How Your Church Can Use MySpace

April 6, 2006 by

Part 3 in a continuing series on What Web 2.0 Means for Your Church

Let’s just open that can of worms called MySpace. If you haven’t heard about MySpace, you’ve surely heard about the MySpace backlash. MySpace is one of many of social networking sites like Facebook, Friendster, Orkut and dozens of others, though MySpace has the distinction of being bought by Rupert Murdoch for $580 million, attracting over 50 million people (many of whom are teens), and being the target of an ugly media backlash over concerns about safety. The safety concerns are justified (just do a Google News search on MySpace), but they’re also overblown and uninformed.

What’s It All About?
The draw of MySpace is that it’s a virtual hangout, complete with easy networking, content creation and interaction. You can blog, post photos, play music, start discussions, post events, chat, add friends to your network and then comment on just about everything. While it has loads of web 2.0 attributes, it’s also not design savvy and it’s borderline bloated. But that doesn’t seem to matter.

What About the Church?
For the church MySpace represents yet another danger or an opportunity, depending on your outlook.

Some churches and ministries are diving in:

Church Profiles:

Church Related Groups:

Other Uses:

  • The Canvas (coffee shop run by The Movement church using MySpace’s music section)
  • XXXchurch (promoting their ministry to MySpace users, even though they argue against MySpace–of course their argument against MySpace would also apply to the Internet as a whole.)

I set up my own MySpace profile earlier this year after seeing more than a dozen teens from my youth group using MySpace, as well as a handful of other leaders interacting with our teens. I also managed to reconnect with a half-dozen friends from high school.

With all the different tools available on MySpace you could set up your own virtual church web site using nothing but MySpace. It’d be free, you could set it up in minutes, and you could have more community interaction than most church web sites will ever have.

MySpace is the Devil
Then there are the detractors. Much of the hype over MySpace centers around privacy concerns since so many young people are divulging too much personal information. There’s also the problem of inappropriate images, whether it’s a suggestive camera pic of a bikini-clad teen, or a suggestive ad of a bikini-clad “naughty single.” But these are the same problems inherent with any public, community-driven site. For every opportunity to use the tool for something good, someone will do something your mother wouldn’t approve of. The best solution is to be smart and educate anyone using MySpace. With simple precautions MySpace can be a safe place. Jonathan McKee has a good overview and suggestions for how to safely use MySpace.

Then there’s the Christian alternatives. Since MySpace is such a hotbed of sin, a lot of Christians are creating their own Christian social networking sites:

Nothing like creating yet another Christian ghetto. If churches, or Christians in general for that matter, want to interact with the world and tell them about Jesus, it’s not going to happen on a sanitized, sanctified, Christian version of a popular social networking site.

Bottom Line
MySpace or any other social networking site may be just another tool for churches to use to interact with members and visitors. As with any tool there can be drawbacks and necessary safety precautions, but it still has potential to help churches give power to the people and reach out in a cheap and easy web 2.0 way.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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33 Responses to “How Your Church Can Use MySpace”

  • s. zeilenga
    April 6, 2006

    I didn’t jump on the blog-wagon until I figured out how to have complete control over the design and feel of my blog. I don’t know why that is so important to me, but I need to like the feel of my personal space before I interact with someone else in it.
    I guess the main reason I haven’t gotten involved in MySpace and other platforms and communities is because I don’t like the fact that it is limited in design features and so bloated like you said. I go to a myspace page and immediately sigh becuase there is so much clutter. I hate clutter.
    So, I guess that totally doesn’t relate to the post but it is my take on this whole thing.
    …besides, I work hard enough trying to achieve community off the web that I don’t have any desire to waste needed resources by applying my time on the web. hmmmm…

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  • Andrew
    April 6, 2006

    I agree with your bottom line: Myspace is another tool that the church can use. We can either avoid it altogether or look for ways to use it for good.
    People (mainly students) are becoming comfortable with Myspace, and it is becoming an integral part of their daily lives.
    Now I wonder how we should use Myspace to accomplish our mission, and should we reevaluate church websites in light of Myspace’s popularity?

