ORGANIZATION NAME: Forward Church (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada)
INDUSTRY: Not for Profit (NFP) & Charity
NAME OF CONTACT: Jenn Pent, Director of Communications
The CHURCH received its mission/mandate from its Founder some two thousand years ago. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15). The mandate can be reduced down into one word, “GO”. This new entity called the church was to “GO” into all the world. Of course, in Jesus’ time He literally meant to GO to the four corners of the known physical world; “GO” to where the people are. Today, the people are in social media, the people are on-line, the people are amidst technology. The new techno evangelists are reaching their “peeps” in new and innovative ways. Marketing the Church is at the forefront of the Gospel message.
Christian music artists like Hezekiah Walker use social media such as YOUTUBE to communicate their Gospel (Good News) message. Their medium is music displayed in the marketplace, not in a physical building, but, out, among the people, going to where they are. With 2,726,396 views … people are watching this video. It’s also interesting to note; advertisers are flocking to this video and others. Who wouldn’t want to connect with over 2.7 million people?
I met with Jenn Pent, Director of Communications, Forward Church. In her own words she details the importance of vision and values. Have a listen…
Additionally we talked about Social Media as a local marketing tool. Forward Church is a special place for people of all ages. Various marketing tools are used to reach or communicate from within and without the church. Notably, the age 40+ crowd prefer to use FACEBOOK while the younger folk prefer TWITTER. Jenn also admitted to me that “Forward” would like to see a LINKEDIN account opened up as a marketing tool that would allow for B2B communication among service providers within their church family. The other element of our discussion which I believe has great importance is the 170+ video recordings of church services found under their VIMEO account called Church at Home. Increasingly, there are people within the community that cannot make it to church but want a life affirming inspirational message provided to them on a weekly basis. This wonderful marketing tool allows them TO BE THERE WITHOUT GOING THERE! See my full interview below.
The Church is about fulfilling its mandate; to go into all the world. The Church is relevant and it’s willing to prove it. Forward Church uses Social Media marketing to:
- Gather statistics via Google Analytics to determine the needs of local people. The end result – the pioneering of two additional sites in Guelph (Forward Church Willow) and Kitchener (Forward Church Huron Park).
- Communicate via FACEBOOK to post the needs of people within the community. The needs being met via Facebook range from babysitting for single moms, bikes for kids in single parent families to summer movies in the park.
- Connect their youth. TWITTER is used by primarily young people to talk about their favorite bands, groups, invite their friends to bi-annual youth retreats and special outings.
- Meet the needs of the sick and shut in. Literally people all over the world tune into FORWARD’s Church @ Home on a weekly basis.
- Faith finds a way.
- The Church will continue to communicate its message.
- Social Media will continue to be a marketing tool used and expanded upon.
- Social Media Analytics provide key insights.
SUBMITTED BY: Jaye Torley
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