LWPRadio Interview: Greater Reach Through Web & Social Media

LWPRadio Interview: Greater Reach Through Web & Social Media

Recently, I was featured on a broadcast of Life With Purpose Radio, and interviewed by Dr. J. Robert White, Executive Director for the Georgia Baptist Convention. I was asked to share about the opportunities available to churches on the web. The interview is only about six minutes so please check it out and share your thoughts and insights as comments below. I have included both audio and transcript…


Listen to the Audio:


Read the Transcript:

Ron Lawson (Announcer):  Churches today must take every opportunity to reach out and share the good news of Christ through any means possible. Dr J. Robert White, Executive Director for the Georgia Baptist Convention, talks with the leader who helps churches reach people through the web and social media. Let’s listen…

Dr. J. Robert White:  I’m so happy to have in the studio today Barry Dollar who is our Georgia Baptist State Missionary leading in our web and social media strategies. Barry, thank you for being with us on Life With Purpose Radio.

Barry Dollar: Thank you.

Dr. J. Robert White:  Barry, I know before you came to serve with the Georgia Baptist Convention, you had several years of corporate experience in developing Internet web sites and we’re glad that you are with us helping our organization, and churches that we serve, to be more effective in communicating through the Internet, through web sites and social media. Would you tell us your perspective on the opportunities that exist for churches to communicate through these means?

Barry Dollar: You know I’m really excited about that Dr White. I think about some of the recent stats I saw stating that anyone from sixteen to forty-four, their number one medium is the web — over television, over radio, over news print. Also, when it comes to the Web, having churches on the Web is very important because a recent survey showed that forty-six percent of first time guess started out by looking for the church on their web site. They kinda ‘kick the tires’ on the Web so it’s really important to be out there.

The reason I’m passionate about it is because we have the ability to reach the corners of the globe from our desktop, sitting on the couch with a tablet, even from the smart phone in our hand, we can reach places we’ve never been able to reach before and I think about the fulfillment of the great commission and how the Internet is facilitating that.

Dr. J. Robert White:  That’s right. It truly is an amazing time to be living. You know a lot of churches and church leaders are a bit maybe challenged, we can say, when it comes to using electronic media for communication. Most everyone uses the web for information and e-mail, video clips, and so on, but maybe they feel a bit intimidated on how to create this kind of media. What encouraging advice do you offer to them?

Barry Dollar:  You know I think about a couple months ago when I needed to do a car repair. The lock actuator on my door had quit working and when I got the price from the shop, I was kinda sticker shocked! So I went on You Tube and I simply did a search, how to replace that door locking unit, and immediately I had several videos of guys showing me how to do it. I ordered the part online for fifteen dollars and dropped it in.

Seeing that tutorial made it so easy for me and that is what’s great about the Web. Going on there for information — and the information to take advantage of the web is on there. There are so many tutorials that show you how to do any aspect, whether it be building a website, social networking, whatever information you need is probably already there and it’s free for you to look at, or to read, or to watch the video and learn how to do it. All the tutorials you could ever want are right there online waiting for you to access them.

Dr. J. Robert White:  Maybe you are aware of a church that has developed an effective strategy of communicating through the web and social media. Could you just share an example and maybe some of the results that they’ve seen?

Barry Dollar:  You know, unfortunately I’m kinda sad about what a poor job that churches are doing. It’s hard to really point out very many good examples of them taken advantage of the internet.

I remember one story that I saw, this has been about three years ago, and it really helped me to realize the power of the Internet. There was a young man and his name was Jimmy, and Jimmy was going through a difficult time. He was losing his house, he was losing his job, he was drinking, he was in depression, and he would just lock himself away in his room. Well apparently he would get on Facebook, and on Facebook he had a couple friends and they were talking about their church. They were talking about what a blessing it was to be at church. After about a couple of months, Jimmy decided he just had to do something different, and he thought about those continual conversations about a church in his community and so he got up one day on a Sunday morning and he went to church.

Well, long story short, he starts reading his Bible, he starts seeking after God, he comes to know Jesus Christ personally, he gets baptized, then his whole life changes, the life of his wife, the life of his child. And so there are people out there that are waiting for that message and we have the opportunity to deliver it. (watch Jimmy’s story here)

Dr. J. Robert White:  Yes, indeed. That’s exciting isn’t it. I know you provide a website and a blog for people with questions and some might be in need of general information. I’m sure our listeners would appreciate hearing more about that, could you share with us about that?

Barry Dollar:  I get a lot of questions from churches, and reoccurring questions, that I thought well I need to just write these answers in a blog post and and have them out there, have them available. So the blog is pretty easy to remember I hope. You think about having your church web ready — well the blog is WebReadyChurch.com. You can go on there and you can read about social networking, you can read about building websites, you can read about live streaming your church services.

Now, one thing that I like to point out is a free service that I offer to churches. There’s a banner on the right hand side and it simply says ‘Free Web Score’. If they will click on that banner they can fill out a form and request their ‘Free Web Score’ and I will do a review of their web presence on the Internet. I will look at their website, I’ll look at their social networks, I’ll look at their search engine rankings, and I’ll create a report for them so that they can see how they’re doing, and I’ll also offer them some tips and advice to improve their web presence online.

Dr. J. Robert White:  That’s outstanding Barry. That’s a wonderful, wonderful, service and once again that’s WebReadyChurch.com?

Barry Dollar:  That’s right.

Dr. J. Robert White:  What a joy to visit with you today Barry. I’ve been talking with Barry Dollar our Georgia Baptist State Missionary who works in the area of media and social ministry. Working specifically with the web and assisting our churches in development of a web presence. Thank you so much Barry for being with us on Life With Purpose Radio.

Barry Dollar:  Thank you for having me Dr. White.

Ron Lawson (Announcer):  For more information on using the web and social media, go to our web site, LifeWithPurposeRadio.com. For Life With Purpose Radio, I’m Ron Lawson.

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