Chris Martin on 3 Ways Facebook Can Be an Extension of Church Ministry

FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens in New York's Times Square. Facebook's effort to establish a service that provides its users with local news and information is being hindered by the lack of outlets where the company's technicians can find original reporting. The service, launched last year, is currently available in some 400 cities in the United States. But the social media giant said it has found that 40 percent of Americans live in places where there weren’t enough local news stories to support it. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
FILE – In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens in New York’s Times Square. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Chris Martin is a social media manager for LifeWay Christian Resources and is student ministry director at City Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.

So many social media platforms exist today. It can be hard to know what platforms are worth our time and what platforms should be ignored. It is almost without question, however, that Facebook is worth a church’s attention as much as any social media platform.

A church having a Facebook page really is about as important as a church having a website these days. Many people in the communities surrounding churches go to Facebook to look for churches, and church Facebook pages appear in basic Google searches.

But Facebook can be complicated and frustrating, even for the most savvy social media user. How can a church actually use Facebook as an extension of the ministry it does in its community every week? Here are three basic ways your church can use Facebook as an extension of church ministry:

1. Create an atmosphere of encouragement and kindness.

Social media can be a pretty negative place. No matter what platform you’re on — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or otherwise — negativity and anger overflows in abundance. It is easy to get discouraged after a few minutes browsing your social media platform of choice, and Christian circles are no exception to this trend, unfortunately.

One of the simplest ways your church can use Facebook as an extension of the ministry you do in your community is by using your Facebook page and the content you post there to create an atmosphere of encouragement and kindness.

What does this practically look like? Post a Bible verse each morning. Share stories of how you have seen God working in your church or your community. Share links from trusted Christian websites that provide helpful teaching. You could even start a Facebook Group for church members to better connect with one another.

Social media can be a dark place, but we have the light of the Gospel. So let’s shine it brightly there.

2. Monitor your Facebook messages and respond promptly.

A lot of churches I have talked to over the years are surprised at how many Facebook messages their church Facebook page receives from members of their communities. This ought not surprise us! Many people who would never darken the doors of our churches for one reason or another may be willing to message our church Facebook pages with confessions of sin, pleas for help or other such messages.

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Source: Baptist Press