The truth is we live in a visual society where people are greatly influenced by not only what they 'hear' but by what they 'see'. The most successful commercials, marketing campaigns, etc. all appeal to our sense of sight and sound - through video.
This is an important Social Media concept for Ministries to remember.
For people to 'Connect' to your Ministry, they need to experience what members of your Ministry experience. They need to be able to sit in your service as a virtual participant. When they feel Connected, it is easier to Engage and Influence them.
Jesus used this same approach. He understood that some people could not believe until they 'saw' or 'experienced' the signs and wonders that he performed during his Ministry.
John 2:23 - '...many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.' - KJV
Through the visual experience, they began to connect with the message of the Kingdom and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So as a 21st Century Ministry living in an age of Technology, how do we help others experience the Praise, Worship, and Word that comes forth in our services?
Simple. Through the use of Social Media platforms such as YouTube, Ministries can bring the Worship experience to others, 24/7. This allows them to see and hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom message anytime and anywhere.
The strategy needed requires more than randomly posting a video to YouTube. It involves creating a Strategy on how to strategically position your Ministry to effectively use this platform.
The way to get started is with a 'YouTube Channel' for your Ministry.
What is a (Ministry) YouTube Channel?
A Ministry YouTube Channel is a customized portal for your Ministry where videos can be uploaded and managed. The channel will contain your Ministries video collection where they can be shared with other YouTube users and on other Social Media platforms. To get started, you can follow this YouTube Checklist for your Ministry:
Create a YouTube Account
Create a Ministry YouTube Channel
Customize the Channel with your Ministry logo and background
Give your Channel a unique name (www.youtube.com/[ministryname]
Tell others about your Channel via Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Website, Blog, etc.)
Benefits of a Ministry YouTube Channel include:
Increased Exposure for your Ministry
Allow others to see and experience your Ministry
Integration with other Social Media Platforms (Facebook, Twitter)
Great for Mobile Users to access
Make your local Ministry - National / Global
Finding creative ways to use video in your Social Media Ministry Strategy is vital and can be very effective. A YouTube channel is a perfect way to introduce and keep people connected to your Ministry and what it has to offer.
Sunday is an important day for Ministries. It is the day where we all come together in corporate Worship. Hebrews 10:25 says 'Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers]' - AMP. So as the Social Media Ministers in our Ministries, it is important that we have a Sunday Social Media checklist. This list of activities will be our guide for the Social Media Ministry activities that we will perform prior to, sometimes during, and after our Sunday Worship services. This list does not include every possible Social Media activity but it can used to begin the thought process and serve as a starting point for your Sunday Ministry checklist.
Create a Facebook/Twitter event for the Morning Worship service prior to Sunday. Invite people and your friends to attend. Don't forget to add the service time, location, and contact number.
Update your Social Media Ministry channels with a preview of the Sunday Morning Message. It can be in the form of a scripture reference, notes or the Message Title.
Start the day by making a Declaration on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Google +. This can be in the form of a scripture or prayer. For example, 'This is the Day that the Lord has made, let us Rejoice and be Glad in it.' Give God praise and encourage others to do the same. The atmosphere for the upcoming service can be set prior to entering the sanctuary.
Tweet or status update a prayer asking God to have his way in the service and that the needs of the people are met. You can also pray for the Speaker and Leadership.
Use Facebook Places, Foursquare, etc. to Check-in. Once you or a member of the Social Media Ministry staff have arrived at Church, a check-in can be a great way to let people know about your Ministry. Your friends that may be undecided on where to worship this morning will see your check-in an might decide to attend. Friends that are looking for your Church can use your check-in to locate it.
Post Images of your Ministry to Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. People are visual and may want to see images from the inside of the Church or service.
Have a member of your team post scripture references, sermon notes, and quotes from the message to Twitter, Facebook, and Google +. This will allow those that could not attend service to follow and still receive the Word. It also will allow people that attended service the opportunity to go back and review the updates from the Message
Display links to your Social Media Ministry pages on Video screens and encourage members to visit, dialog, and provide feedback.
Update the Ministry Facebook and Twitter page with a message thanking the visitors and blessing those that attend today's service. Connecting with members is important. A simple thank you and a blessing will make them feel the love of the ministry.
Update the Ministry Facebook and Twitter page with upcoming events such as a Bible Study or Mid-Week service.
