Over 20 Swansea church leaders recently took part in a social media workshop. Using their laptops, mobile phones and tablets, the delegates got to grips with Facebook and Twitter.
The training session was organised by Evangelical Alliance Wales and hosted by Swansea Hope. Formed out of a prayer meeting in 1994, Swansea Hope is a partnership of 50 city churches collaborating in events, prayer meetings and social outreach.
During the workshop the leaders were told of the phenomenal growth of Facebook with its 1 billion subscribers and Twitter's meteoric rise to 500 million users. After a brief introduction, the leaders were then encouraged to create accounts and start posting messages.
One participant tweeted: "Rather entertaining watching leaders grappling with Facebook and twitter #swanseahope."
Alongside the training, delegates were invited to share their experiences of using social media in a missional setting. This ranged from using Twitter in youth events for question and answers events to a minister who intends using it during this Sunday's harvest festival. Worshippers will tweet their ending to the following statement: "I want to thank God for..."
Mandy Harvey of Swansea Hope said: "This was a brilliant way of learning about social media, and it was great seeing everyone pitch in with their gadgets. The potential for local churches to build new communities and engage with them is incredibly exciting as they seek to communicate the Gospel."
Evangelical Alliance Wales plans to run another social media workshop in Cardiff in 2013, exploring the missional possibilities of social media.
Swansea church leaders learn to tweet
Published 12 October 2012 | Gethin Russell-Jones