By Brenton Balvin
I wonder if Jesus had in mind the role that social media tools like Facebook and Twitter would have to play when he told his followers to go into all the world and make disciples?
Last Sunday I met a family at my church who were attending for the very first time. I asked how they first heard about our church and the woman responded that she was Facebook friends with a woman in our church, and that since the woman was posting so many exciting things about our church on her wall, she decided she and her own family had to come and check it out. Later that morning I discovered that, amazingly, another one of our connect agents (greeters) heard almost the exact same story from another first time guest that Sunday. This woman deserves an award for her use of social media tools in bringing people to church. She is our Facebook Evangelist. Your church should have one too.
Here are a few simple ways you can use Facebook (or Twitter) to tell people about your church.
1. Be Real
People want to be a part of something that is authentic. Share the ways God is working in your life. Your Facebook feed should be consistent with what is happening in your life and the way God is working in you. You can’t mix exciting news about your church with you wild Friday pictures from the bar. People will be attracted to your church if they are attracted to your life.
2. Be Relevant
Use social media to connect with people where they are at. People love stories. Retell them. Comment on the ways your church is serving others, highlight the special events you are a part of or share an anecdote about life change taking place around you. It is easy to post pictures, video or graphics, and people love seeing these. Visual posts will catch people’s attention and simultaneously highlight part of the church’s culture to your online friends. Deep theology won’t likely do the trick, but sharing a simple nugget of application from the sermon makes the prospect of someone checking out your church much higher.
3. Be Regular
Think about social media as an extension of your face-to-face relationships. The more consistently you share about your church the more people will see how important it is to you. And the more important it is to you, the more likely a friend will give it a try. The more time you give something the more it means to you. So be intentional about posting or tweeting about your church often. Then build on that by making a personal invitation to a friend to come and see what your church is all about and why you are so excited about it all the time.
It’s likely that you have a large circle of people online who you can share your love of Jesus and your love for your church with. These are just a few suggestions about how to use social media as a tool for evangelism and outreach. You’ll still have to step out in person to make the connections, but by being real, relevant and regular online you can open the door for someone to take a step forward in their faith.
Courtesy of www.churchmarketingsucks.com. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church.