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  • Jann
    April 6, 2006

    Oh yay Christian versions of myspace. Now I can keep living in my Christian bubble and never have any involvement or influence in the outside world. Woopee.

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  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    April 6, 2006

    I completely agree, s. zeilenga. I didn’t get MySpace at first either. I still don’t really get it. But I do know that the kids in my youth group do get it. I don’t think they see a difference between community created online and community created offline.
    Sometimes it’s not about us.

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  • Ron Gehrke II
    April 6, 2006

    When talking to people about myspace – I warn them that there is innapropriate content there, but I believe it is another opportunity for us to be a light in a dark place.
    I use it to interact with many of the kids from the multiple youth groups and campus groups I am involved with. I have one for myself, my band, and my youth group.
    I have had many great conversations with youth. I have been able to interact with them about their problems through their blogs. Plus I get “cool points” for being on myspace.
    On a personal level, I have regained contact with multiple friends from high school and even one of my best friends who because of “issues” would not talk to me for three years.
    I have had a lot of good come out of my myspace usage.
    As for the christian alternatives, they don’t compare. I have a mypraize account and haven’t checked it for over a month. (reminds me that I should)
    We are going to start marketing the church through myspace very soon – it works well with 20somethings crowd.
    Thanks for posting an honest, hype-less article on myspace.

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  • Dave Bruno
    April 6, 2006

    Just a suggestion that freewebs is another good place for churches to connect. There are something like 100k churches signed up on the service, which also provides social networking tools.

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  • Mike Mitchell
    April 6, 2006

    I got a myspace account first to see if my teenager was on, and to see what all the hype was about.
    Next I started thinking about how to use it. Start posting snippets of my church renewal book (in progress). Start interacting with sites of others saying interesting things.
    But I think you’ve already stated the most important factor – if you’re going to catch any “fish” you’ve got to go where they are and throw out some bait. Witnessing to the saved ain’t gonna win the world.

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  • Cameron Perry
    April 7, 2006

    Perhaps even more important than people connecting with the church itself (i.e., having the church’s profile on the friends list and maybe interacting with a member of the staff) is the fact that others from the church are connecting with each other.
    From the church’s standpoint it’s not easy. Maintaining virtual communities, be it through MySpace or online bulletin boards, requires a great deal of time and patience – especially in the early phases when few people are part of that community. Because relationships are the currency of community it’s no surprise a great deal of effort must be made to build an active member base.

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  • Kevin
    April 7, 2006

    You make a good point, Cameron. At least for me I think it’s worked best at connecting people within the church. Perhaps a church profile would just help link members of the church, but the community really develops when the individuals connect amongst themselves, not just the church and an individual.

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  • scott aughtmon
    April 7, 2006

    I was a youth pastor for about 14 years before we planted this church (not always as an “official pastor”).
    I’ve gotten onto MySpace to reconnect with all my old “youth kids” who are on there. (They range from the ages of still being in High School to Mid-late 20’s.)
    It’s been a really cool way to reconnect with them!
    I also use it as a way to encourage those who aren’t a part of a church right now to hang with us.
    I almost always “post a bulletin” to my friends when I upload the most recent sermon online.
    I also use it as a way to enter their network of friends by posting comments and I always leave my name with a tag line/link “The Power Of Yes & No”, which leads to a sermon they can read.
    MySpace definitely has a lot of junk on there and you do have to guard yourself from where you go and what you see, but I’ll keep using it to try and reconnect and gather more people to be with our church.
    You can see my plain, ugly MySpace here

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  • Paul
    April 13, 2006

    Here’s one way “big church” is catching up. There are probably thousands of youth ministry pages on myspace. If you want to reach teens, then what better way?

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  • ApostolicSis
    April 28, 2006

    There is new Christian site just like myspace that I rather be in,I rather be in a Christian Enviroment.It just opened in match, yourchristianspace.It has diff faiths so its still a good way to witness but in a way better enviroment than myspace.And in all honesty,I think our pastors would rather know we were in a better place.

