OK, I hope the boss man — GetReligion Editor Terry Mattingly — will forgive me for a quick, shorter-than-normal post.
I’m in Las Vegas, either for the Vegas Dance Explosion or the Religion News Association annual conference. I’m trying to remember which one. Both are happening right now at the Westgate Resort and Casino.
So, I flipped a coin and ended up in a big ballroom for the RNA meeting.
But seriously, folks, what better place for a three-day gathering of the nation’s religion journalists than Sin City? Besides me, GetReligion’s Julia Duin is here.
A bunch of interesting and important religion issues are on the agenda for the three-day event. You can follow it all live via the #RNA2019 hashtag on Twitter. Also, the RNA is live-streaming sessions on its Facebook page:
The digital age is something else, allowing anyone with internet access to be a part of this week’s festivities.
Speaking of the digital age, Slate published a fascinating piece this week on “God’s Conversion Rate.” The focus is that “Churches are using targeted ads on social media to convert and recruit.”
Now, that’s not exactly breaking news, but I don’t know that I’ve seen a specific story on it, so I enjoyed this one.
The opening includes both Jesus and Chick-fil-A. What more could a reader ask?:
From atop a mountain in Galilee, according to Matthew 28, Jesus delivered his Great Commission, unequivocal in its instruction: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” For 2,000 years, across cultures and continents, Christians have heeded this evangelical Prime Directive, spreading the Good News through street sermons, paper pamphlets, highway billboards, television programs.
To this list, we can add online targeted advertising. Churches of all denominations are using Facebook and Instagram ads to reach pinpointed audiences in their communities, transforming the Great Commission’s “nations” into living, breathing (scrolling) individuals. Now, it’s, “Go and make disciples of all 18- to 34-year-olds within a 10-mile radius who prefer Chick-fil-A to Popeyes.”
In the meantime, I’m going to stop typing and pay attention to the RNA panel session I’m attending right now.