NASHVILLE (BP) — LifeWay Christian Resources recently launched an online coaching service to help Christians manage social media and other digital platforms from a biblical perspective.
This subscription-based service, known as LifeWay Social, is designed for churches, nonprofits and individuals who want to discover more effective ways of using social media to grow God’s kingdom. Registration opens Oct. 23.
Chris Martin, author development specialist for LifeWay, sees social media as more than just a means to accumulate clicks, new followers and sales. Instead, Martin believes digital platforms are tools Christians can use to serve the church.
“Some Christians have gifts of writing, speaking or similar abilities that translate well into social media, blogs, podcasts and other digital avenues,” Martin said. “LifeWay Social isn’t primarily about building an email list or getting a book on a best-seller list. Our goal is foremost to help believers use their gifts for the service of others and, ultimately, the Kingdom.”
People who are interested in joining LifeWay Social can sign up for a three-month or yearly membership offered at three tier levels. The basic tier will offer exclusive blog content and access to a private Facebook group. It will also provide weekly emails containing digital strategy tips, timely content ideas and information on social media platform changes. Higher tiers will involve one-on-one coaching, monthly video calls and website evaluations.
“LifeWay Social will be invaluable for those looking to use their gifts to make a Kingdom impact online,” said Jonathan Howe, LifeWay’s director of strategic initiatives. “With the pace of change in social media, it’s extremely helpful to have a guide to the most effective platforms and tools.”
LifeWay Social will also help Christian communicators understand the holistic nature of managing digital platforms. Martin compares this to overseeing a restaurant in which a website is the building, the content is the food, and the content delivery method (such as an email distribution list) is the staff.
“Someone may be creating great content, but if the roof of their website is falling in, the guests aren’t going to come back,” Martin said. “Or, if their food is great, but the waiters keep fumbling it on the way to the table, it doesn’t matter.”
LifeWay Social will coach users on how to excel in each aspect of social media management, so audiences will have a great experience and keep coming back, Martin said.
He also hopes to dispel the false perceptions Christians may bring to social media.
“Some people see social media as self-promotional and sinful, so they avoid it altogether,” he said. “Other people love social media — but only use it to talk about how great their books or speaking engagements are.
“We want to help Christians find the balance so they can steward an online presence to serve others,” Martin said. “That’s why LifeWay Social exists.”
For more information on LifeWay Social, visit LifewaySocial.com. Follow on Twitter and Facebook: @LifeWaySocial.