I’ve been asked by a number of people how Calvary is using technology for the progress of the gospel and how people can get tuned into it but before I start with that I think it’s worth remembering two things:
1) Unless the Lord builds the house they labour in vain who build (Psalm 127:1). We can have all of the technology that is available but unless the Spirit of God is using it then it’s pointless.
2) Technology is neither good nor bad. The intentionality around its use is what makes it work for good or evil. At Calvary we have a similar set up as a secular music concert or cinema but the content is or course very different.
The central question for me is this: how can we use technology to promote Jesus and the Gospel? Here’s what we’re doing:
We have a website. Pretty standard these days. Whilst it is not perfect it is functional. It contains information about us, who we are and what we do. The part of the website that is updated most frequently is the sermon section. Here people can listen to the most recent sermons, download notes or link to our podcast. The website automatically scales to the right size for mobile phones and tablets.
iTunes contains all of our sermon material, including audio and notes. Listeners can subscribe to the podcast which means that the latest sermon will download to their computer as soon as it is available. Mobile phones and tablets can also access the podcast on the go. Click here to visit the iTunes podcast
Social media use is huge and your part in promoting Calvary on the internet is massive. Here’s what we do and how you can help …
Twitter – Twitter works by following and having followers. People sign up and start posting about just about anything. Calvary’s twitter account is www.twitter.com/calvarysoton – if you’ve got a twitter account try retweeting Calvary’s updates, by doing so you’re spreading the message to your “followers”. Look at the statistics below to see how effective this has been in the past …
Facebook – almost everyone I know has a Facebook account, well so do we! It’s here: www.facebook.com/calvarysoton . If you go to our page and click “Like” you will start to see Calvary updates on your home timeline (or whatever it’s called these days). If you share one of these updates to your friends you start to spread the message to your “friends”
Here’s some statistics …. a few years ago we encouraged people to share our Twitter and Facebook updates in the run up to Easter. We posted 8 updates over a 2 week period. You retweeted and share these posts with your friends. Your friends retweeted and reposted to their friends. During that 2 week period those 8 posts were seen by more than half a million people.
As well as providing our onscreen announcements, song lyrics and sermon bullet points, Proclaim sends information out to mobile devices during the service. Each announcement slide gives you the opportunity to save the date to your mobile calendar, each bible cross reference allows you to view it on your phone or tablet and take them home to study later. You can take part in interactive surveys and visit helpful links too. Get the free logos bible for your device and start using proclaim on Sunday – works on iPhone, android, iPad or Kindle Fire.
We’re using SMS to get people to sign up for events. Simply text a short code to 60777 (at standard network rate) and the details are stored in our database against the event you’ve signed up for. We’re hoping to roll this out to include requests for free books and bibles too. For example, we are thinking about placing some adverts on public transport before Valentine’s Day that would read something like: “All you need is Love. God is Love. Text Calvary Love to 60777 to find out more!” People who text in automatically get sent a reply with more information or links.