Engaging Culture

What is a “Social Media Chaplain?”

I asked Robyn Bridgeo, who’s the “Social Media Chaplain” for The Salvation Army’s SAVN.TV online initiative about how he’s using social media to extend the internationally known Salvation Army brand. So many church, ministry, and nonprofit leaders are still struggling with whether or not to explore social media, so it sometimes helps to hear from people experiencing success in the field. Here’s what Robyn had to say:

When it comes to social media, my role as a “social media chaplain” is to educate people in these three areas.
1. Why Share
2. What to Share
3. How to Share.

If you’re wondering what a “social media chaplain” does, first of all, I do a lot of writing and posting of videos, Scriptures (Graphics with Scripture text on them), and other encouraging posts. But I can’t do it alone, so in Salvation Army terms, my job is to Recruit, Train and Deploy “Social Media Soldiers” to extend the work I’m doing. We have created 5 levels of engagement in Social Media Ministry and a training manual as well. To find out more about what we’re doing with SMS go to our Facebook page. Stay Tuned for our 6 part webisode called, “The SMS Files”, to be released this Fall. The webisode is a high-tech spy adventure spoof series designed to introduce the whole SMS Initiative. Essentially, we’re exploring every possible alternative to help connect people globally with a message of hope.

The goal is to inspire and encourage people, in a NON-Churchy way.  So here are five things to consider when posting on Social Media:

#1 – Know your audience BEFORE you post. (Do you want to encourage people to share or want to encourage people who are lost and searching for answers.)
#2 – Keep the message positive and encouraging.
#3 – Short, Simple and Memorable (Think Channel Surfing – Radio, TV and Internet have less than 5 seconds to impress me or grab my attention or I’m Gone.)
#4 – Pay Attention to what Grabs Your Attention, create a folder on your desktop and start collecting resources to share.
#5 – Have Fun

Regarding my Social Media Pet Peeves: My biggest is posts like ”Click like if you love Jesus.”  It may get “Likes,” but these types of posts are internally focused only and get lost in the plethora of online “Christian lingo.” It has literally no shareable value externally.

The most important thing?  Do it.  Get out there and share your faith with an online generation.

SMS Logo

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