Using Pinterest in the Congregation

PinterestSometimes we are led in unexpected directions.

  • Last week I happened across a suggestion for using Pinterest for churches (Part I – read this if you don’t know what Pinterest is/ Part II). I’d heard of Pinterest but didn’t really know too much about it. I mentally filed the idea away but didn’t really give it too much immediate consideration.
  • A couple of days later I attended a teaser of sorts for Social Phonics, which got me thinking about our strategy (or lack of it) in using social media (especially Twitter) at church.
  • Over the weekend I decided to take some of my ‘stash’ and make some gift cards for an upcoming Valentine’s fundraiser sale. Since I haven’t done a lot of card making lately I needed some inspiration, so decided to check out what I could find using Pinterest.

Pinterest is sort of a way to find, organize, bookmark, and share inspiring links. I was able to search Pinterest for Valentine’s cards and find some ideas to get my creativity flowing again.

This is just my sort of thing. I’ve been a fan of Delicious and then Diigo, but to combine that concept with a more visual interface, as well as something some of my real-life friends are actually starting to use … I started to see some potential.

I started thinking about ways I might experiment with using this tool in a meaningful way as a tool for church communications.

I went ahead and set up two Pinterest accounts. Pinterest seems to require each account be attached to an existing Facebook or Twitter account, so I went with a personal account, attached to my facebook account, and a ‘Zion Lutheran Church” account, attached to the ZionBuffalo twitter account.

Through my personal account I was able to easily discover about 2 dozen members of the congregation who already have Pinterest accounts (because they also happen to be my personal Facebook friends) to follow with the ZionBuffalo Pinterest account.

Because of the tie-in with Twitter, I can use this as a tool to expand the use of our Twitter account (which until now has been mostly automatic re-posts of our Facebook page status, but I’ve been thinking it is time to be a bit more strategic in that area)

I came up with a few types of ‘boards’ to try:

  • Boards for links pertaining to our local area, our mission partners, and Lutheranisms
  • A board for craft ideas that may inspire volunteers interested in being part of our annual ‘Harvest of Hands’ festival (I’m particularly interested in the potential for collaborating on boards like this, but that functionality is yet to figure out)
  • A board for reading selections from the Book Club
  • A board for books that have been used for staff or committee book studies
  • A board for articles on our own website that feature stories about members of the congregation

I’m thinking that as it develops, it could be a way to provide spiritual resources for the congregation, be another way that members can connect with and get to know each other, and maybe even a way that others in our community can discover us (through boards of local interest as well as items that are repinned by our members).

Why don’t you just have a look 🙂

screenshot of ZionBuffalo Pinterest

… continue to Pinterest Part 2

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