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Why even bother with social media?

What role does social media play in your ministry?

Over the past year, I've posed that question to dozens of church leaders. Their responses seemed to fall roughly into two categories.

Some were conflicted.

Just mentioning Facebook or Twitter made these leaders groan. They saw the value of social media. They believed their ministries would benefit from greater online engagement, but they couldn't seem to find the time for it. And they felt guilty. For them, social media was an overdue dentist appointment.

Then there were the zealots.

These leaders thrived online. "I can't do my ministry without this!" one young man said, holding up his smart phone that he used to send scores of messages every day. Those in youth ministry were the most engaged. Texting and Twitter were just tools of the trade.

Some had crossed the line. One man sat silently in a meeting. "How about you?" I asked, searching for eye contact. "Are you on Twitter?"

"Well, ...

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