10 Ideas for Using Social Media in the Epic Battle for Advent

Advent social media planAdvent is supposed to be a season of preparation – preparing our hearts and minds for the arrival of our Savior. It’s supposed to be a time of peace, joy, and contemplation. But for most people – both followers of Jesus and those who are not – the season leading up to Christmas is often a time of anxiety, busyness and consumerism.

What kind of Advent do you want to have this year?

What kind of Advent do you want your friends, family and the people in your congregation to have?

If we don’t prepare, what do you think will happen? If we’re not intentional, which side do you think will win out?

As Christian leaders and influencers online, we are on the front lines of this epic battle. Preparing for Advent was the topic of this past Tuesday’s #ChSocM twitter chat (transcript). Here are 10 ideas that came out of that chat – ways we can use social media to help people prepare for Jesus this Advent.

  1. Prepare your own heart each day before you go online.
  2. Think before you Tweet. Before you Tweet/Facebook about your shopping, parties, and busyness, ask yourself, “Is this post going to direct people to peace and reflection or distract them from it?” Not that everything you post has to be deeply spiritual, but just consider your motives & give it some thought.
  3. Post a daily reflection to your blog, Facebook, Twitter.
  4. Post an open-ended question each day instead of posting your thoughts.  In that way you invite your friends, followers, parishioners to post their own Advent reflections.
  5. Post links to other great resources – devotionals & reflections posted online.
  6. Share “digital gifts” on Facebook and Twitter, images and videos that promote a reflective, Jesus-centered Advent and friends/followers can share with their friends/followers.
  7. Give instead of get.  Challenge people to ask their friends/family to make a donation or give a gift to someone in need instead of giving them a Christmas gift.
  8. Add an Advent twibbon or Advent candle to your Twitter/Facebook profile pic so people are reminded of the Advent season every time they see one of your tweets/updates.
  9. Pastors – instead of stressing out and overworking your your staff & volunteers during Advent, work with them to find ways to reduce workloads and make the season more peaceful.
  10. Ask.  Instead of putting creating your Advent social media plan yourself, ask your friends, followers and congregation now, “What could we do to help you to overcome busyness and consumerism during Advent and better prepare for and reflect on Jesus?”

If we wait until Advent begins to put together plans and write content, it’s only going to create more work and stress for us, which is going to come through in the way we engage with people during Advent. The time to start preparing is now.

There is a lot we can do together such as sharing ideas and content so we’re all not recreating the wheel. I’m working on some ways to facilitate that and will blog more about that very soon – perhaps as early as tomorrow.

(Added Nov 11) Check out this new related posts What is Occupy Advent?

Tweet this: We need to prepare for advent so in advent we can prepare for Jesus. @thecatholiccoup

Hey, this isn’t a speech! Discuss this with me. :)

  1. Which of the ideas above resonate most with you?
  2. Is your church going to do any of these things?
  3. What other ways can we use social media help people reflect on Jesus instead of getting caught up in the busyness and consumerism of the season?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

8 Responses to “10 Ideas for Using Social Media in the Epic Battle for Advent”

  1. Well, I've already added an Advent Twibbon, so that resonated with me. And of course the "prepare your own heart" counsel. Actually most of these suggestions resonate. For years I've done a journey with my mini-Magi on my personal blog. This year I'm thinking of adding other visuals with an open-ended question OR maybe just zoom in on what always gets me during Advent — the staggeringly enormity of Mary's "yes."

    • PaulSteinbrueck Nov 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      Meredith, I'm looking forward to seeing what you've done in the past and write/post this year. I'm sure a lot of people could benefit from borrowing your ideas and content.

  2. I think it all comes down to relationships. Christ desires each of us to have a relationship with him. He also wants us to show his love to others through our relationships. It is something that takes time and social media is one way to do this.

  3. There are many good ideas here, but #5 resonates for me as it was one reason I started in social media. The possibility of sharing the good works that so many people do is exciting. I already have quite a list of things to share with my circles this Advent.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Nov 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm

      That's great, Denise! I've created a Facebook group where pastors, church communicators and social media folks can share resources with each other ahead of the Advent season, so we can help each other prepare. It'd be great if you could join the group – http://www.facebook.com/groups/315918728421584/ – and share links to the resources you've already found.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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