Went to the new movie The Chef yesterday. A major theme is the power of social media to make or break any enterprise. The Chef’s twittering brought new people into an established old restaurant, but the management was unwilling to change its menu to meet the new expectations of the new people. The restaurant owner (Dustin Hoffman) shouts, “from now on, I have to approve all tweets.” In other words, we can only use this revolution if everything is run through the council that meets every other month. Sounds like the church.
At least two other lessons should be observed:
1) In the movie, the Chef depends upon his 10 year old son to teach him the new technology. The major transitions, however, occur when the Chef picks up the device and does his own thing. Behind every lousy church web page is a young outsider that’s been hired to do it. Social Media is highly personal and feeds on the participation of “free to be me” individuals. As I have written before, you need to spread out your social media into the hands of diverse congregants. Each group and each interest, needs to have a way to post its own passions.
2) The Chef succeeded in utilizing social media because he had a clear vision of what kind of food he wanted to offer to people. Mission came first, then twittering. His social media said, “this is what I cook.” If a congregation knows what it has to offer, then it can use social media wrong and get good results. See Isaiah 55.