(Nashville, Tenn. – 7/13/2011) – A standing-room-only workshop on the final afternoon of General Assembly – “Tweeting for Jesus” — treated participants to tips and pointers for much more than the popular 140-character social media format.
Presenter Jeff Champeau, a systems engineer and member of First Christian Church of Norman, Ok., covered Facebook, Twitter, presentation software, open source software, digital video, email newsletters, servers and anti-virus protection as attendees took notes on everything from notepads to iPads.
“You’ll hear me say ‘It depends’ a lot in this workshop,” Champeau noted early in the presentation. “Just like every church is different, every case is different.”
One example of different products addressing differing needs was PowerPoint vs. MediaShout. While many people – especially those with corporate backgrounds or “day jobs” are familiar with PowerPoint, Champeau said that MediaShout can bring other elements and dynamism to a presentation or worship. He also took attendees through best practices for presentations, such as minimizing the use of text to maximize attention and readability.
True to the title of the workshop, Champeau did spend time addressing how today’s church can communicate quickly, efficiently and cheaply through social media options like Facebook and Twitter, meeting members and prospect where they are already spending time. He also pointed out some hazards of social media and its open, transparent nature – including some real-world examples from his own congregation’s experiences.
As he briskly moved through the session, taking questions as he went and hearing other congregational experiences from the attendees, Champeau and others pointed out ways for churches and other non-profits to benefit from special pricing, such as Microsoft’s open licensing agreements for charities on products such as Microsoft Office.
Champeau encouraged the audience to experiment and expose themselves to a variety of options for any technology, so that each church could discover the best options for an individual situation. He also noted that finding someone within the congregation with an affinity for technology could be a way to plug that member in — and benefit everyone involved.
By: Richmond Williams