3 Ways Web 2.0 Has Helped My Ministry

In order to prep his upcoming session at National Worship Leader Conference, Fred McKinnon asked, “how does web 2.0 impact worship ministry?

As a web 2.0 user I’ve seen ministry benefits come from Facebook, Myspace, flickr, forums, youtube and most especially blogging. (“Blogging” includes writing posts, reading rss feeds, and especially commenting.) I also started twittering yesterday. In response to Fred’s post here are…

3 Ways web 2.0 has helped my ministry:

1. Networking with Other Ministry Professionals

In the old days of ministry (circa 2002) I can remember feeling extremely isolated as a church worker. I served as the youth director of a local church in San Antonio. To help combat the isolation I met monthly with other area youth directors. These once-a-month meetings fueled my ministry in every way imaginable. The prayer support, camaraderie, creative ideas, and ministry stories of both victory and defeat were what kept me going. In the absence of these relationships my effectiveness as a church worker would have greatly suffered. I simply could not have done it with out my friends. The only issue I had with the network was that it didn’t meet frequently enough.

Enter blogging and web 2.0.

As a blogger I get to meet daily with other worship pastors from around the world. I hear the wisdom that comes from being in the trenches. I empathize with struggles that are shared with maturity and honestly. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel when other’s share their victories. Undergirding all of this is the notion that even though we’ve never met, I share a very real friendship with many blogging brothers and sisters in Christ. Saying, “I’m better a Worship Pastor because I’m a blogger,” is a wild understatement.

2. Help with Prepping Worship

One of the elemental tasks to being a worship pastor involves selecting music for weekend services. Music selection was once an arduous process due to lack of quality tunes. Now the opposite is true. There are so many quality songs and resources available that it can be overwhelming to try to narrow down what works for your specific setting.

One segment of Web 2.0 has tremendously helped me in the song selection process has been subscribing to the RSS feeds of bloggers who post set lists and worship confessionals. Every week, with relatively very little effort or time investment on my part, I get exposed to the set lists from numerous different churches around the world. These churches represent diverse styles, denominations and sizes.

The benefits are many. Among them are the fact that without any other resource I am kept abreast of new worship music. I don’t have to try out every new song to see if it will work, but rather I have an army of local church worship leaders as my resource. I get to hear their feedback on how well that tune worked within their context and I am better armed to decided whether it will work in mine. The ability to do this simply did not exist prior to web 2.0.

Note to bloggers: Post the set list! Videos are cool, but they are also time consuming. Post the list so I can quickly scan it. If i trust your opinion as a blogger and see that you are doing songs I’m interested in then I’ll click through to watch your video.

3. Connecting Better with My Own Congregation

There are several people within my home church who read my blog and leave comments. I certainly make use of “old-fashioned networking” like phone calls and face to face conversation – but there is a limit to how much can be down. It’s impossible to call every person on my team on the phone every night – but there’s no limit to how many of them can read my blog. To have a face to face conversation you have to be in the same place at the same time, but blog commenting suffers no such constrains. People can comment at any time and in any place. It’s the asynchronous nature of the communication that makes blogging so powerful.

I’m still new at my job and haven’t heavily promoted my blog, but I’m excited about the deeper connections I can make with people right here in Huntsville, AL through blogging.

Note: The web can’t replace phone and face-to-face contact, it can only supplement it. In fact I have talked with many of my blogging buddies on the phone and even met some in real life to further the connection.

Summed Up

Web 2.0 apps, especially those related to blogging, have positively impacted my worship ministry by tying me into a network of church professionals, easing the process of planning worship services and broadening the relationships I already have with people at my local church.

Jeff Miller posted about how Web 2.0 social apps and networking have revolutionized his life.

How has Web 2.0 impacted your ministry?

5 Responses to “3 Ways Web 2.0 Has Helped My Ministry”

  1. 1 Scott Fillmer June 7, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Great post, reading that was certainly better than doing yard work… I love #3, I think it is just great to be able to further connect to the people that make up the church like this.

    Sometimes I think pastors and their flock sometimes become disconnected as a matter of status, but I love the fact that these apps and especially blogs make pastors “more accessible”.

  2. 2 Fred McKinnon June 8, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks for linking back … a linkback appeared in the comments on my post, so hopefully people will check that out as well (the link to your post) … that’s quite an answer! I’ll have to use BillyChia.Com as a “case study” @ the conf!

    Speaking of – grab a ticket and come on out to AUSTIN!

  3. 3 Billy Chia June 8, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Right on, that’s what I love about blogging – the conversation you start goes on in the comments section of your blog and then has the freedom to jump out on to other blogs and keep going.

  4. 4 jordan June 9, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Yes in trenches….with dirt in our mouth, struggling, crawling as shells fly overhead…but making progress nevertheless. It ain’t glamorous, flashy, or pretty, but necessary…the Monday-Friday of it all.

  5. 5 jordan June 11, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    oh yeah, and you forgot vitalist.com to keep you all GTD tidy and stuff….hahaha

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