Now more than ever, your local ministry needs to be online.
Sure, most of us already have an online presence—we plaster our puppies, our view at the beach (including our manicured toes), and our on-point cup of coffee all over our social platforms—but are we making the most of the opportunity?
Jesus met people where they were—on the streets, in homes, at work. Today people are online, and it’s simpler than ever to meet them there. You can leverage social media for kingdom impact. And it is probably easier than you think.
Here are three tips to remember:
Be Real. But Godly.
With the emphasis in our society on being authentic, our online interactions can miss the mark. Yes, as followers of Christ we can acknowledge our failures and faults; we can be real about our discouragements and disappointments. But if you’re wanting to reach others for Christ, please (please!) end your authentic posts with authentic hope.
Let’s take our cues from Biblical greats like King David or Job who were real about their suffering and their complaints against God, yet they chose to praise Him all the same.
Dwelling on our problems will drag others down. Being real about our hope despite our difficulties will point others to Jesus. Think twice about posting that rant, and if you post it, include a message of hope. If you can’t come up with your own, borrow Job’s, “Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him,” Job 13:15, or David’s “O God, we give glory to you all day long,” (Psalm 44:8).
Be Kind. Be Unifying.
Divisive issues on social media are a dime a dozen. Whether it’s politics, theology, lifestyle, parenting, health—you name it, and it can divide us.
It’s tempting to enter into debates and conversations that draw a line in the sand and position us opposed to fellow followers Christ. Don’t do it.
It may feel crucial, but let it sit for 24 hours. Chances are, it won’t seem so important once your knee-jerk emotions fade. When we take a strong stance publicly on a divisive issue, it can drive both fellow and potential believers away from us. It can slam once-open doors for ministry shut.
Be Friendly. Reach Out.
If you want to maximize your reach on social media this may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ve got to socialize. Pull out that church directory and friend each person in it. As you meet people in your community, find their profiles right away, and friend them.
Then set aside some time—even 10 minutes a day—to scroll through your feed and interact with posts. Like and comment with encouraging words. Take note of what’s happening in local people’s lives so that the next real-life interaction can include some of the personal tidbits they posted online.
By doing this, you are not only connecting with them online, but fast-tracking your in-person relationships. It’s a win-win.
Start with these three simple tips and you’ll notice quickly what an effective ministry tool Facebook and other social media platforms are. Focusing on being real, but Godly; being kind; and being friendly will take your Facebook ministry game to the next level. A little intentionality goes a long way.
Need even more easy-to-implement ministry strategies for Facebook? For pointers on how to use Facebook Pages, Groups, Posts, Events, and more to reach others for Christ, go to www.rachelrisner.com/facebookforministry . There you can nab the eBook, Level Up Your Ministry With Facebook, packed with ideas. It’s complimentary for readers of ReadLeadMag.com today.
Rachel Risner is obsessed with using Facebook for local ministry, and offers even more tips in her eBook Level Up Your Ministry With Social Media here (www.rachelrisner.com/facebookforministry). A pastor’s wife, Bible study author, and blogger, her latest study—Significant: Six Ordinary Women, One Extraordinary God (www.rachelrisner.com/books/significant)—is available on Amazon (https://amzn.to/2Yfxn7e). Her writing can be found at rachelrisner.com