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  • Craig
    April 29, 2006

    MySpace is not a place for churches or it’s members. I would recommend a new service that allows you to create private networks with complete control and interaction at:

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  • Josh
    May 14, 2006

    I like the that Paul said, i visited the site and i have to say that i will stay in an enviroment full of christians and not in MySpace that is full of pornographi….THank
    Take a look

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  • Robert K
    May 18, 2006

    I use MySpace. I agree with this article. MySpace is Cluttered and it took effort to reduce the clutter on my page there.
    MySpace is an awsome witnessing ground. We are in the world just not of the world. make a difference in the world without becoming a part of it. Way of the Master understands this concept and is among the many ministries found on MySpace.
    There are pornographic images on MySpace but I am beginning to file complaints against them. I am not sure how this will work out but pornographic and offencive material is against MySpace terms of use policy. We can clean it up.
    make your voice heard.

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  • Church Marketing Sucks Web 2.0 Series

    Web 2.0 is yet another techno buzz term that’s popping up everywhere. Our Church Marketing Sucks blog just finished a series exploring web 2.0, sorting out the hype and figuring out what it means for churches: What Web 2.0 Means…

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  • Guille
    June 7, 2006

    If you’re not looking for a MySpace but instead a community tool to add to your web site – look into – recently launched they offer private communities and is clean and un-cluttered. They have a white label offering to make it look like your own site among other features.

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  • Josh
    July 10, 2006

    I just dont’t get how people can think that we can change the world without having our hands in it. Ministering, building bridges, being all that Christ has called us to be.
    Myspace is where they are at and Christians should be there to influence.
    Our church is there, still developing its myspace but still there.

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  • davey
    July 18, 2006

    Personally I do not have any problems with myspace. I have been on there since almost the day it started a few years ago and have not had any problems. It is like the rest of the internet, you get what you are looking for. I just designed a social networking site similar to myspace for my church and we are starting to test it out. It is not a replacement for myspace but a separate place for people involved with our church to have more interaction regardless of time or space. All to often there isn’t enough time on Sunday morning to talk and share with everyone you would like. That is why we started
    Just my thoughts,

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  • Nicola
    July 18, 2006

    I agree with Guille, however, I still feel some Christians do not feel comfortable with the contents on site like mySpace, Friendster etc. That is why my husband and I launch 2 Christians sites: one for teens and another for adults:
    Please check them out:
    Please let us know what you think. May the Lord bless you.

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  • Dennis
    February 20, 2007

    I use a great christian networking site to promote my website It is a site to honor a loved one with FREE Online Memorial Websites. You may upload pictures, suggest memorial music, share memories, and establish a memorial donation center. This website is personally moderated to avoid the problems of many other web 2.0 websites. Virtual memorials are totally free from!

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  • james
    March 2, 2007

    I agree that a church should use EVERY option to minister. I think increasing the power within is important too and making sure the ‘team’ is working together. One cool feature of the OCC.
    another tool in the list…..

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  • Jacob
    April 25, 2007

    I don’t agree with this article for many reasons. First, this article uses bad logic and contradicts itself in the first paragraph. What is the main problem men face today? A problem with pornography. is full of those types of images and ads. The church should be a safe place, a place to refresh, support and encourage you. The church should not be a portal to temptation. Connecting the church to is offering a way for those who are struggling, with the problem of pornography, to stumble. There should never be a link from the church’s website to a site such as The goal is to bring people in, not lead them out. Should we reach people where they are? Yes, of course. But there are other ways to do that. Jesus said go and make disciples, Not wait for someone to come by your site/house and try to connect with them. If you want to use this site singly, then that is your choice. I am not saying that nobody should use this site to try to bring people to Christ, even though I don’t think that is what He intended. I am saying that the church should not be connected. I know what you are going to say. “Be the salt and the light and try to fix reach them where they are online.” That is actually a pretty good argument. The only problem is that writing over the internet is very impersonal and can cause many misunderstandings. Another problem is that the church as a whole should not be moved around the country to different peoples computers and what not. We should. We are God’s tools and we are relying on the internet to do the work. Only the internet is taking down more of us than we are getting from it. Meaning more people are falling/stumbling because of the internet than people that come to Christ. While I don’t have any numbers or proof like we all wish, I do know that ~90% of males in church have a problem with pornography and the internet is one of the leading tools for Satan to cause us to stumble. If 90% of half of our population at the church is falling, than the church should be working on building them up. When we are not getting built up we should be the salt and the light and go and make disciples.
    If you have any questions or statements please e-mail me at
    Thank you.

