Leader to Leader, Outreach

Is Your Church Using Facebook All Wrong?

July 25, 2016 | Posted by Emilie Finke

The phrase “meet you where you’re at” is a popular one in today’s churches. It’s a good line! It’s a good mindset. I think it’s bigger and simpler than we even realize.

To meet people where they’re at, we first need to meet people. Where are people? I think we can pretty much agree they aren’t in our churches. Sure, some people are in our churches and we can celebrate that! But the majority of the population is elsewhere. Where, you ask? Everywhere.

They are in bars, at soccer games, eating brunch and practicing other religions. They are elsewhere. They are everywhere. It’s daunting, I know.
However, out of these innumerable “wheres”, there are two places we can count on the lost to come:

  1. Their homes (near yours, no doubt.)
  2. Social media.

I’m going to focus on the latter. It may be hard to believe, but nearly every human on the planet is on some type of social media platform. It is no longer generationally or economically exclusive. People from every tribe, tongue, and fraternity use social media.

So what does this mean? It can be tempting to use social media as merely an extension of a bulletin: “Event A is taking place in Location B. Join us with item C!” But we need to take pride in our content and images. A good image is worth a thousand words because no one is going to take the time to scroll through a thousand words. Instead, use quality images (you can find excellent free images from unsplash.com and librestock.com) with short, meaty, engaging content. Ask questions. Make jokes. While it’s fine to share the upcoming week’s events, pair that with encouraging, equipping and engaging conversation. As Josh Burns says, “Social media is a platform for relationships.” Using social media as merely an extension of the bulletin is cheating people out of truly connecting with you, the church body and ultimately Christ.

Now how will the lost see our fresh, rockin’ content?

  • Facebook: Promote posts to people within a few mile radius of your church. Facebook allows you to edit your audience in order to reach specific groups of people. Also, encourage church members to check-in on Sundays to increase reach.
  • Twitter and Instagram: Use popular local hashtags to bring people to your page.
  • All Platforms: Creative giveaways/contests requiring people to “like” or “follow” your page to enter will increase traffic. Also, encourage church members to share or retweet posts that speak to them.

Social media cannot be an afterthought when it is a ripe and ready mission field. The people are already there. We can only “meet them where they’re at” if we’re there too.

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.