In September, a collection of miffed Canadians began a demonstration in New York. The concept spread and soon groups were gathering in 70 cities and 600 communities across the United States. Worldwide, 900 groups have followed suit. Regardless of their ideas or your perception of this movement, the popularity and rapid adoption of their message is impressive. So what can church leaders learn from them?
- Utilize social media. From the rise of Justin Bieber, to the fall of Mubarak, people are using online platforms to spread messages like never before. With the Twitter hashtag #OWS, the Occupy Wall Street movement gained ground at a rapid speed. Today, there is no faster way to spread a message than for it to go viral online. Your church and its staff should all have a presence online.
- Simplify the message. From your children’s ministry’s purpose statement, to the theme of the teen’s disciple now weekend, all the programming at your church should be able to boil down its purpose into one key sentence. For Occupy Wall Street, it is “We are the 99%.” Having a mission statement or slogan that people can resonate with promotes unity and empowers people to share about the ministry of your church.
- Make your message relatable. Occupy Wall Street has done a phenomenal job of communicating that this is a cause 99% of Americans should support. If your church had a quote like “We are the 99%,” you might expand your reach and ignite your core base around a common theme, objective, and goal.
- Do something about it. The people involved in Occupy Wall Street believe in their cause. While protesting is nothing new, they have rallied people of different demographics, nationalities, ages, and political parties beyond a unifying cause. How? They were creative. They thought outside of the box and came up with some new angles. “Let’s try utilizing Twitter.” “Let’s adopt an eye-catching slogan.” “Let’s expand to cities across the country.” What can your church do to think outside the box? Maybe it’s utilizing ServiceU’s online giving software. Maybe it’s joining with other churches in the community. It’s time to refresh our thinking and try something new.
What more can we learn from Occupy Wall Street?