The Power of Social Media
Nowadays, more and more people rely on social media. We use social media for communication, entertainment, updates, fun, games, and business. Social media is an important part of our generation. I personally use social media every day. I can be contacted via social media easier than reaching me on my mobile phone. With that being said, social media companies continue to come up with more innovations on their site.
According to Wikipedia, social media is computer-mediated tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks. Social media is defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”
Is Social Media Effective?
Calvin says on a post: “So is social media effective for a Church? It can be, but in most cases, it probably isn’t. The reality is that most churches know that their Facebook page isn’t producing anything; that is, except an image.”
Today many churches that are using social media as its ministry. Depending on how it’s used, social media may or may not be effective. Some ministers admit that social media has its shortcomings. In particular, social media promotes hyper-individualism and an over-reliance on entertainment which can undermine the spiritual goals of a church.
The Benefits of Social Media
When used properly, social media can be very effective in growing a church. Social media can become a tool:
A. To cut costs. If a church has many members that use social media, a church may go paperless on some of its documents like cell-group materials, announcements, and bulletins.
B. To keep others informed. Social media doesn’t just cut costs but also speeds up the news. The internet is a lot faster and cheaper than snail mail.
C. To stay in touch with out-of-town members. Do you have church members that work abroad who want to be informed about what is happening at the church or who were transferred to a different city to work? Social media is a great tool to keep them updated.
So what is the best social media for growing a church?
Today, where the internet is dominated by social media, there is a lot that we can use to aid our growing church. The best social media to use will depend upon the church’s goal on why they chose to utilize social media. The most common social media sites are:
As of March 31 of 2019, Facebook has 2.38 billion monthly active users. Many of those users could be church members or a “soon-to-be-church-members. Many people use Facebook and it is definitely one of the top social media we can use to expand our ministry.
The number one tweeting site with 275 million users could be what your church needs if you’re aiming for daily updates and announcements.
Churches have found sharing photos via social networks – especially photo-centric platforms like Pinterest and Instagram – to be a great option for recognizing volunteers, as well as promoting upcoming concerts, events and special services like baptisms.
Online sermons from pastors, an inspiring performance from our children, the wonderful choir that we had during our worship service can all be shared via YouTube.
E. Online Streaming.
In our church, we have a family member who has migrated to another country, they don’t want to lose contact with the church and still want to be able to attend our worship services. Because of that, the church came up with a resolution to do a streaming of every worship services for all our church members who work abroad. The most popular app to use would be Ustream or in many countries Facebook Live allows you to stream your service free.
How to effectively use social media in growing your church?
When choosing to have a social media as one of the ministries in your growing church, we want to make sure we’re only posting edifying and inspiring posts to our readers, that is definitely possible by doing the following:
A. Have a social media team.
Set up a team of people who are passionate about reaching others through social media – a photo editor for your photos, a blogger or a writer for your church’s events and other write-ups, and someone to handle your website. Have a meeting with your team and set goals and expectations. You can have an editor-in-chief that can review the posts drafted before they all go live.
B. Do “online evangelism”. It can be in the form of a video presentation, an online sermon, an article about the gospel and the good news about Christ Jesus that died on the cross to save us from our sins. The gospel should be readily available on our social media sites. We don’t know when and how, but God has His own special time in using our resources for the unchurched.
C. Post inspiring and quotes and verses. Quotes and bible verses are always appeasing to read especially when someone was just browsing his/her newsfeed. It’s a good wake up call to others sometimes or an encouragement to those who are down. Do not use a personal account, create a page where everyone in the team can have access to it, that way anyone can post anytime.
D. Always update. Never allow your social media sites to go outdated. Keep your followers posted. Announce when the next prayer meeting will be. Remind them of the upcoming fellowship, boost their spiritual being by posting devotional articles, post interesting facts and trivia about the bible, post photos of the most recent church activity, you can even post an online contest every once in a while and give the winner a bible, a book or a customized spiritual planner.
In the end…
Anything that’s not properly used becomes inefficient. When implemented correctly, social media can certainly enhance the church’s community. Social media is a place where billions of people interact with one another and have conversations about everything including people looking for a church home.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”.
We can transform social media from an ordinary online socialization site into a page of inspiration, an area for unified prayer, a place to encourage others and pray for one another. We can’t stay in the four corners of our church – need to go out to places where there are many lost souls – the internet is now part of that place. Salvation is everywhere and God uses anything to bring a sinner to Christ. This is why some churches opt to maximize the use of social media. You’ll never know when that lost soul will be saved because of what we post online.
Here are a few resources if you would like to learn more about using social media to reach others.
- Facebook Social Church
- Church Marketing University
- Facebook Group - Social Church - First one is their Facebook Page.
- Facebook group: Church Social Media Managers - A closed group have to request to join.
- Church Marketing Sucks - Covers more than Social Media use by churches
- Outreach Social Media - It is a paid service that will supplement what you are posting on Facebook and other Social Media sites. If your church is small or you are having trouble posting on a regular basis this service will help engage your members.
If you have other resources you'd like to share post them in the comment section.