By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) – Louisiana Baptists are in the final year of implementing the President’s 2020 Commission Report, an initiative undertaken during the leadership of Waylon Bailey, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Covington, and the LBC president in 2012-2013.
The 2020 recommendations were crafted collaboratively by a commission of 400 Louisiana Baptist leaders, staff members and laypeople, working in 20 subcommittees of 20 members each. Ten “key actions in reaching our state” – known as KAIROS – were developed to engage two audiences – the next generation and every people group. These measures for improving the spiritual health and growth of the state were adopted by messengers at the 2013 Louisiana Baptist Convention Annual Meeting.
This article is the seventh in a series published by the Baptist Message to report what successes have been achieved toward the ambitious goals of the statewide initiative, as well as to note what objectives remain to be done.
Provide training for leaders and churches in the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Vine, etc. Provide content for churches and ministries which will make their websites more engaging and useful.
“Since the beginning of the 2020 initiative, social media has been a growing part of our communications strategy,” Louisiana Baptists Director of Communications John Kyle told the Baptist Message.
According to Kyle:
–Facebook followers increased from 2,100 in 2016 to more than 4,600 in 2020.
–Twitter has seen similar increases from 2,190 followers in 2015 to more than 4,000 this year.
–Since launching on Instagram several years ago, the number of followers has grown to 845, a 98 percent increase over 2019.”
Louisiana Baptists production manager Steve Haney, who also oversees content for the convention’s social media platforms, says the average daily reach of their Facebook page is approaching 25,000 and Instagram’s reach is currently more than 9,000.
“Over 18 percent of traffic to LouisianaBaptists.org comes through social media,” Haney said. “The average for other business categories is between 2- 8 percent.”
Kyle notes hundreds of social media handouts have been created and will be distributed to messengers and churches during this year’s LBC Annual Meeting.
“The handouts have focused on free-online resources, growing your ministry using Facebook, how to take good social media pictures using smart phones and other aspects of social media,” Kyle said. “All of the resources have been available as downloads our website as well.”
Training in social media has been primarily through personal phone consultations and an occasional association training event, Kyle said.
“We’ve also committed time to train the State Missions Services staff during state-wide staff meetings,” Kyle continued. “We’ve brought in special guest speakers on occasion as well as conducted in-house training to help the staff use this tool more effectively.”
Kyle encourages all Louisiana Baptists to make the most of social media.
“It’s not going away,” Kyle said. “Social media is evolving so quickly that it’s a challenge to stay current, but it’s definitely here to stay in one form or another.”
Louisiana Baptists can follow updates from the convention on Facebook (@louisianabaptists), Twitter (@LaBaptists) or Instagram (@labaptists)