If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that we are going through a fundamental shift in how we all are using the biggest social media platform – Facebook.
Since Facebook Pages began in 2007 churches have had a presence. Many churches including my own have invested money in staff time, creating content and advertising money to extend the reach of their pages into the community.
The pivot that we are seeing now away from Facebook Pages towards Facebook Groups means that churches need to now more than ever change the way they use Facebook.
I attended a seminar a few weeks ago and Facebook’s Head of Faith Partnerships, Nona Jones said something that deeply resonated with me. In fact I thought I had heard what she had said before.
As I searched to see where I heard what she had said before – I found the source!
Funnily enough, I had said the same thing right here on this blog two years ago. I said:
“Facebook not just a communications channel, it’s a ministry opportunity.”
Some of you right now are saying that of course it is a communications channel. You are right. It is. But we don’t need to treat it like a one way communications channel. All social media platforms are unique in that they are two way communications channel. Where there potential for two way communication – there is opportunity for ministry to happen.
So how can ministry happen?
Tip # 1: Ask for engagement – Most church Facebook pages don’t ask for engagement. They don’t ask questions. Rather than being closed in how you communicate ask open questions. Read 7 Types Of Questions To Ask On Your Facebook Page To Increase Engagement.
The side benefit of engaging with your audience is that you will actually reach more people because their friends will see you engaging with them on Facebook.
Tip # 2: Don’t just broadcast – there are types of content eg. video, photos or graphics that can feel like you are just communicating one way. But by adding the comment in a form of a question along side the video, photo or graphic it completely reframes the style of the post. You are asking for feedback and don’t be surprised when you get it.
Tip # 4: Create content that ministers – Ministering can be as simple as asking ‘How can we pray for you today? Comment below or send us a message. Along side an appropriate image you’d be surprised how eager people are to be prayed for. You can use this prayer graphic for free. Download it now.
I also shared ideas on different ministering and discipling content in this recent post How To Plan, Launch, Lead And Grow Your Church Community With Facebook Groups.
Tip # 5: Have your ‘people persons’ engaging – Social media often falls in the purview of the media or production team (And if that’s you, hello!) Which can be a great for creating content, but media and production teams aren’t usually as pastoral as pastoral care teams. Get that team to engage and answer questions or prayer requests. Your online audience will love hearing from them.
If you are a Pastor reading this, you can be just as pastoral on your personal feed. Read 12 Social Media Tips For Church Leaders for advice that I wrote especially for Pastors.
If you want to read where I originally talked about using social media as a ministry opportunity then read the post below.
What tips or insights would you share? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below.