I coach many organizations on the social media, helping them to mature their practice and hopefully use these valuable tools to help achieve articulated goals. What I notice — and notice a lot — is that moving from a broadcast mindset to a social one is hard. Really hard. I might spend a full hour brainstorming social content with a team from a congregation, and then notice their next 5 posts on Facebook are still about programs and posting links to articles they think folks should be reading.
Instead of talking with members of their community, they’re talking at them: read this, check out that.
While these types of posts are OK here and there, we need to figure out a different mode which will shift us from AT to WITH. In some cases it’s a very minor adjustment — phrasing your post as a question rather than a statement, for example. But this ongoing trend points to a deeper cultural issue: That organizaitons (and the institutional voice) are the center of a hub and spokes model. That the members of a "community" are puppy dogs sitting at the feet of institutions, begging for more information, more programs.
In fact, in most cases the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
Leaders with whom I work are thoughtful, delightful, smart people. I’m not assigning blame here, but I am going to be the aggressive coach that will holler and holler to push you beyond your comfort zone, out of your status quo routine, and into a new place where you will strengthen your social muscles and start to see and feel and experience and contribute to the world in a new way.