Hi Timothy, I think the videos show the possibilities offered by social media and the web and why it's worth persevering.
There's lots of material about creating effective church websites and how churches can use social media both on the web and in books. There are quite a few free books (in PDF format) available until the end of May on the Internet Evangelism Day website. Netcasters, which looks at Internet evangelism, still seems to be available too.
Getting people to visit a church website can be seen as part of general church communications. If you can get your church in the local media (local papers etc), that can bring people to your website. I'd suggest having a look at the Your Church in the News website. It also helps if you can get your website linked to by others, which in turn helps your ranking in search engines such as Google.
Then you should look at your website content. Do you have information there that would attract people who currently don't go to church and is it written in an easy-to-understand way - for example not using Christian jargon? Is there information there to keep your regular congregation coming back such as a calendar of events?
Getting engagement with social media like Facebook can take time and persistence, and is often about cultivating online relationships.
All these things will be more difficult if your intended audience isn't confident about using technology. Many people are also worried about privacy issues related to using social media and the Internet.
One possibility to help overcome these might be to hold a 'workshop' at your church that covers both the technical and the 'social' issues of the web and the possibilities for outreach.
Hopefully others on Churches Together Connect will be able to other more advice...
I had a quick look at your web site and wonder where you are. The digital age demands quick and easy ways of finding information and having looked at http://www.jacksdalechristiancentre.co.uk/index.html I thoght it would be a good place to visit if we were ever near by but I'm left wondering where you are.
I feel we need to make sure that contact details and addresses are quickly and easily visible. Lets not get left behind by on-Christian web sites.
The contact details are on the contact page. You can't miss it.OK I was wrong, I missed the obvious. Sorry
Timothy, I'd also suggest taking a look at Digital Mission's Basics blog posts.
Can anyone else suggest good sources of information?
The BigBible project is looking for 'digital disciples' who would be prepared to blog on a regular basis sharing their journey in the digital space(s).
Richard Littledale, whose blog was runner up in the 2010 Christian New Media awards, asks "Do we dispatch them into these digital spaces and then simply leave them to get on with it?". He suggests that the churches need to support these digital disciples in prayer.
I agree with everything that's been said about the use of social media but at the end of the day we have to meet people to show and explain what Jesus has to offer don't we?
Some churches have (successfully) done this by inviting non-Christians with them into the mission field, e.g. building homes for AIDS orphans in 2 week missions taking both Christians and their non-Christian colleagues outside their comfort zone. This provokes interesting conversations and allows the Christians to show what their "alternative" lifestyle is really about. (I still find it amazing folk would rather go work in an African village than walk through the doors of a church, but then I'm old now!)
If you want to know more about combining evangelism and mission see www.vinetrust.org/volunteer/work_parties or download the attached leaflet.