Post a video clip of the Morning Service and Message to YouTube. Making the preached Word available to everyone after the service is a great method to allow Social Media to carry the word beyond the four walls of the Church.
The Pastor or member of Leadership should update the Ministry Facebook page or Blog to review points from the Message, continue Teaching, or provide additional information that could not be delivered during the service.
These are just a few suggestions to get you thinking. What other items are included on your Social Media Ministry checklist for Sunday Morning Service? Please feel free to share them!
Every Ministry involved in Social Media should 'study to show thyself approved...' - 1 Timothy 2:15. The idea behind this scripture is that we should become knowledgeable, experts in the Word of God and its application. This also applies to our area of Ministry expertise so that we can correctly use and apply the tools of our trade.
Social Media platforms are no exception to this rule.
ChurchJuice.com is currently offering a free, downloadable eBook entitled 'Facebook for Churches'. This 32-page ebook includes examples and strategies for getting the most out of your church Facebook page. To find out more and download this eBook, please visit ChurchJuice.
This morning I came across an article and infographic from MindJumps that outlines best practices for a Business Twitter account. The idea behind the infographic is to provide steps to help Businesses optimize their Brands Twitter account.
While reading the article, an important idea jump out at me.
How can Ministries use these best practices to increase its Twitter Brand presence?
Here's what I came up with....
Provide information about your Ministry. It’s just like
walking into a room full of strangers and introducing your Ministry. Tell
others about your Vision, Mission, and what your Ministry has to offer.
Hear what people are saying. Hear with both your naturally and spiritual ears. There are a lot of individuals just
looking for someone to listen. Becoming a Ministry on Twitter that is able to
hear the people is invaluable.
Join the Conversation by asking questions that will show
people that your Ministry is listening. Questions can open doors that lead to
Follow-up, quick replies, retweets and responding to request shows
people that your Ministry is listening.
Publicly recognize other Ministries and individuals that are working to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This may involve 'pushing' the Vision of your Ministry and other Ministries. Examples may include retweeting a testimony or a great accomplishment of a Ministry member.
Become a Ministry Resource
Every Ministry desires to do more for the Kingdom of God. Establish your Ministry as a Ministry resource. A sort of go-to Ministry that has experience in Ministry areas that can assist others.
Establish the Right Ministry Voice
Your Ministry voice should primarily be one that reflects the Love of Jesus Christ and walks in the Power and Authority of the Holy Spirit. The Twitter Ministry 'voice' should be an echoing of the vision of your Ministry.
Your Twitter Ministry presence portrays a message to your Twitter followers and provides insight on the Ministry. This may be the first thing that many see before they ever enter the four walls of your Church.
Let your Twitter presence be found pleasing and acceptable to the Lord. Let it be a true representation of your Ministry.
Social Media has quickly become the first place of choice that many use to advertise events. The ability to create events and allow invited guest to RSVP was a feature that fueled the fire for Ministries to create events on Facebook.
But what about my Twitter follower's and friends on other Social Media platforms? How do I send them invitation if they are not on Facebook?
Tweetvite is an application that has been around for a while but is not a widely known. Tweetvite makes it easy to create invitation for events and allows your Twitter follows to RSVP. It also have the ability to share your invitation on other Social Media platforms.
Some of the benefits of Tweetvite include:
No Registration Required (use your Facebook or Twitter account to create an event)
Create and Post your Tweetvite invitation in seconds
Can be Customized with Colors and Themes
Can add Pictures and Video (a limitation of Facebook events)
So the next time you want to create and advertise a Ministry event through Social Media, give Tweetvite a try..... Let us know your thoughts are experiences with Tweetvite!!
This is important for Ministries to understand because it opens the door for a self-examination process of existing Social Media activities.
Ministries should not be involved with Social Media just to be involved. There is an expectation or expected end goal that we are attempting to achieve. We want to see people healed, delivered, and set free through Social Media Ministry just as we do through corporate and personal ministry.
This desire makes the existence and effectiveness of a Social Media Ministry Strategy of the utmost importance.
Are you ready to write your strategy? If so let's get started....
The following Seven (7) Dimensions will assist in the development a productive Social Media Ministry Strategy.
Step #1 - Get a Vision
Your Social Media Ministry Strategy should be rooted on the Vision or Mission of your Ministry. The strategy for your Social Media activities should be an extension and enhancement of the Ministry vision in an online world; through Social Media. Define how you will further the Vision by setting specific goals.
