Matt Warner has some great tips for parishes over at flockNote:
1) Be careful not to communicate too much – If you are trying to say everything, you’ll end up saying nothing. Consider the typical parish bulletin. Over time they’ve accumulated so much information in them each week that people don’t bother to even try to sort through it all. So you end up communicating nothing. The same goes for emails or letters you send out. If they contain so much information nobody bothers to read them, they aren’t doing any good. Say less and you’ll communicate more.
2) Respect parishioner time - Whether they are listening to announcements at Mass, reading your bulletin or surfing your website, don’t waste their time. Make sure that what you are bothering to say is important to your parishioners (not just to you). And try not to broadcast to everyone the things that only a small group of people need or want to hear. Eventually, they will just tune you out completely.
Historically, Catholics have been at the forefront of scientific, educational, medical, and technological innovation. Ironically however, the Catholic Church is sometimes one of the slower adopters of this same innovation. This has proven true of the adoption and effective use of both websites and social media by most parishes.
Why have our Catholic parishes been so slow to embrace the evangelical, catechetical, and discipleship opportunities that lie at the heart of the internet? I believe it is for the same reason that any of us fail to do something well – a lack of vision and thus motivation. In other words, without understanding the potential and importance of an idea, it is unlikely that we will be empowered to implement that same idea.
Below are what I believe to be the top 7 reasons that our Catholic parishes desperately need a dynamic website. Feel free to leave comments to add your own reasons or feedback!
Read the rest of the article to discover the 7 reasons why your parish needs a dynamic website.
It seems Amazon has finally caught up with all of the preorders and early purchases of The Church and New Media. They now show the book to be “In Stock” once more, so if you haven’t already ordered your copy, now’s the perfect chance!
Check out this awesome story from Michael B. in Minnesota:
“Last week, shortly after the release of The Church and the New Media, I e-mailed the library staff at my local Catholic university here in Minnesota, of which I am an alumnus, and strongly suggested that they add a copy to their collection. I am pleased to report that after checking their online catalog earlier today, my alma mater’s library ordered a copy of The Church and the New Media.
It will probably be a couple months before it hits the shelves there, but at least one Catholic college library system will have a copy of the book. I also suggested the book for purchase at a couple public library systems in the state where I have borrowing privileges. I’ve done this in the past with other Catholic books, such as Pope Benedict’s encyclicals, using the “suggest an item for purchase” form that almost all public library systems have.
You do need to have borrowing privileges at the library you suggest in order to recommend it. The form will ask for information, such as the title, author, publisher, ISBN, and retail price, which you can easily find on a website like Amazon.com. Once the form is submitted, if the library orders the item they will usually place it on hold for you, and so, not only will you be getting quality Catholic books such as The Church and the New Media into your college or public library’s collection, you will also likely be among the first people to read those books!
If it can be done in Minnesota, then it can be done across the country, and so I highly recommend that my fellow Catholics utilize a similar strategy to get quality Catholic books such as The Church and the New Media into your college and local library systems. The libraries probably won’t order everything you suggest, but I’ve gotten a fair amount of the books I’ve suggested into the public libraries in my area.”
I’m going to be giving a half-dozen talks in September, in and around Des Moines, Iowa, all on the topic of new media and catechesis. As I’ve prepared my talks, I’ve gathered many different resources to help teachers, catechists, school principals, and anyone involved in faith formation to use tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs.
Click on the banner below to head over to the Resources page, which now includes many resources on “New Media and Catechesis”.