Today we have a returning guest to the podcast! Professor Katie Allred is someone you may know from this show or from the Church Communications group on Facebook. She teaches courses in Consumer Behavior and Audience Engagement at the University of Florida and in Database, Software Development and Social Media Analytics for the University of Mobile.
Today we’re chatting with her about her work with The Goodwork Agency and Church Communications, and how churches can use social media as their front door, injecting the gospel into those environments.
- Don’t treat social media like a billboard. // Social media can be a great free platform for churches, but oftentimes they don’t take advantage of it in a way that’s effective. Katie hears from pastors all the time: I posted on social media, I said come this Sunday, I said to come to this event, and it didn’t work for me. Katie reminds listeners that social media is not a billboard; you must think about it differently.
- Social media is a great doorway for your church. // Churches need to be considering how they can use social media for evangelism and discipleship, rather than just sharing announcements. Your church’s Facebook Page should be telling the story of who you are; what does your ‘house’ look like? Show faces of people who are a part of your congregation and tell their stories—stories of God’s goodness and faithfulness and grace in the lives of these people. If we learn to share these stories better, Katie believes we will see more traction with social media. Social media is supposed to be a conversation and has the capacity to offer real community. Let’s go deeper than simple marketing tactics and share our actual faith.
- The church has a branding problem. // Katie believes that one problem the church has is that it tries to project perfect people when we’re not perfect. Christians love to tell pretty redemption stories that are wrapped up in a bow, but it doesn’t always happen that way. It’s ok to share there is still messiness in our lives as we work with God through situations. Whatever that looks like, we need to figure it out and walk with people toward sanctification. Katie points out that Elevation Church is a good example of telling baptism stories.
- Virtual reality is a reality. // Could virtual reality church be an example of what church looks like in the future? Katie dives into a talk about virtual reality churches and the work D.J. Soto is doing. If churches want to partner and learn with a virtual reality church, it’s something new and different—it isn’t replacing church, but it is bringing the church to a place it’s never been before, like a missionary in a foreign land.
Katie Allred is the co-founder of Church Communications and director of the Good Work Agency. Katie also serves as assistant professor of software development and digital media at the University of Mobile and serves as an adjunct professor online for University of Florida. Additionally she administrates the 18,000+ member Facebook group, Church Communications. Allred holds a Master of Arts in Mass Communications from University of Florida and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from University of Mobile. To get in touch with Katie, visit katieallred.com
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Helpful Tech Tools // Google Drive, Sip for Mac
Ministries Following // Singapore Church on Instagram
Influential Book // Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear, What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matthew Aaron Perman
What you do for fun // Reading and drinking hot cocoa, Community