As social media has become a central platform for communication, every church has the potential to reach more people and extend their ministry far beyond their physical walls.
However, this journey requires a different approach than most promotion and marketing.
It requires a transformation of the way your church perceives and utilizes social media.
Bottom line: Stop selling your church on social media, and start serving people.
My Mission: Equipping Churches for Digital Ministry
I firmly believe that your church, regardless of its size or tech-savviness, can leverage social media to connect with your community in a meaningful way.
Instead of treating social media as a virtual bulletin board, I guide churches in embracing it as a powerful tool for digital ministry.
Through learning just the basics in phone photography, phone videography, and design, churches can create compelling content in-house, without the need for outsourcing.
At the heart of my philosophy is the idea of stewardship — of utilizing the resources given to us by God to serve others and help people know Him.
Social media isn't just about broadcasting information; it's about genuinely engaging with people and offering something to serve and help.
My Journey: From Outsourcing to Authenticity
My journey began when I worked with various church marketing companies.
While assisting churches with their online presence, including design, websites, ads, and social media, I found that representing a church authentically on social media proved to be a challenge when you're not actively part of that congregation.
Every church has a unique voice, a distinctive expression, and a potential to reach individuals only they can reach in their local context.
Even if churches decided to outsource their social media management, I noticed that there remained a crucial need for internal oversight.
Whether it was a designer, photographer or a marketing firm, someone from within the church needed to be the bridge to ensure authenticity and alignment with the church's values.
This realization prompted me to start helping churches in training their own members — volunteers and staff — to navigate the world of social media with confidence and purpose.
Many people who find themselves tasked with church social media lack prior experience and feel lost in the digital landscape.
This is why I began training churches on exactly how to run their social media, to make it not complicated or time-consuming.
Shifting Paradigms: From Self-Promotion to Service
One of the most common pitfalls in church social media is the tendency to excessively promote events, programs, and invitations.
This approach primarily targets those who are already within your Christian community and acts as a calendar reminder.
If I’m not a Christian, and a post with your event details comes across my explore page, I'm gonna ignore it. I have no reason to look at it.
But if I come across a post of someone talking about how God restored their marriage and I’m actually going through a divorce right now, I’m gonna listen up and come back for more.
To expand your reach and connect with those who need it most, a paradigm shift is essential.
My approach centers on service, not self-promotion.
I encourage churches to alter their social media strategy, moving away from self-centered content that essentially screams, "Look at us!"
Instead, churches should focus on creating posts that serve people's needs, address their struggles, and connect with their pain points.
Essentially, stop selling your church and start serving people.
When we offer genuine service, people are more likely to pay attention and engage.
Now, here's an eye-opener: if your feed is dominated by announcements alone, you're unintentionally pushing away those who aren't currently seeking a church community.
This approach limits your reach to your existing congregation, missing out on the potential to touch lives beyond your current circle.
In contrast, if your social media is dominated by posts that serve people, people will be more open to your invitations when they do come along.
What Kind Of Posts Should Church’s Be Sharing?
So, what kind of content should churches be sharing? Here are some shifts to consider:
1. Meeting Needs Over Giving Information: Rather than bombarding your audience with event information, tailor your content to meet their immediate needs, challenges, and struggles.
2. Insights Over Hype: Instead of boasting about your church's greatness, offer insights from your messages that can impact someone's life in the moment they encounter your post.
3. Connection over invitations: Dedicate the majority of your posts to content that educates, encourages, connects, or entertains. Build a narrative that gives people a reason to return for more.
Here’s some example ideas:
- Be The Christian Friend Who…
- 8 Simple Ways To Spend More Time With Jesus Today
- Remember this verse when you are anxious or worried
- Celebrating something someone did at your church like a volunteer
- Encouraging quote or teaching from a scripture
How To Share Your Church’s Announcements On Social Media
When it comes to sharing announcements, consider these strategies for creating posts that truly resonate:
1. Tell a Story: Share testimonies or videos of people who have been transformed by past events or programs. This can even be sharing a story or experience related to preparing for the event.
2. Share the Why Before the What: Rather than leading with event details, emphasize the why behind the event and the benefits it offers. Connect on a personal level before diving into specifics.
For example: Instead of saying there will be a great message, donuts and a photo booth, share what will happen in someone’s life if they come.
You can say things like:
You’re going to learn…
You’ll grow in…
You’ll receive healing in…
You'll step into your calling by overcoming..
Explain how attending your event can lead to personal growth or transformation.
Address the beliefs it challenges or reinforces. Make the potential impact clear.
The Future: Relying On Relationships, Not Content
My vision for church social media centers on relying on relationships, not content.
It can be easy to rely on creating content and consuming content, when in reality discipleship happens within the context of genuine relationships and accountability.
Leadership, as defined by Jon Tyson, is about imparting godly influence toward a godly agenda.
Can we achieve this through social media?
My goal is to guide each church toward establishing godly influence in the digital realm towards a godly agenda.
In closing, remember that the impact of a church shouldn't be measured by the quality of its social media but by the quality of its disciples.
By shifting our approach from self-promotion to service, we can create a space where people find value, inspiration, and a reason to return for more.
So, the next time you think about your church's social media, remember, it's not about building your brand but about building people.
Empowering Your Digital Ministry Team: What's Next
Looking forward, I'm excited to announce the upcoming launch of my online course focusing on Instagram for one-person church social media teams.
Want help using social media as a digital ministry?