Social Media for Ministry - Introduction & Facebook


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Week 1 of a four-week series I recently did on Social Media for Ministry at Wheaton Bible Church in West Chicago, Illinois.

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  • CONNECTBy following-up with connections on FB/Twitter, you can connect with people you’ve met (on furlough, etc.) and you give them a convenient way to connect with you. (consider using Facebook Lists for easy organization)Supporters will have a greater sense of being connected with you through more frequent communication than a weekly prayer letter. At the very least, an update in a Facebook News Feed from a missionary is a great reminder to your supporters that you still exist! Organize volunteers (email?)Connect with other leaders and get quick access to quality resources that they share through their own tweets, blog, or Facebook.ENGAGEINFORMWe can’t force people to come to our events, but we can make sure the know about it. Facebook and Twitter are great, quick ways to reach people with the added bonus of enabling people to easily pass along invites and information to family and friends.
  • 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
  • SECURITYBalancing act – you want to be transparent and available while also protecting you and your family from over-exposure. You are in control of what you share. You make the choice about what personal information you share.In today’s culture, choosing to ignore social media comes with its own risks. You’re choosing to close a potentially important line of communication between yourself and those you lead. You might send the message that you’re not really interested in hearing from your followers. Are you present, but not engaged & accessible, like a boss who works on a team but never leaves his office and keeps his door closed?TIME CONSUMPTION10 years ago, you probably thought email was something you didn’t have time for.Our world is changing rapidly, and keeping up with changing technology is simply a part of our world. And if your ministry involves influencing a younger generation, you will have to embrace new media. Not necessarily all of them, but those that reach those you are called to teach.Time constraints are real, but they rise because of ineffectiveness.FEARthere are issues that are “too big, tough, and far-reaching for things like Facebook and Twitter”ESCAPISM
  • Be intentional about knowing your congregation and community and recognize what is the best tool to communicate with them.My students – ineffective with emailEqually as important as deciding which communications tool you’re using is also asking why you’re not using something else. Are you intentionally not using Facebook because it’s not the best tool for you?Or are you unfamiliar with it and don’t want to learn more about it?Same thing with Twitter, etc.
  • Fun FactsTwitter has the largest division of users with a secondary education, 37% have at least a bachelor’s degreeFacebook has the largest division of older users with 37% being 45 years or olderTwitter has the largest division of wealthy users with 27% earning 75k or more.Twitter has 105,779,710 registered usersTwitter receives 180 million unique visitors a month600 million Twitter search queries a dayFacebook is available in more than 70 different languagesTop websites by traffic: Google, Facebook, You Tube (Twitter is #11)Average # of Facebook friends: 130Facebook has become so popular, psychologists identified a new mental health disorder, Facebook Addiction Disorder1 in 4 Americans watches a video on YouTube every day.Chicago is the fastest growing city on Facebook in terms of usage in 201049% of Twitter users either never or rarely check Twitter
  • Authentic Idenity allows us to be able to respond to criticism, critique, or engage in real discussions online. No hiding behind pseudonyms!
  • FB Groups are a great resource for secure missionaries who desire to communicate in a private environment. Within a FB group, the members can post the same content they might on a page or profile, but with the addition of being able to post documents. FB groups are also set up with a group email address that will contact all members of the group.
  • The notes application comes with every page, profile & group, and allows users to be able to create “notes” (much like blog posts) that are longer than normal Facebook posts. The Notes application also has an RSS feed reader that will allow you to pull in blog posts easily.
  • Create Events on your page or profile or group to share relevant conferences, prayer needs, events, with supporters. Upon creating an event, a News Feed story with event info will post to your Page (profile or group), and your audience can RSVP. You can increase RSVPs by posting status updates leading up to the Event, emailing lists, and linking from your website/blog.
  • Be like Goldilocks…don’t do too much, or too little…do just enough!What do you enjoy doing? How are you currently communicating? How can you supplement or replace what you’re currently doing/how you’re currently communicating with social media?How can you utilize a Scheduling program like Hoot Suite or Tweet Deck to best use your time?
  • Social Media for Ministry - Introduction & Facebook

