Visiting a church for the first time can be a challenge. Sadly, sometimes the challenge is just locating correct information about the church. Case in point: One Saturday night I searched for the Facebook page of a local UMC only to find that the posts were 6 months old & nowhere could I find the church’s address or worship times. Eventually I did track things down but the lack of social media was hurting this congregation.
This summer we are focusing on the Bishop’s challenge to grow our worship attendance by 10% and to increase baptisms and professions of faith. So far we have covered:
Today, I want to talk about using Facebook and other social media as a tool of church growth.
Of course, the big question I get when I urge churches to use social media is WHY? Why take the time to do this? The simple answer is: this where the people are. (By the way – Did you know that if Facebook were a country it would be the third largest? )
Do you use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? Have you ventured into Snapchat or do you share a video or written blog? Do you podcast or livestream? If not, you are missing out on reaching people and sharing God’s love.
So how can you begin (or increase) your use of these tools? Let’s focus on social media today – here are a couple of simple best practices for churches.
- Post regularly – at least 3 times a week. Here is how it could look: Monday: A photo from Sunday turned into a meme (use a quote from Sunday’s sermon, scripture or music). Wednesday: Post a prayer or scripture text for the upcoming week – use video. Saturday: Post an article that provokes conversation especially if it is part of Sunday’s message or it is topical. Remember: share things that are helpful to others not just info about the church’s activities.
- Photos rule the day – Photos grab your attention, so use them!
- Videos also rule the day – Create short 30 second videos of the children’s ministry, a spoken prayer, fellowship time.
- Create a team – 5-7 people who will post, like and share what the church posts. Let these folks also be administrators on the page so the job doesn’t fall to one person.
- Use social media to get feedback from church attenders: Use social media to engage with others.
- Pastors: Invite people to connect with you about your sermon on social media to continue to the conversation. Article: 7 Ideas
But what if you don’t run your church’s page? How can you help?
- Check in on Sunday mornings or during other times you are at the church. This can open a door for your friends to ask you about church.
- Repost what your church is posting. Share and invite others.
- Share your photos, videos, memes and reflections from Sunday.
- Serve on your social media team – this is a huge help!
Action: Update your social media as you get ready for the fall.
Want to learn more?