Over two years ago, I gave you all some thoughts on how to practically use Facebook in your church, and despite all the positive feedback from that series, I still see a lot of churches doing less than they could on the platform.
To be sure, there are no social media experts, least of all me, but I feel like what I’ve been doing for my church could be easily replicated by others. Thus, we’re back with…
More Facebook Fun for Churches
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to go back over the different uses of Facebook Groups and Pages. I’ll be very clear as to why your church should have both. Then, I’m going to try to explain how to use Events and Ads to increase your church’s visibility online and in real life. If there’s time–and a need–we’ll add on a post to handle any specific questions.
But before all of that, I feel like we have to take a moment to answer the social media skeptics.
Social Media Shepherding
What would you call a shepherd who doesn’t watch where his flock goes? What would you call a pastor or a church elder who refuses to answer the phone when parishioners call because he or she doesn’t like to use technology in the service of God?
Would you call such person foolish for rejecting such a simple and ubiquitous form of technology? I would.
And I think we’ll do say the same of those who refuse to engage their church people (and their lost friends and family) on social media before the decade is out. (Before anyone complains, obviously, not all elders have the material needed to go online–i.e. computer or internet–and some should be encouraged to be better at face-to-face engagement before heading online.)
Social media is the new telephone, telegram, and letter—all in one shiny, distracting package—and to refuse to use is to decide to ignore your parishioners and, by extension, the lost people they are interacting with online. What kind of shepherd ignores the sheep?
To be clear, I’m not advocating for pastors to spend all of their office hours trolling Facebook and Twitter. Far from it! In fact, there have been many pastors whom, after seeing their social media activity, I would have advised to get back to work. But baring these extreme examples, I think that there has to be some engagement online on both the local church level (Pages and Groups) and pastoral level, commenting and liking stuff, as appropriate. Show your people that you’re a real person, like them, but that you’ve learned to bring your problems to Jesus and not to the enabling audience of social media, unlike them. (#vaguebooking)
Shepherds spend their time with the sheep. Social media enables today’s pastor to do that, to take “church” outside the four walls and get it back where it belongs: among the people.
Over the next weeks, we’ll be looking at just exactly how we can use Facebook to do just that. If you’ve got any questions you’d like me to address in this series, comment below.