Without goals, how do you know what you are to accomplish and how to execute the activities to produce the goals? Goals make Social Media measurable.
The goals for your Social Media Ministry Strategy can include but are not limited to the following:
How to Minister to the people
Communication of Ministry information
Introducing people to your ministry and what it has to offer
Updating others of what's going on in the Ministry
Creating opportunities to dialog with the Ministry and Staff
Developing avenues for feedback
Developing a method for the hearts of the Leadership to be heard
Online Discipleship, Teaching, Training
Connect with other Ministries
Connect with individuals who are not 'local' to your home Church
Introducing others to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Spreading the Message of the Ministry
Becoming a Global Ministry
The ultimate objective of your Social Media Ministry Strategy should be to Connect, Engage, and Influence for the Kingdom of God. These goals are the levels to get you to the overall Objective.
Step #2 - Choose a Platform
Many of you have heard the term Location, Location, Location. This also holds true for Social Media. Depending on your Vision, the Social Media location or platform that you select should align with the vision. The right platform is important to reaching the desired audience.
If you plan to use pictures and video, Facebook may be an option but not the best platform. If you plan to use more text in your strategy, Pinterest or YouTube may not be the best platform. Every Social Media platform has a unique quality, that if properly implemented with the Vision, will fulfill the requirements of your Social Media Strategy.
Here's quick reference that may help.
Facebook: Creation of a Ministry page, Good for longer text, creating events notifications, some pictures / video, used mostly by Older Adults, scripture, teaching, quotes, most popular, announcements, has a limit on the length of videos, video not support on all smartphones
Twitter: Short Text, some pictures, linking to websites, scripture, quotes, becoming popular among Teens / Young Adults, events, reminders, sermon updates, creating events notifications
YouTube: Creation of a Ministry Video Channel, uploads of video, supports videos longer than 15 minutes, video supported on all smartphones, videos can be integrated with Facebook
Instagram: Pictures, good integration with Facebook and Twitter
Pinterest: Good for images, web images
Blogging: Wordpress, Blogger, Tumbler - for longer passage, this is where the voice of the Pastor and Leadership can be heard, a deeper understanding of the Sunday message, Teaching
Don't forget about integration points. Social Media platforms allow integration where if one is updated, multiple platforms can be updated simultaneously. This is where the work smarter not harder adage is applicable.
There are many other reasons and factors in selecting the right platform. Researching the platforms and there pro's and con's of each is the best way to make the right determination.
With the right platform, your Ministry content will easily allow others to connect, engage them 'in the conversation', and influence them.
Next Article: Steps #3 & #4 - Planning Your Content and Determining the Frequency
Strategy seems to be the new catch phrase of this era when it comes to Social Media. It is a plan or road map that many desire to have in place but fail to implement primarily because they have not been taught the ingredients of a good Social Media Ministry strategy.
Before we discuss strategies, we need to obtain an understanding of what a Social Media Ministry Strategy is NOT.
This determination will break the ground for us to begin planting the seeds of a good strategy.
Here are a few thoughts:
A Social Media Ministry strategy is not a Facebook account with pictures of your services, with content that is 6 months old, rarely updated, and does not connect with your friends. Posting a scripture every now and then also does not constitute a Social Media Strategy.
A Social Media Ministry strategy is not a Facebook page where you are a cheerleader getting everyone to respond a word or post.
A Social Media Ministry strategy is not a Twitter account with a few Tweets sent every other week and less than 25 followers on an account that has been active for more than 2 years.
A Social Media Ministry strategy is not a few videos from your Arts Ministry, Choir, or preached word uploaded to YouTube.
A Social Media Ministry strategy is something that can be measured. Results that can be reviewed periodically and used to update or alter the strategy is a valuable asset.
A Social Media strategy is more than a Facebook page and a Twitter account. A productive strategy involves multiple Social Media platforms to minister to all types of people, needs, and learning styles.
Ministries need to learn how to step away from following what everyone else is doing or the latest fad and move to a place where we create strategies that will allow us to infiltrate and minister via Social Media. A good Social Media Ministry Strategy is about expanding the Vision and message of your Ministry through Social Media while Connecting, Engaging and Influencing for the Kingdom of God. No matter where your Ministry is in its use of Social Media, it is never to late to get a 'Strategy'. Please let us know your thoughts. Next article: Seven (7) Dimensions to a Dynamic Social Media Ministry Strategy