Leader to Leader, Outreach

Why Social Media is Important to Your Church

May 4, 2017 | Posted by Emilie Finke

Recently, I was excitedly talking to a friend about the success we’d found in streaming our services through Facebook Live.

“It’s so easy! It’s free! It reaches people who are simply scrolling through Facebook!”

By the time I finished my pitch, I was glowing. Surely, he’d bow at my feet, eternally grateful for the wisdom and advice I bestowed on him. I would chuckle and, of course, feign embarrassment, humbly waving away any inevitable compliments or marriage proposals.

Instead, to my chagrin, he shrugged, “That’s great it works for you, I guess, but it’s just not our context.”

What?

Here’s the deal. I don’t want you to bow at my feet, and I don’t need compliments or proposals. But social media is right for your context.

Yes, even yours.

Your church may not have a single ounce of technology. Social media can still benefit your church.
You may think social media is the single most detrimental force in the impending doom of humanity. Social media can still benefit your church.

Your church may not have a single member who is active on social media. (I highly doubt that is the case, but even if it is…) social media can still benefit your church.

It may be very frustrating when everyone around you is checking Facebook at the dinner table or scrolling through Instagram at the red light. However, it should also catch your attention – people are spending a lot of time on social media.

They may not be at the event you spent hundreds of dollars to throw. They may not be in the specific coffee shop at which you work. But you can bet your buttons they are on social media.

5 Reasons Why You Should Give Social Media a Chance

1. It’s free.

You can set up a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter page for your church for absolutely no money. None! Why not just give it a go?

2. It’s a chance to get someone else connected.

You don’t have the time or skills to run new social media accounts? Reach out to some younger people in your church. They already know the unwritten rules of social media and would most likely be excited at the chance to post more frequently without the social ramifications. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Ask a fifteen-year-old. Trust me. It’s a thing.) Worried about the content? Simply have them submit their posts to you first to make sure everything is theologically sound.

3. You will reach unsuspecting people.

Already have a page? With a few promoted posts and a giveaway/contest to boot, you can gain more followers. Our church has about 200 members, but we have over 2,000 people following our Facebook page. This means many more people see our posts and sermons than actually go to our church. Since we post every day and Facebook Live our services, these followers are catching glimpses of the gospel throughout the week without ever seeking it out. Then we pray the Holy Spirit works through those glimpses!

4. New people will seek it out.

In this day and age, most people who are looking for a new church will spy on you before ever attending. We live in the age of Yelp. We look at ratings and browse through pictures before deciding on brunch, let alone a church to teach and train our loved ones. Many people will do this by going straight to social media. It’s important to have a good snapshot of your church ready for them – the beliefs, events, and faces of your community.

5. You can be a positive voice.

Let’s be real. Facebook and Twitter aren’t known for their bright dispositions. Your church can be a bright light in a gloomy, debate-filled, controversial platform. By sharing articles that point to the truth, or quotes and Bible verses that bring hope to hard situations, you’re able to bring Christ into people’s mindless scrolls.

Your church does not have to be a young, hip, trendy church to have a good social media presence. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – at their core, they’re all platforms for relationships. Be authentic to who you are and what you care about – and allow others to observe to eventually partake.

Jesus is meeting people where they’re at – shouldn’t we?

*There are a lot of great resources to learn more specifics about effective social media. A couple to get started are: joining the Lutheran Communicators group on Facebook, following Brady Shearer/Pro Church Tools on social media platforms, or reaching out to me at emilie@thepointknox.com with any questions/to point you to other resources.

AUTHOR
Emilie Finke
Emilie Finke is a daughter of Christ with a heart for millennials. She graduated from Concordia University Texas and is currently serving as worship leader, women’s ministry, and social media coordinator at The Point Church in Knoxville, TN. She loves good coffee paired with good music on a long road trip, conversations that get way too personal way too fast, and any well-placed pun. But Jesus is even better than all that. Check out more of her thoughts on all things life and Jesus at meanderingsandramblings.com.