Get familiar with the Digital Basics

The great news about ministry in this day and age is that your ability to reach a greater mass of people for Christ has never been more possible than now. The only problem is deciding where to start and what you can do.

That is why is great to start with the basics. Not only do you need to ask yourself what is it that you are trying to accomplish but then you have to find out what the tech and digital basics are that you need to be able to accomplish that. Considering only you can answer the question of what  you are trying to accomplish with your overall mission, this post will focus on the equipment you’ll need to hep you accomplish those.

 

 

So what are the digital basics?

Starting things off you have to have an understanding of the Social Media Networks and who are on them. For instance…

  • careFacebook. Facebook is the most popular social network out there where friends and family members use it to connect and share lives together. Here you post status updates on what is going on in your life. Whether it is a text or photo or video you can share your life with others. Facebook is all about videos these days so the more videos you post the more of your friends and family get to see your updates. Ages 25-34 make up the most common age demographic that uses it while 76% of Facebook users are women. Find out more stats about Facebook here to learn more valuable stats.
  • Instagram. Instagram is all about pictures. If you don’t have a picture to post, you can’t post. 😉  Younger people tend to be on Instagram than other social networks. In fact 32% of users consider Instagram their most popular network to be on and another 32% of users are in college. There are over 400 million active everyday users. Find out more stats on Instagram here.
  • Twitter. Twitter users have a similar age demographic as Instagram users but also a little older. In fact, 37% of Twitter users are between ages of 18 and 29, 25% users are 30-49 years old with more than 500 million tweets go out in a day. Find out more stats about Twitter users here.
  • YouTube. Younger people are all over here and more male than females are on YouTube (Female users are 38% and male users are 62%). They are watching people video games, highlights of their favorite teams, trailers or even eduacational videos (there are so many “how to” videos out there). In fact there are almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day! That is a lot of videos. Find out more stats that will blow your mind on YouTube here.

The Bottom Line here is that you have to know who your target audience for each social media network so you can best craft and tailor your message to them.

What Gear do you need?

  • Smartphone. This is obvious, just because of all the usefulness of it. From the camera (which continue to improve every year) to the apps
  • Tripod. No one wants to watch a video of you where the image is shaking all over because you are holding it. That is why a tripod is so great to have. And the awesome thing about tripods are that there is such a variety of them and they are relatively cheap, especially for a smartphone or tablet. Here is a list of tripods you can order.
  • External hard drive. Videos take up a TON of space. So keeping them on your computer will slow it down and kill all your free space. Get an external hard drive to move all your videos over after you have used them. You can find a great selection of external hard drives here.
  • Computer or Tablet. As helpful as your smartphone is, having a computer or table with a larger screen to edit videos and have more memory makes editing and processing images so much more efficient. You probably don’t necessarily need one, but having the bigger screen does help.

The Bottom Line here is to make sure you have the right gear for your ministry. I know budgets can be tight but if you can effectively show your bosses the value added by getting the right gear, you should be in good shape. Also,  gear is relatively affordable these days and you can usually find some great deals out there. You can go on Amazon and get a variety of tripods or external hard drives.

>What Apps are helpful?

  • Image Apps. There are so many great image apps out there. Whether it is WordSwag, Canva or Adobe Spark Post, you are going to be able to make beautiful images with no creative experience or training. Each app that you find varies and price and offers something different that is why it is best to get a variety of them so your images don’t start looking exactly the same over time.
  • Video Editor. I admit, I prefer iMovie. I’m a Mac guy. There is an iMovie app for your phone, tablet and computer…all FREE. I’m also cheap. 🙂 Just kidding, but seriously, free is nice. But if you are not a Mac person, there are other apps you can use that will work. Search your App store and see what works but also see what Apps have computer programs that are compatible like iMovie.
  • Evernote. This is just very useful for you to take notes, scan images in and work with a team by sharing notes back and forth. In the FREE version (which I have) you can sync 2 devices to it which makes it even more useful as I can input something on my phone and still have access to it on my computer.
  • Trello or Slack. These are great project management tools that allow you to plan and coordinate effectively as a team. This is much better than simple email exchanges back and forth.

The Bottom Line here is apps are extremely useful for your ministry. Find the ones that work best for you so you can stay productive and efficient in all you do.

Conclusion

In order to reach a whole new generation for Christ, you have to start somewhere. These are just some of the digital basics to get you started. But, with a proper knowledge and understanding of each social network, the right gear and these useful apps, these digital basics will get you started and become second nature to you in no time. And with every learning and understanding you will be growing as a more effective communicator of Christ to a variety of different audiences.

What tech and digital basics do you have? Share below or social media using #ymsidekick when you post. 

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Digital Missionary

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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