"Pinistry" - How Pinterest Is Revolutionizing Ministry


Sarah Weaver

11/1/2013

 
By Sarah Weaver
Pastor, Rehoboth Congregational Church
 
My husband has begun to loathe conversations that begin with the sentence, “So I saw this cute idea on Pinterest …”
 
Pinterest is an online pin board; it is a website that allows users to find, organize and share ideas.  Ideas – or “pins” – can be organized by category onto different “boards” that users create.  Pinterest users create profiles and are able to follow other users and see their pins.
 
While the most common categories pinned are Home, Arts & Crafts, Style/Fashion and Food (according to this article from mashable.com), lately I have found that Pinterest can actually be a vital tool in ministry.
 
Pinterest board
One of Sarah Weaver's boards on Pinterest
Over the past several months, I have found myself engaging Pinterest more and more in my work at the church. 
  • I create “boards” to collect ideas for altar designs, youth group activities, VBS decorating, worship, the church fair and more. 
  • I brainstorm with colleagues and with church members on “shared boards” that we are all able to “pin” ideas onto. 
  • When I am shopping for supplies or talking to people outside of the office I am able to access the things that I have “pinned” on my phone. 
  • I invite church members to follow me on Pinterest, which gives them a window into my thought process and planning that they never had before!  Because they see the work that goes on behind the scenes, they become more invested in the ministries, worship services and activities at the church.
I joke with my friends that I have been called to “pinistry” – pinterest + ministry.
 
If it is utilized effectively, I think that Pinterest has the potential to revolutionize ministry (for both ordained and lay leaders).
 
Pinterest is a free website – you can sign up at www.pinterest.com.  All you need to sign up is an email address.
 
Here are some tips to get you started in “pinistry”!
 
Create “Boards” for specific ministries/events.
 
Have a potluck coming up?  Planning your church fair?  Trying to find VBS snacks and crafts?  Create a board so you can keep all of your ideas in one place.
 
Pinterest Tutorial:
Go to your pinterest profile → Click “Create a Board” → Fill out the information for the board you are creating → Click the red “Create Board” button → Start pinning!
 
Search within Pinterest for Ideas – and use specific phrases!
 
Last summer we used Gospel Light’s SonRise National Park VBS curriculum.  Out of curiosity I typed “SonRise National Park” into the search function on Pinterest and – much to my delight! – found entire boards that others using the curriculum had created full of ideas and photographs.
 
Create “Shared Boards” and invite church members to “pin” to that board.
 
In a strange way, community can be fostered through digital media.  Last summer I created a board called “Bizarre Bazaar Ideas” and invited the women in the church who are involved in our annual bazaar to pin ideas to it.  Not only have we found a lot of fun ideas, but the women have gotten to know each other through their pins.
 
Pinterest Tutorial:
Once you have created a board, click “Edit Board” and type in the usernames or email addresses of the people that you would like to pin to the shared board.
 
Like all technology and social media, Pinterest is not a replacement for face-to-face communication and planning.  But it is a wonderful tool at our disposal!
 
Blessings in your pinistry!

 



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