How Churches Should Use Social Media
We were chatting with our buddy Logan Fields, CEO of The App Guys, about the value of social media for churches. He asked, "Why do you think social media is important for a church to use? What kind of results do you think a church could get if it was employed correctly? Can social media REALLY help a church make disciples?"
*Steps on soapbox a la Linus in Charlie Brown Christmas* The way I look at it, social media can and should be a tool in the process of training disciples. If you look at the entire discipleship process as we have it today, each individual element on its own does little to train a disciple in and of itself. The same could be said for greeters or tithing or even worship. They are all a part of a larger process and are weakened when separated from the whole or have no intentionality behind them.
There are 3 ways churches should use social media:
- To inspire
- To Interact
- To Inform
A church should be inspiring people by reminding them of who they because of whose they are, always pointing to the Father like Jesus did. Provide opportunities for the church and staff to interact with individuals online. And lastly, and most rarely, inform them of what is going on or coming up.
The results a church gets on social media are directly connected to the intentionality of their using social media. If they narrow down their goal too specifically, they will be disappointed. For example, if they hope using social media will increase weekend attendance, they are setting themselves up for failure. Long-term, it may have an impact, but that impact will be greatly increased when paired with other intentional elements. A church has to realize, it’s a long game. There are no shortcuts to influence, even online. With the amount of content that is created and pushed online on a daily basis, something going viral is EXTREMELY rare. There is no formula to it, but for some reason the church thinks that because God is on their side, they will be able to gain instant mass influence with little to no effort or investment.
Social media needs to be an essential part of a church's communications. Everything that is communicated by the church, from the message to the bulletin, both internally and externally, should have the utmost attention and intentionality. And as a church contemplates whether to use social media or not, they need to look at social media, the internet, and creating content as the modern day “ends of the earth”. It's where people are. And if people are there, that’s where the church should be.