Showing posts from July, 2010

Facebook: An Argument for Friending Your Congregation's Members

As ministers, we all know too easily the arguments to not "friend" members of our congregation on Facebook and other social networking sites.  It blurs the professional boundary we try so hard to establish.  It leaves you open to people seeing something you don't want them to see if a friend tags you with an embarrassing photo or video or comment.  And people will assume you know things they've posted there and forget to tell you.  It's definitely a valid decision to not friend, particularly if the privacy controls overwhelm you.  All of this is true.

But if you're comfortable playing with the security parameters, most of these concerns can be mitigated.  So here's some of the other side from someone who does friend congregation members.

Pastoral Care:  I don't see everything that members post, but occasionally I do see pastoral care needs on Facebook that I'm better equipped to respond to for having been a Facebook friend.   For example, when a m…

Should UU Be More Like the Y to attract YAs?

In thinking about the issues of attracting and then tracking Young Adult (YA) members from a church's perspective, I was thinking that maybe churches should have a membership program that works more like your local YMCA and less like, well, churches.  Here's what I've been thinking about this...

First: Income/Pledges.  Now, every UU church I know of, even if they have a minimum expected pledge, will waive that pledge for financial hardship, but it's often awkward to ask for or to have to explain, and many people fell put-out by being asked for money in churches.  There's a big issue around pledging in churches, because people have negative experiences from other churches sometimes, as well.  At the Y, on the other hand, they have a very set guidelines of what membership costs, and you pay it, and if you don't you're not a member.  They also have a philosophy that everyone should be able to be a member, and therefore they will work on a sliding scale.  This c…

What Makes a Unitarian Universalist?

I have eight relatives who at one time or another attended a Unitarian Universalist church and who are on Facebook.  A quick polling of what their info pages say about their "religious views" gives the following answers:

2 list Unitarian Universalist (or some combination of those two words).
2 have the field blank or not viewable to me, which would be understandable given that I do things like this.
1 says "atheistic jew."
1 says "loving kindness."
1 says "Peace and Social Justice."
1 says "Aid to and support of the widows, the children, and the outcast."

Of these eight, I think two are members of Unitarian Universalist churches--one who lists UU and one who doesn't.  Most of the others attend from time to time, but not regularly enough to consider themselves members, and mostly when visiting a relative who is church-going.  So this shows that not everyone who calls themselves a Unitarian Universalist is a member of a church, and, …