In this episode, Jonathan Malm gives some practical steps and insight on utilizing digital platforms and social media for discipleship and encouragement. He also shares some of the foundation for a book he co-authored with next week's podcast guest, Jason Young, called The Come Back Effect, focusing on hospitality both for church on campus and online.

Jonathan Malm

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Social Media focus for churches:

  • Social Media comes first
  • Moving towards discipleship and encouragement (supports ministry)
  • Season Kits for sermon series
  • Focus on making it easy for the overwhelmed graphics person/team

What are you seeing that churches should focus on in this season?

  • Digital Discipleship
    • If we don't have them in our services, we don't really have steps for them to follow Jesus
    • Ministry looks different on social media, so our 35-minute sermons may not work on those platforms
    • ***Discipleship happens over time; through social media, how do you help people take one small step toward Jesus?
  • Create content that meets people where they are
  • Examples of Digital Discipleship WINS:
    • Instagram Carousels
    • Questions with
    • Deep content that is quickly digestible (topics below)
      • Shame
      • Loneliness/Isolation
      • Fear/Anxiety
      • A desire for influence/impact
      • Anger/Forgiveness
      • Selfishness
      • Sadness
      • Personal: Money, Diet/Exercise, Work
      • Spiritual Disciplines (holiness, prayer, fasting, worship)
  • Rather than starting something, church leaders maybe just jump on and watch/consume to better understand Gen Z

The Comeback Effect:

  • Expansion of the book Unwelcome
  • Entirely hospitality minded
    • Tendency to think about the “functional” things and the checklist
      • Parking attendants, bright shirts for kids workers, etc.
    • Instead, look for opportunities to connect with people and recognize the negative emotions people may be facing
  • Understanding hospitality ONLINE
    • When people come to church, it's like them coming into our house
    • When we stream live, they are now welcoming THE CHURCH into their house
      • We surrender control
      • Don't prompt them to get coffee
      • Affirm their potential situations and help people know they belong
      • Showing diversity and values

Action Items

  1. Check out Sunday Social, ChurchStageDesignIdeas
  2. The ComeBack Effect book
  3. One new digital discipleship

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