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Social media allows us to communicate with people who might never grace the doors of our church. Through creating interactive, engaging content, we can reach thousands or millions of people. This increases the reach of your church gigantically—and you can reach all of them without paying a cent.
However, how do I create interactive, engaging content?
As much as we want to think that people care about our church, they do not. At the core, people care mostly about themselves. Any copywriter will tell you that good copy consists mostly of “you” statements—making the individual the center of attention.
Here are some examples of text that went viral for us in the past, you can gather that all of them revolve around the individual:
- Jesus holds all things together, and that includes you.
- God’s grace is sufficient for you.
- God restores your soul.
All of these are “you” statements. It invites the user to think about themselves and say, “Hey, I felt that just today” or “I really needed to hear that.”
Another thing you need to remember about creating engaging content is to ask questions.
Again, people love to talk about themselves and by asking questions, you open up an opportunity for them to share with the church what’s going in their lives. Another bonus of asking questions and receiving comments, it increases the reach of the post—the more that someone likes, comments, or shares the post, the more it gets seen by others. We want to do whatever is possible to get the Good News in front of people.
Now I know what you’re about to say, “But, not all of my content is going to go viral. Sometimes I only get two likes, and that is it!” and that is perfectly ok. Social media is still one big experiment; we don’t always know what will work. I can tell you what has worked in the past and guide you in your writing, but sometimes things go viral for one reason or another, and sometimes posts completely flop.
But isn’t it like that in all evangelism? Sometimes we share the gospel, and it falls on deaf ears, but does that mean we quit sharing? No, of course not!
A tweet from AlecJRoss said: “If Paul Revere had been a modern day citizen, he wouldn’t have ridden down Main Street. He would have tweeted.”
Here’s some stats:
- Facebook has the third largest population behind China and India.
- More than half of the world’s population is under 30, and more people own a mobile device than a toothbrush.
- 80 million Instagram photos are shared each day.
- The average Facebook user spends 50 minutes a day on Facebook.
If we knew a place where people were spending their time, wouldn’t we be encouraging our church members to build relationships with the people there?
Many churches use social media as a means of promotion— to communicate events and what’s happening at the church locally, but what if we thought about social media as not a means of promotion, but as a tool for evangelism?
We could use social media as a tool for both evangelism and discipleship. Social media is an easy way to reach unreached people groups—locally and globally.
If you’re only using social media as a tool to promote events and giving, you’re missing out on fulfilling the great commission in such a time as this—don’t miss it.
Discipleship through social media looks just like discipleship in real life. If we follow Christ’s method of reaching people, we can see that He spent time with people and wanted the best for them. He was consistent. He sympathized with what they were dealing with, and wherever possible, He met their needs. He was kind. All of these factors gained the confidence of the people He was interacting with, and only after this happened would He then invite them to follow Him.
Paul wrote letters, we write social media posts.
It’s all the same. Just remember to: be nice, be consistent, and to be yourself.