I know, I know. How dare I send you this email and force you to peel yourself away from watching Beyoncé’s visual album for the tenth time (while you’re supposed to be working)!
No worries. I’ll make this short so we can all get back to our iTunes and her majesty.
Let’s talk about Facebook groups and how they can help your church.
So you’ve heard people using all of this language about Facebook pages, but you don’t understand the difference. Let’s clear that up before we talk about Facebook groups.
Facebook page/personal page: A page created with a personal email address, intended for one person to interact with their friends, family, colleagues, and other people who they personally know. These pages have connections called “friends,” and your page can have “followers” if you don’t accept a friend request and allow the person to still follow your public posts. You can access your personal Facebook page through the “Facebook” app on your smartphone.
Facebook fan page: A page created to represent a public figure (or private person’s public persona), business, or organization. Most people visit Facebook pages to interact with brands or public figures they admire. This is different from a website because it gives a glimpse into the personality of a high-profile person or a business. These pages have “likes” instead of “friends.” You can access fan pages through the “Pages” app on your smartphone.
Facebook group: A page created to serve as a communication space for a targeted group, whether its four people or 4,000. Facebook groups give a modern feel to the chartroom experience. Members of groups can post pictures, videos, links, etc., and only the people within the group can see the posts, unless the group is public. Administrators can approve group members, so it’s a great option for ministry groups, congregations, or ministry partners.
Learn more about creating a Facebook group here (insert link: https://www.facebook.com/help/167970719931213)
I get it. You’ve been on Facebook long enough to not only know what Facebook groups are, but also be annoyed by how many times you’ve been added to a Facebook group without your permission.
If you understand Facebook groups, then you know they are awesome ministry tools for churches! Here are three ways you can use Facebook groups for ministry.
1. Go Live.
Facebook Live is a way for Facebook to take its video features to the next level. You can stream right from your phone! This could be a great way to interact with people in a church Facebook group.
Let’s say your church has an LGBT ministry, and you invite people from all over the country to join it. For “National Coming Out Day,” you could have group leaders give a live talk giving advice to people looking for support as they tell loved ones about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
2. Make a group just for church members to share announcements, prayer requests, and testimonies.
Your church’s public Facebook page is to give a taste of your church’s personality through sharing posts that reflect your mission. It’s not necessarily the place to post every church announcement or every prayer request.
Consider making a Facebook group just for members of your church. This will allow you to still do ministry work on your public page but exchange more sensitive or localized information in your Facebook group page.
3. Host Q&A sessions to supplement (or even offer alternatives) to small groups and Bible studies.
Summer is right around the corner, and we know attendance for Sunday worship and small groups decreases. Provide a convenient alternative for folks whose summer consists of traveling, playing summer sports, or working extra jobs. Consider using a Facebook group as a platform for a small group or Bible study. Teach a brief lesson via video, and let your group members post video responses.
All right, folks. That’s it for the day.
Find me on Twitter @MarchaeGrair, and feel free to ask me questions. Let’s be friends and talk about Beyoncé!
Until next time,
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