I’ll never forget the day I sat down and shadowed the Social Media Coordinator at Church of the Highlands.
I went as an inquiry to figure out what her job looked like and to get a feel for if it was something that I wanted to pursue as a career, but she gave me so much more insight and more value in the conversation I had with her than a list of facts about a job.
To sum up my experience, she gave me a different perspective for what the heart of social media for a church or ministry is supposed to look like.
It wasn’t so much about the importance of advertising the events on time, or making sure that everything was done correctly, that followers were increasing at a certain speed, or posts were going up a certain amount of times per week; her heart was focused on something more eternal: making sure that she was loving people online.
As she was telling me this, I kept thinking how I had never thought of it that way. I’ve always thought of it just as a “social media platform,” a space to advertise information. To gain a new perspective on the way God can move through something that the world has been so focused on the past few years and to realize the opportunity to speak to all the people that we want to tell about ministry in the place they already are was a game changer for me.
The fact that we can delve into that and comment on or like what’s happening in our community’s day-to-day is an opportunity that, if we’re not careful, we will miss out on.
Post encouragement to your community. Share with them truth in the middle of their week. Comment on a picture showing a rare off-day with their beautiful family. Let them know you’re thinking about and praying for them as they mourn the loss of a loved one. Like their status about getting the job they’ve been praying for.
Here’s a great example of a ministry that posts encouragement for their community on Instagram:
No matter if you’re a big church or a small church, a big ministry or a small ministry, it means something to people. When you reach out and let them know that you’re living and loving alongside them as a community, you begin to mean something more to them than a place they go on Sunday mornings.
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So what does all of this look like when you’re advertising an event or wanting them to know what’s going on with a certain part of your ministry?
It looks like making people that have already experienced these events and parts of your ministry feel included and important to the purpose of what you’re advertising in your space. Whether it’s a women’s conference at your church or upcoming sign-ups for a service opportunity, utilize the stories that God has given you through people in your church. Let them tell how God moved them and grew them through the experiences they had. Not only does this give you an opportunity to encourage those people and make them feel great about what’s going on in their life and letting them share with people through such a huge platform in a big way, you’re also going to get to show people who may not have experienced those things yet, or who may be on the edge of deciding to sign up or dive in to that part of your ministry, a glimpse of how their life could be changed for better.
Maybe someone is holding on to excuses that the enemy is putting in their mind of why they shouldn’t go to a Bible study this week. This may allow them to see how God changed a person who struggled with the same excuses and give them the extra push to sign up.
What better marketing is there than showing what God’s already done in someone else’s life to allow others to see what could be done in their lives, too? Don’t be afraid to ask people their stories. More times than not, people love to tell what joyful things they have going on in their lives and to have the opportunity to share it.
Here’s an example of one Church of the Highlands posted on Facebook recently:
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Use the stories God’s written in your church and ministry. Your people have stories to tell and they’re all beautiful. Use them to grow God’s kingdom, even if it looks like advertising for a women’s conference or a service opportunity. God gives people stories to be shared and it’s a huge opportunity for the Church to use them to make people’s visions clearer of what God can do in them and to offer hope.
I hope this post helps your vision of what loving people through marketing looks like! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the box below!