Should Your Church Be in Social Media?

Should your church be involved with social media? I get asked that question frequently. I was recently in a church that didn’t have a website. I scolded them for that. :) Seriously, I don’t see how a church can expect to meet new people without a website. The majority of people these days will check out a church’s website before they ever visit the church. If there is no website…no visit.  (That speaks to the quality of the website also.)

I’m not sure I can answer that question of social media for every church though, so I will try to guide you towards a decision that’s right for your church.

Consider these 3 questions:

Do you want to reach younger people? – If you want to reach people these days, you have to go where they are at and younger people hang out in a world of social media. The number one way people under 40 reach me is with a Facebook message. Twitter is growing. Email is still common, but not growing at the rate of the other two.

Will someone maintain it? – My friend Scott Williams says, “For a business to not have anyone responding to their social media streams is equivalent to not answering the phone.” You can’t simply have a social media presence and expect results. You have to commit to it and work it. Not being active in social media may be worse than not doing it at all.

Can you afford not to? – Again, I can’t answer that question, but can you reach the unchurched people you are attempting to reach without social media? If you can, perhaps you don’t need it. If you’re not sure, perhaps you should give it a try.

One suggestion I have is to find the person or persons in your church who are already active in social media. Get them to volunteer to help the church in this area. You don’t have to assign this to a staff person who isn’t interested or doesn’t understand. Find the right person, give them authority and responsibility, and let them help build the Kingdom through your church and social media.

How well is your church doing in social media?

Name a church you think is doing a good job in this area.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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27 thoughts on “Should Your Church Be in Social Media?

  1. If you are just looking for membership #'s, social media is the way to go. If you are sincerely preaching Christ and him crucified, you will need to speak words that will not return void. Are people just coming in to church and feeling that everything is ok? Or are they truly being transformed by the renewing of their minds? Is Jesus their Lord & Savior? Nothing will ever replace the power of somebody reaching out to others and watching the Holy Spirit move. But nowadays it's just easier to type something and have millions of people read it instead of getting out and reaching a handful in a more powerful way. Just my opinion. God bless you.

    • Thanks for sharing. I don't disagree. I would just say don't ditch one potential for good simply because it's not best. If you do that you'd have to dismiss a lot of things.I prefer to sit with my children and talk but I'm certainly thankful for the phone, emails and text that keep us in touch.

  2. I think http://www.downtownunity.com does a pretty good job. #UnityCircleATX They have twitter and a facebook group. They use QR Codes and have mobile website pages built specifically for smartphones and Online opportunity to donate.

    I am the newly appointed social media coordinator for my church. I volunteered to do this because I absolutely love social media and this actually gave me a GOOD reason to be on Facebook and tweeting all day. :-) I enjoyed your article. I think my church is pretty progressive with the use of technology and social media. I love to know if you have any way to rank church's and their use of social media/technology?
    Thanks,
    Lara @laracoffer

  3. Living very close to the "home" of social media in Northern CA, I was disappointed last week. I goggled "National Day of Prayer" to find out what was happening in my area. One local church had it listed on their website. When I made my way to the courthouse at noon, all of 30 people max were there.
    My twitter that day was, "if Jesus had returned today I bet it would be a viral FB status post, just not mine". Is the church missing out on an opportunity to get each other together face to face? I think so. 46 year old mom.

    Twitter: eccle0412

  4. I guess it's a given….and yes, Grace does a great job with their social media (although I'm not on facebook or twitter)….I do check the website and love your blog, but I'm a bit skeptical.

    I recently read comments on a preacher raising the bible at the pulpit…and someone who wanted to scan their IPAD for scripture, during the service…..the debate was intense. My problem was NOT if someone was reading the bible versus the IPAD…but with the huge divide that the two options created. It seemed we were letting two 'physical' items (a bound book versus a mini-computer) override the message that is in (and on) BOTH! I don't like the conflict that social media sometimes brings with it…so for me…I will continue to look at my leather bound Book instead of the 9.5 x 7.31 x .37 'book'… just works better for me and not knocking those that choose the other option….just sayin'….

  5. Great article, as always. My church has slowly started to embrace social media. There's a good presence on Facebook, live sermons, and my pastors and assistant pastors are starting to take it to Twitter. It's pretty exciting.

  6. What is the possibility we don't need to in the "social" anything?! Not because it's necessarily a bad thing, as it is Ill aimed. We were called by God to go out and tell. If we use this kind of "outreach", are we not avoiding the one thing that could mean the greatest difference in their accepting Christ? If they join a Church, cool. What have they actually done? If, however, they accept Christ in their hearts as Savior, Would He not lead them to a congregation in which they could minister?
    We're we called to bring people to the Church, or to Christ?
    I know I stand, very much, in the minority, when I say these things. I have no desire for anyone to join any Church, I have the greatest desire that all people should come to know Jesus. I can't tell everyone, but, I can teach the people in the Church to personally go out and show Christ! I have to admit, I could very well be wrong, as I may be looking at your post from the wrong angle. I am Dyslexic, I have a strange habit of seeing things from a…..different (?) point of view. I am, shall we say, outside the box? ;-)

    • I like different points of view. I disagree but I'm ok with that too. I think you'd have to do away with a lot of things we do other than social media. Maybe we should but I think we should use whatever means are available to reach people. Obviously telling is number one but TV ministry, radio ministry, books, etc.Thanks!

      • I think my worst fear is the loss of the personal touch, not the use of media. I am using an IPad to do this with! I follow you on Twitter! The one thing I see ,when delivering mail on the streets, is an almost abandonment of what we have to offer to the community. If we are required to write a check, done! If needed to write something out for somebody else to read, done! When it comes to any of us actually being there to invest our personal experiences, our lives, most especially our hearts, we balk.
        The use of the media, when it comes to Christ, scares me into thinking sharing Christ will be reduced to bytes rather than grace. I enjoy media. I like an IPod when I run, I watch movies on disc. I don't know, paranoid, maybe?

        • I like your thought process on media. I agree it's something we all have to be involved in (and a hard task for me …aka older non-tech person) but do worry about losing the personal touch. Example, love using the ATM now for all options from deposits to withdrawals to buying stamps….but what happens is I don't get to talk to my favorite teller as I did…..weeks have gone by and I don't know how her family is, how she is doing….or just a simple 'have a great day!'….the sacrifice of personal touch.

  7. We launch a new church plant from our home 20 months ago and the majority of our members that we have in our church now came through FACEBOOK or through someone who came through FACEBOOK. It has open up speaking and other opportunities as well. Social media has become a great tool for our church.