One in every nine people on Earth is on Facebook. Twitter is adding nearly 500,000 users a day. YouTube has 490 million unique visitors every month.
What those numbers mean in a nutshell: A LOT of people use social media.
So why is it most pastors do not? Maybe it’s lack of time. Or lack of education. Maybe it’s fear of the unknown. Ultimately, there’s no good reason. Every pastor interested in keeping their church vital and getting their message out to the community should be using social media.
Social media is an exceptional and easy way to connect with members outside the normal Sunday morning experiences. It’s also a great way to reach younger audiences by meeting them on “their turf”. Additionally, engaging people in social media demonstrates you care about the ones you lead enough to be a part of their daily lives.
Here are seven practical ways pastors can use social media:
1. Post Sermons –
This is a great way to give your message an echo. Members can return to your sermon, enabling you to assist in their personal spiritual growth throughout the week. And they can spread the word, sharing your message with family and friends.
2. Send Video Messages –
A short message of encouragement or inspiration each week or day can make a world a difference to people. Let your members know they are in your thoughts. Remind them that you are there for them whenever they need you.
3. Receive Prayer Requests –
Send out a simple question, "I care about you. How can I pray for you?" You will be amazed at the amount of people who respond and send back requests. Take the time and reply to each request if you can.
4. Share Scripture/Quote –
Simply share what God is teaching you. A verse, a quote. Social media provides a quick and convenient forum for all those little thoughts you have throughout the week. Maybe even the ones you can’t fit into this week’s sermon.
5. Recognize Key Staff Members and Volunteers –
Send out a special thank you to a staff member or volunteer when they succeed. It’s a great way to recognize their hard work and dedication, and inspire others to get involved too.
6. Provide Book Recommendations –
People are interested in what senior leaders read and consume. They want to know what informs and inspires you. It can help them in their lives, and make them feel like they know you on a more personal level.
7. Receive Feedback -
Use social media as a two-way conversation. Humbly ask for feedback on aspects of your church, ministry, etc. Use the forum to find out what issues people are interested in, how they felt about a sermon, or what you can do to improve.
Social media provides an amazing outlet for relaying your message to people. Use the capabilities at your fingertips to develop stronger, more personal relationships with your congregation. You will see the benefits both inside and outside your church almost immediately.