(Taken from my book, Why Your Ministry Facebook Page Isn’t Working, a resource on social media for ministry)
Communication has changed drastically over the past decade. From online marketing to 140-character nuggets of information, we’ve learned to communicate in new and exciting ways. This shift in communication has required churches to examine former methods and styles and to make drastic course corrections. As cutting-edge platforms for communication are being developed, we must embrace this shift. In so doing, we multiply our efforts to be dealers of hope, reaching out to communities in current and exciting ways, and begin to understand the needs of those around us like never before.
Though social media provides countless advantages, here are my top six reasons that your church/ministry must have a social media presence.
- Connection. Using social media allows you to establish a familiar face among people in your community you may not normally meet. It also allows you to connect with people in your community by breaking down the “walls” that often exist before someone ever physically enters your building. You might also be surprised to learn that social media fosters a deeper sense of community among current your congregation. And finally, discipleship is possible through the use of social media.
- You instantly become more relatable. Showing yourself as a church and as individuals will help people realize that they’re more like you than they may think. Many unchurched people have preconceived notions about what people within the church are like. Many times, those notions are wrong. Because of this when a person sees your ministry as relatable, you instantly gain a bit of credibility.
- Promotion. With so many people on social media, why would you not use it to promote your church? (Don’t make the mistake that a lot of churches make in using social media only for promotion–that’s a big mistake.) If you’re taking the time to read this book, I assume you have some exciting things happening within your ministry and you’d love to share them. There has never been such a time in history when advertising has been so easy and virtually free.
- Credibility. Long before people visit restaurants or any sort of business, they check them out on social media. Ratings and reviews say so much about your church or ministry and go a long way in helping establish the fact that you are credible, you care about people, and that you have a visible presence within your community—one that makes a difference.
- Website traffic growth. Getting people to visit your church website is a big win. Giving them the opportunity to explore your church further (on their own turf and terms) is powerful. Ultimately, this is the final step most people will take in checking out a new ministry online. They often start with social media, where they will scroll through pictures and posts and read a few reviews, then they will move on to your website if they want to learn more.
- Outreach. Social media is an often untapped mission field for churches. If our churches aren’t there, they are missing out on an important opportunity to share the love of Christ with our communities.
So what’s keeping you from developing a strong social media presence?
Pastors and ministry leaders wear too many hats. But what if you could learn to leverage social media in a way that doesn’t cost you hours per week? It is possible to develop a quality social media ministry without spending a lot of time on it. Stick around. We will chat about that.
Are you afraid of what people will say or do on your page? Afraid you won’t be able to maintain posting? Well, stop living in fear. The truth is, sharing your faith is always risky. Learning something new is scary. Exposing yourself to controversy and conflict will make you feel vulnerable. By turning fear and insecurity into a boldness to share Christ, we can become like the apostle Paul who, because of the transformation Jesus made in his life, was willing to share the message using unconventional means and methods.
I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
Learning to “do” social media well in a ministry sense is a lot like planning the ultimate dinner party. I am now booking trainings for districts across the country. “How to throw the ultimate social media ministry” training is now available. Below is the menu!Schedule now