    2. 2. WHY USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MINISTRY?• CONNECT - Yes, we are in ministry, but networking and communication are required! Connect with volunteers, your people, and build new connections for ministry!• COST-EFFECTIVE - We have these incredible, free resources at our disposal, for our use.• ENGAGE - We have an opportunity to join in a global conversation going on all around us every day, and to engage in ministry every day.• INFORM - Social Media is a great, quick way to reach people with the added bonus of enabling people to easily pass along invites and information to family & friends. Increase awareness for your ministry.• SOCIAL MEDIA HAS TREMENDOUS POWER• EVERYONE IS ALREADY THERE!
    3. 3. ALSO…• Jesus was masterful at communicating spiritual truths in settings and with language that connected with his listeners.• Paul strived to be fluent in the language of his culture (1 Cor. 9:22).• When used wisely, social media is a powerful tool for church leaders serious about this rich legacy of contextualized communication.• This is the language of our listeners!
    4. 4. COMMON OBJECTIONS• SECURITY (I don‟t want my life on display)• TIME CONSUMPTION (I don‟t have the time)• FEAR (How do I manage a team that is using social media – what if I make a mistake?)• ESCAPISM (I would prefer to engage through person to person contact, not through a virtual/digital connection)
    5. 5. IT’S ALL IN HOW YOU USE THEM…Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Blogging, Vimeo,Flickr…and more!These can all be helpful ministry toolsdepending on how they‟re used, and how youfeel most comfortable communicating.God will use whatever he needs to use toaccomplish his purposes.
    6. 6. OVER THE NEXT 4 WEEKS…1. Get to know “The Big 3” (Facebook, Twitter & Blogging)2. Learn how to use each one, what demographics are on each network, and what is the best network for you (personally) and your ministry (professionally)3. We‟ll learn how to sustain your social media reach.4. We‟ll give opportunities for growth5. Have fun!
    7. 7. THE BIG 3 - FACEBOOK
    8. 8. FACEBOOK…IT ALL STARTS WITH A PROFILE1. Start with an email address2. Create an account at http://www.facebook.com3. Set up your profileProfiles are representative of INDIVIDUALS (as opposed toorganizations, groups, families, etc.).Authentic Identity – Facebook requires users to use their realnames in order to proclaim authentic identity. It‟s NOT a good ideato set up a Facebook account in which your name is not a person‟sname (ex: Wheaton Bible) because Facebook will permanentlydelete your profile & information if discovered.
    9. 9. PROFILE SETTINGSSecurity – It‟s important to ensure that your security settings areappropriate. Visit for more details.Quick Tips…• Always use https while using facebook• Don‟t allow apps to access information UNLESS it‟s extremely important and you trust the app.Passwords – Make your password longer than 8 characters,include a variety of numbers, letters, and symbols, and change itregularly.
    10. 10. HIGH SECURITY PROFILE SETTINGSPseudonym – Consider creating a Facebook account with apseudonym that is used as a vehicle for creating a Page (more infosoon…). Turn off the ability for people to comment. *The downside here is that someone could always link to your site and say, “Check out this blog from our missionaries in China!”Family-only posting – Use your real name, but only post aboutfamily-related items, never ministry.Passive reading – Have a Facebook account, turn off allcommenting, hid yourself from the ability to be found by searchingand then read your friends and family‟s Facebook content to yourheart‟s content. You will also be able to create a Page or Group) Go to Facebook profile 
    11. 11. FACEBOOK PAGESFacebook pages give a voice to any public figure, organization (or WBCMINISTRY) to join the conversation with their audience on Facebook.Page Administrators (there can be more than one) can be private foradded security (*at WBC, Dave and Liz must be co-admins with you!)People and other pages (churches, other ministries, businesses, publicfigures) can connect to your page by “liking” your page and becoming yourfan.Your page‟s content is distributed virally when your audience responds toor shares it.Liz says, “I would work hard to form connections with logicalministry partners, and network with influencers who might extend myministry’s reach”
    12. 12. FACEBOOK PAGES• Usernames – easily communicate your facebook page‟s location to your followers (wheatonbible becomes• Share content with your fans! • Links • Photos • Videos • Blog Posts • Twitter updates • Prayer requests • News • And more!• Expand the reach of your ministry through tagging (@wheatonbible becomes a post on our wall)• Take it a step further - develop a conversational calendar, create weekly features, etc.
    13. 13. FACEBOOK GROUPSFacebook Groups are a great resource for private communication.1. Control who sees your group (3 levels of security) • Secret – only members can see the group and what members post. • Closed – anyone can see the group. Only members can see the posts. • Open (public) – Anyone can see the group and what members post.2. Share with the group • Post updates, questions, photos & more • Chat with the group (You could have set „office hours‟ to communicate with the members of your group) • Create shared docs • Schedule group events3. Stay in the know 1. Get notified about new posts so you never miss an update 2. Connect off Facebook using the group‟s shared email address.
    14. 14. FACEBOOK NOTES• Comes with all profiles and pages• Allows you to pull in an RSS feed from a blog (so that your fans or friends will be notified automatically of a new blog entry)• Can be used alone as a way to write notes, share longer stories than can be shared on a Facebook wall.
    15. 15. FACEBOOK EVENTS• Comes with all profiles and pages• A great way to share prayer needs, upcoming events and more with supporters. Upon creating an event, a News Feed story with event info will post to your Page or Profile, and your audience can RSVP.• You can increase RSVPs by posting status updates leading up to the Event, emailing lists, and linking from your website/blog.• Be careful about creating an event and people thinking that an RSVP there is “good enough” if you want them to RSVP online.• Liz says, “I would creatively promote my next event with more than a simple announcement.”
    16. 16. HELPFUL HINTS – TOPICS TO POST ABOUT:1. Ask open-ended spiritual questions (What‟s your favorite Bible verse? Where have you seen God at work in your life this week?)2. Share an interesting article or video & ask for comments.3. Encourage people to share prayer requests or stories of answered prayers.4. Post written or video testimonies from people in the church.5. Ask people to share something about themselves (What was your vaorite vacation? What are you doing for Thanksgiving? What made you laugh the hardest this week?)6. Use facebook/twitter to ask questions or generate conversation around sermon topics.7. Ask people to share a photo.8. Post content from the Sunday service. Try to add comments that will stimulate discussion.9. Remember – don‟t just start the conversation and run. Engaging with people means respond to comments.
    17. 17. BE LIKE GOLDILOCKS• Start with what you can, and STAY ACTIVE!• Make Social Media a part of your daily or weekly routine, just as you check emails, do weekly chores.• The best time to post on Facebook is ( ) Remember not to start the conversation and walk away!• Sign up for Hootsuite and pre- program them all!
    18. 18. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK FOR… Twitter!