Each week is filled with new opportunities to share your church with those online. Anymore people get a glimpse of your church through your online presence e.g. website and social media. Think of social media like the window of your church. Does your church provide a good example of who you are and what you do? Authenticity online and offline is so crucial anymore. Both Google and Facebook are facing some backlash over “Fake News.” Anyone can publish something online that has the appearance of being from a reputable news source, but is completely false. Because of this people tend to have their guard up at times when it comes to what is real and what is not.
Therefore, it is imperative that what people see online from your church is what they will experience in person. Avoid presenting an image of the church or community you want to be, and provide an glimpse of the church and community you already are. Be proud of your church community and celebrate what God is doing through your church to impact the Kingdom in your area. You can use social media to help explain who you are, what you do both inside the church and outside, and finally why you do those things. All three help to create a sense of real-ness and authenticity to your church community.
Here 8 ideas of how you can use social media this week to help keep your presence authentic.
1. Provide a Glimpse of What People Will Expect on Sunday
As we said above, you online presence is the window to your church. Show people what they can expect on a Sunday when they come for worship. Share the parking lot, people walking in door, the lobby, the worship area, the people etc. Give an online glimpse that will hopefully lead to an in person experience.
2. Share a Behind-the-Scenes Photo
Not everyone knows what happens throughout the week, or even what something looks like in progress. Behind-the-scenes photos are great for this purpose. Share the side of the church that others often don’t get to see. This also will highlight those individuals who often work behind-the-scenes too.
3. Give Back to your Followers
This is one of our favorite things to do for those who follow us online. We give them free stuff, just because. This is an example of a tweet we sent out to all the students on the night before their first day of school, just because. Find ways to give back to your community online. It doesn’t have to be through a Starbucks card, but it can be. We have done Chic-fil-a cards, Tim Hortons cards, small contests where people answer questions to get a free shirt, item, etc. Giving back builds credibility, trust and tells the community you are there for them, not just wanting something from them.
4. Share an In-Worship Photo.
Sharing an in-worship photo lets those not there get an idea of what happened or what to expect during worship. Sharing what happened in-worship also creates excitement or even a sense of, “look what we missed this week.”
5. Highlight something happening in the Community
When you highlight something happening in the community it helps show others you are concerned for what happens on the outside of your building as much as on the inside.
6. Live Stream your Worship Service
This is one of the best ways to share who you are with those not already in your church. Live streaming is not just for mega-churches, but can be very advantageous for smaller to medium size churches. The church I work for is 250-300 person church. We have been live streaming for about 4 years and have significant impact from the weekly live stream. There have been individuals who will check us out on the live stream a few weeks before they visit us in person. By the time they visit in person they already have an idea of who we are and what we are about. Live streaming is a great window into your weekly worship services.
7. Share a Message Quote
Sharing a message quote can remind those there what the main point of the message was, and it helps those not there get an idea of what the message that day was about.
8. Share Your Ministries and Missions
You can highlight what ministries and missions take place and how your church is making an impact within the community and kingdom. When you do this it helps others see what you are about.
These posts are from my own church community. We aren’t perfect with every post we make, but we do actively seek to be authentic to who we are as a church.
What are some of the things you have done to help keep your online presence authentic to who you are as a church community?
Let me know in the comment section.