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By Rev. Marty Levesque

I fully admit to being a very amateur gardener.

With a lot of dedication, a little luck and willingness to learn I generally am assured of a bumper crop of tomatoes each year, regardless if this one variety is supposed to produce fruit in 65 days, this one in 75 days and this one in 85 days. They all come at once!!

And one trick I learned is to never plant a solo tomato plant. Plants, flowers and trees require cross-pollination.

The same is true between analogue and digital. We must stop thinking of them as separate but part of the means in which we tell our story, the church’s story and the story of Jesus Christ. They do not exist separately but work in tandem to cross-pollinate.

After all, we want to be able to leverage the social networks of our parishioners to grow the church. The best means of encouraging growth is getting them to interact with your church on digital platforms.

Each week we have a captive audience of people who want to hear what we have to say. Seize this opportunity to always direct parishioners back to Facebook, Twitter and your website. Have announcements slides with your social media accounts, email announcements each week with links to your social media accounts, always include web addresses on all printed material and ask people to sign up to Facebook events like you would any other sign up sheet.

This ensures your parishioners move from analogue to engaging with you digitally. It also ensures that those engagements will be seen by their family and friends.

This cross-pollination will help your church grow, both in digital footprint but also with analogue visitors on Sunday mornings.

Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo.