Tweet the Preacher! Why Not?

Last week MSNBC reported that the Vatican launched Pope2You, a Facebook portal that would allow users to view photo postcards and messages from Pope Benedict. I’m not Catholic, but I applaud Pope Benedict for being progressive and embracing social and digital media tools to reach his flock.
Vatican takes tech-savvy approach – Tech and gadgets-

I think African-American clergy should consider jumping on the social-media bandwagon. African-Americans and Hispanics are two of the largest groups using certain types of digital media and devices such as music downloads and cellular phones.

The “digital divide” is narrowing. There may not be a computer in every home but there is practically a cellular phone/smartphone in every hand. Text messaging has surpassed talking on the phone according to CNETFacebook,Twitter and other social media tools can be very useful to reach people when used responsibly. Social networking sites allow people to connect and reconnect with friends, coworkers and families. reported 60% of Black women are online (use the internet to network, research products and find information) compared to 50% of Black men. (A slight gender gap remains in the African-American community when it comes to internet usage.)

Many of these women and men are also churchgoers. Many churches have websites yet are reluctant to take it one step further and add a Facebook page or a Twitter account. A Twitter account would allow the minister to post to followers a tweet about an upcoming event, progress on an ill member, update on a meeting as well as a Bible verse or thought for the day to members. A Facebook page would also expand the ability of a congregation to outreach to citizens, businesses and block clubs in the community they share.

Social media tools are here to stay. Also, social media tools can be used to educate and communicate, not just propagate the latest happenings in pop culture. Black churches will remain cornerstones in their communities and Black communities should not be afraid to become digital citizens. A social media specialist could be employed to teach community workshops as well as assist in website and social media management.

Leave no brotha, sistah, child or member behind!

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