Education Week: Becoming a social media missionary

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Whitnie Soelberg
Social media can be challenging, but there are diverse ways of doing missionary work via social media.

The Internet has made way for new methods of missionary work, giving the phrase “every member a missionary” a whole new meaning.

Kenneth D. Krogue, president of insidesales.com, said social media has changed how Mormons share the gospel and how to become an effective social media missionary.

Being his first address at BYU Education Week, Krogue shared his background in business, particularly online marketing. By applying what is already known about online marketing to missionary efforts, the Internet can become a powerful tool for sharing the gospel, Krogue said.

“If we put the Spirit on top of it we can do something really amazing,” Krogue said.

Blogs have become a platform to share personalized messages to potentially large audiences. Krogue referred to blogs as a personal newspaper or magazine, only with the benefit of being produced from the comfort of home.

By using blogs and social media, members are better able to share the gospel. With the rise of social media, traditional methods of missionary work are going away, according to Krogue.

Despite an increase in full-time missionaries since the minimum missionary age lowered on Oct. 12, 2015, statistics do not show an equal increase in new members he said. Krogue’s suggestion is to incorporate social media with current missionary efforts.

“This is the new version of the printing press—where you can sit in your slippers and have your message heard around the world,” he said.

Social media can reach people that other missionary efforts, such as door knocking, may not be able to. The youth of the church are of growing concern, leaders have said. Elder W. Craig Zwick stated that the church is losing 40 percent of youth. Youth tend to be apt users of social media, meaning that missionary work through social media could be an effective way of retaining and converting youth.

When handling youth and the Internet, “you should inoculate, not quarantine,” Krogue said. “You have to be part of their world and help them through it.”

But some members may have concerns about using the Internet to share the gospel. To address these concerns, Krogue referenced Elder David A. Bednar’s talk given at BYU Education Week 2014.

Member missionaries have the responsibility to sweep the Earth with uplifting and righteous messages through social media, Elder Bednar said.

Krogue said although the goal of missionary work is still the same, the method of contacting people has evolved. He introduced the six core skills of social media missionary work: complete, content, communities, connect, comment and call to action.

“Your mission is no longer the boundaries of your ward—it’s every one you know. Not where you live. That’s the difference,” Krougue said.

 

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