Today I have the great privilege of speaking to a group of leaders at Grace Church in Reno, Nevada. My message is simple: there is a tremendous opportunity to use the principles of good social business to do things I don't see any other church currently doing.
A lot of churches have fancy websites, and a lot of pastors are now blogging. But I can't find a single church that is practicing inbound marketing by using the church website as a hub from which a congregation of bloggers are connected as spokes.
I'm not going to suggest that members of the congregation create blogs about their faith; rather, I want to see them blogging about their value, what they do in their daily jobs or related roles to help others address opportunities and solve problems that matter to them. I want an accountant to blog about accounting, a plumber to blog about plumbing, a landscaper to blog about landscaping, and the stay-at-home mom or dad to blog about the joys and challenges that come with that role. I want them to develop remarkable content that earns them the privilege of being a trusted resource of information that maters to a wide spectrum of folks in the community.
My goal is that when someone searches Google for "Reno", that Grace Church appears on the first page, above the fold. For that to happen, we have to teach Google that Grace Church is Reno. I think the only way to accomplish that is by creating an army of people that say "we are Grace Church," via the creation of remarkable content on their own blogs that are then linked to the Grace Church hub.
I envision a page on the Grace Church website called something like "Voices of Grace" where anyone and everyone that is a partner in the congregation can create content to help anyone in the community address the opportunities and problems of daily life. People will discover that online, their communities can become global, which will give Grace Church a unique opportunity to accomplish their mission of teaching the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
What do you think? Could the principles of social business and inbound marketing radically transform the operation of any church, or am I out to lunch on this? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!