Lisa Hendey discusses using social media for evangelization at UDMC

By Jacqueline Burkepile

Correspondent

November 3, 2014

Lisa Hendey, founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and author of The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living, offered a workshop at the University of Dallas Ministry Conference  (UDMC) Friday, Oct. 24. Her session “Solving the Social Media Mystery” provided listeners with “tips, tools, and techniques for the new evangelization” using the power of the Internet.

Throughout her presentation, Hendey explained why Catholics should effectively embrace the use of social media within their churches, schools, and campus ministries. Social media tools such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, she said, can help increase activity within the Church, and strengthen the faithful. Hendey added that clergy, including Pope Francis, use social media to reach vast numbers of people.

“Christ’s followers are to shape and influence culture.” said Hendey. “It makes sense to me that we would use these tools to share the best news in the world, which is that Jesus Christ is our Savior.”

Hendey added that using social media for the new evangelization comes with responsibilities.

“When we mishandle or misrepresent what Mother Church has to say, that has repercussions,” she said. “What we say matters when we tweet and post about our Church.”

Hendey emphasized the importance of praying before using social media to represent the Church.

“If you’re just starting to use these tools for your organization — or even personally — I’d ask you to spend some time in prayer and discernment about why it is that you want to do this,” she said.

She also suggested involving the community in social media efforts, experimenting with new social media platforms, observing what other communities are doing, and being creative with Internet posts.

Hendey later added that the Internet is in an ever-changing mode, and will always have new additions to its platform.

“We need to find new and exciting ways to reach our Church right now,” she said. If the Church isn’t present in these places, Hendey said, then the only content people will find online “is a vacuum filled with the stuff we don’t want them looking at.”

Brother Pedro Romero, who works in youth ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Fort Worth, found the session very helpful. He said he now has a better understanding of the importance of social media, especially as it relates to the youth of the Church.

“I’m not very used to social media,” he said, “so it really gave me a broad perspective about the different tools we have. It is important to learn what the youth are going through in social media.”

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Lisa Hendey, founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and author of The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living, offered a workshop at the University of Dallas Ministry Conference  (UDMC) Friday, Oct. 24. Her session “Solving the Social Media Mystery” provided listeners with “tips, tools, and techniques for the new evangelization” using the power of the Internet.

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