videos being upload to MySpaceTV each day and more than 8 million artists and bands on MySpace Music.
4) Keep people in the loop quickly.
MySpace allows the church to instantly update all members as to what is going on in your church. MySpace includes the ability to keep a calender that can be updated with all church events, then invite requests can be sent out to all of your friends. You can also share this calender with everyone on your list so those members of your church can be up-to date. If your members are tech savy they can even have MySpace send them a text message when you send them an invite. If you would like to read how-to set up a calender go here.
5) Lower your costs.
MySpace is free. As someone that runs a website design/hosting company it’s hard to say this, but your MySpace will probably get more traffic than your website ever will. The problem with most church websites has nothing to do with design, it comes down to the fact that people cannot find your church’s website. A good reason to be on MySpace is that you have a place that your church information can be easily accessible by those looking for it.
6) Get media to your members, fast.
Do you record your sermons? MySpace will allow you to upload your sermon audio and video to share with the online community.
7) Easy for church-goers to invite friends to church.
I often hear from pastors that they are trying to figure out how to get members of their church to invite their friends, neighbors, and coworkers to church. It can be hard for people to reach out to their neighbors, fear of rejection overcomes them. MySpace provides an easier way for people to reach out to their friends. Mentally people tend to disconnect the fears they would have of asking someone to church when they are online. MySpace provides a simple way for your church members to reach out and invite people to church.