5 Tips for Promoting Your Church on Facebook

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Two: Tell us why this sermon is of interest, not just “what it’s about.”

Now, pastors are notorious about this. We will study all week on a lesson and preach it to ourselves a few times and pray over it intensely. But we fail to do one more thing, the single thing that could move it from average to world-class sermon: We fail to figure out why any outsider would want to make the effort to come and hear it.

That’s not hard to do, incidentally. It just requires a little more effort. You stopped your preparation too soon, preacher.

Pastors generally preach for the crowds that sit before them week after week. And that’s understandable. In an audience of 100 in a typical church, 90 attend regularly and the other 10 are first-timers. The 10 will not be voting on your pay increase, will not be determining whether you keep your job, and will not be sitting on committees to help plan your projects. So, unless reaching “the other ten” is a matter of urgency to you, you fail to consider them in your preparation and prayer. Therefore, they get overlooked in the actual preaching. But on Facebook, when you are inviting them to church, you can’t think of any particular reason why they would come to hear the sermon. That’s why what you write is so mind-numbingly boring.

Sorry for that. But it’s the truth.

I suggest you take lessons from Andy Stanley on this. Read his newest book “Deep and Wide” to see how he preaches to the outsiders and newcomers. He has a lot to teach the typical pastor. (Don’t get me started on my ministry-colleagues who respond that you don’t like Andy Stanley for one reason or the other. Come on, man. Whether or not you like him is beside the point. You cannot deny that he has reached a lot of people for the Lord whom you and I were missing altogether. Andy deserves a listen!)

Three: If you expect people to respond to the sermon snippet you give on Facebook, you would do well to let us hear from you throughout the week on other matters.

The great thing about Facebook (and perhaps other social media) is that you can build a relationship of sorts with hundreds of contacts through regular statements on various issues. In time, people will feel they know you and when you announce you are preaching in Sundown, Nebraska, those in that area will make an effort to hear you.

To do that, you need to do several things–

–post regularly, every day or so, and even several times a day if you have something interesting or clever or relevant. If you heard a great joke, tell us! (Can you hear me begging? I love a great joke.)

–post varied items. It could be something you read that fascinated or angered or moved you. If it’s side-splittingly funny, you will be quoted and requoted all over the place. Be original or helpful or insightful or funny and soon you’ll be getting requests to “befriend” every day.

–keep it positive and encouraging. People who get on Facebook in order to slam the present administration in Washington, criticize other denominations, or run down liberals, will soon find themselves speaking to their inlaws and no one else. No one wants to read your constant rants, even if they agree with you. It’s too depressing.

Tell us what you are for, what you believe with all your heart, and what happened this week that you will never forget. Tell us what made you laugh today and what made you cry.

Let us know you as a whole human being, pastor. Then, perhaps we will want to come hear you preach, or accept the invitation to visit your church.

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About Joe McKeever

Dr. Joe McKeever is a Preacher, Cartoonist, and retired Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans.

  • Betty

    These are great ideas. We must always remember that it’s not a contest of denomination against denomination. It is ONE CHRIST, ONE BODY, HE WILL RETURN FOR ONE BRIDE. The body of Christ needs to be in unity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tomixoxo Tomi Jacobs Ziobro

    As a female pastor I wished you had included me in your writing, it’s pretty easy to be inclusive… say spouse instead of wife and so forth. I appreciate your ideas and think they can be used most effectively by the lay leadership and overall members of the church. By giving them some suggestions on the kind of things to post on FB, check in that they are in church and so forth… we will reach a much larger audience. Still we all know that a personal invite is the most effective tool in bringing new folks to church. Social media will not replace the personal invitation.

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  • Becky Harmon

    This was a GREAT blog. This is exactly what I tell my clients about the purpose of social media. Its RELATIONSHIP building. I love how you broke this down really practically and specifically on exactly how to share. I am going to send this to the Pastors I am connected with. Thanks, awesome (that and the zombie blog which I had to share also)

  • Georgia Baptist Preacher

    FYI, there is a Houston County (pronounced “house ton”) in Georgia. It is just south of Macon and the home of Robins Air Force Base.

  • Pingback: Morning Roundup 12/12/12: Tips for Your Church on Facebook, Genealogy of Jesus, Why People Don’t Give | LOVE2020

  • Mojo

    1. You don’t need to say “what church or what city,” if they are reading your facebook posts, then they already know. Facebook doesn’t reach anyone who isn’t your current friend. You can also post messages FROM your church account, which is what we do and then everyone “knows” what church we are talking about.

    2. Visitors to your church won’t have you as a friend on Facebook either. If you’re a pastor you will only reach people you have friended, if your church has its own account it will only reach people who are viewing that page or who have “liked” it.

    • Betty

      I get posts from friends of friends and their friends all the time. I don’t know what city they are in or where a lot of the “church” postings are from. Or missing kids either! Please include where you are located including city and state.

  • LoisLu

    Our church FB page is so badly done it was allowing people to post vacation photos on it. I contacted our “Communication Director” and gave links to a couple other church FB pages. I was told it would be reviewed when the new pastor came. Nothing has changed in 4 months. It’s still as disorganized as it was. For a church as large as ours, and one that has several staff people that could revised this media resource, it’s frustrating.

    • Betty

      My brother use to say “if you’re not part of the solution you are part of the problem” if you have the skills why not talk to your new pastor and see how you can help remedy the problem with the website. Maybe God has called you to that ministry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cynthia.meade.54 Cynthia Meade

    Our Facebook hits have been skyrocketing with simple daily postings.We take pictures of our new members with their certificates in hand. They share those pictures with others. We put church events in the postings, not just the events section.

    • Georgia Baptist Preacher

      Works for us too, especially youth events.

  • webpastor

    Good tips. I have put them (and similar suggestions) to the test and they work! Bless you!

  • http://humanwebsite.com.my/ Kent

    I agree with your points. Facebook assists in relationship, especially between Pastors and members. Facebook doesn’t replace that relationship.

    And in order to build relationship on Facebook (before face to face meeting), we need to make sure that why should people join our churches. If we are able to answer this question, we can apply the same thing to different social media platforms.

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