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  • manny
    May 22, 2007

    This is a great alternative to myspace.

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  • manny
    May 22, 2007

    This is a great alternative to myspace.

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  • Sergio
    August 14, 2007

    Myspace is a gate. It is a point of entry int a city called – our Generation. 40% of myspace users are young adults (18-35). Politivcians are connecting with them, hollywood is connecting with them, pornography is connecting with them. WHERE is the KINGDOM of God.
    I believe we need to stop hiding from the world and begin to take an offensive approach to reach our generation. We are IN the world but not OF the world because we were made to CONQUER the world. We are CHILDREN of God and therefore we must establish the kingdom of our heavenly father.
    Myspace is perhaps one of the most accessible platforms for evangelism and discipleship. It is such a powerful tool if we are align to the kingdom and our relationship is right with God , believeme, we can reach everyone of those 80,000,000 young adults.
    70% of the pastoral care we give at our church is done through myspace… We’ve gotten all our young adults involved (all 500 of them), since we began using myspace we have witnessed consistent growth in our services, and the results, the testimonies we are getting from people are incredible.
    A couple of weeks ago a girl on the virge of committing suicide was contacted by our pastor through myspace, (He didn’t know what she was going through) but sent her a word fromg God now that girl is serving as one of our home group leaders.
    I just want to encourage you to go forth and conquer our generation on myspace because if we don’t do it somebody else will.

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  • Robert Eilers
    August 28, 2007

    I think it’s good to have a presence anywhere you can. But it also depends on what your church is wanting to do. Do they want to world wide or just keep it local? There’s really no reason to try and do a social networking page if the church is concentrating on just local ministry.

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  • Travis
    November 2, 2007

    That is a very interesting fact, but it is all true.

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  • Nehemiah
    December 6, 2007

    Don’t even try signing up for Christianster. That site is full of people who are so full of themselves. Don’t even bother arguing with them because they’re nothing but close-minded, controlling freaks. That site should be called Devilster.

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  • Melissa
    May 19, 2008

    I was on myspace for quite some time, and personally I think it was more or less a distraction from the real world. Not to mention that it brought alot of unwanted drama my way. It may not be the same for everyone, but I felt like Myspace got in the way of my real life…took up way too much time, and got kind of addicting. Ok very addicting. I think it can be a tool for good, especially for musicians, but personally I stay away. I would like the Christian sites if they were easier to use and had all the cool stuff my space had. Witnessing is important, but sometimes I just want to mingle with like minded people and get away from the world…But thats just me.

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  • Micah
    May 24, 2008

    yes, nehemiah is right. Christianter is a huge mess. the people there are amazingly horrible and extremists. they’yre hopeless fools.

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  • Neil
    December 8, 2008

    Since you wrote this article, Myspace has changed a bit. In my opinion it is more for media i.e. musicians. Whereas Facebook seems to taking over our social networking lives as it is more secure so you don’t have randoms inviting you as friends.
    On the Church front I see that there is a new social networking site called GodsGate,, they are in competition to Holypal and Xianz.
    There is definitely a space for christian networking sites, how they adopt it remains to be seen.
    A big opportunity to get the Word out there is in Facebook apps, one just needs to be creative.

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  • PoetryDaughter
    January 3, 2009

    i have a MySpace account that i created to network with other Christian artists. i found a very beautiful layout and created a playlist of my favorite music, so that anyone who happens to come by will have a chance to be ministered to. Christ was not afraid of sinners who did not know God. IF we are salt and light, we will not become less than that by letting our light shine, and it does not mean that letting our light shine causes us to become dark because of other people’s darkness that they are in. anyone who looks on my page will know what i am about, i tried to make a very welcoming page without being preachy or watered down. and i pray that someone will be encouraged to know the True and Living God because of my presence there.

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