We’ve seen many churches take steps forward with their online service experience in the last few years—and that’s a great start. But most churches are still missing the huge opportunity to reach new people through digital and online methods.
For an episode of The Unstuck Church Podcast, Amy Anderson sat down with Katie Allred, Co-Founder of Church Communications and Partner Management Lead at Meta, to discuss four practical ways that church leaders can shift their mindset and begin reaching outward with their digital strategies.
Here’s what we learned:
1. Empower your congregation to see themselves as digital missionaries.
When missionaries go into the field, they seek to understand who lives there. They study the culture, and then leverage that knowledge to communicate the timeless message of the Gospel.
Church members now need to be empowered by their leaders to see that while the church has a mission field to reach, they too have a personal mission field to reach. God has positioned them on purpose for a purpose—and when they see their digital spaces as a place where they can be missionaries, they might just be inspired to take a more active role.
2. Equip your congregation with relevant, shareable content.
Start by asking: Based on where God has placed our church, and based on who we’re trying to reach, what issues are people dealing with right now? What encouragement or resources could we create that our people would love to share with others? We have to create content that meets people where they are. For example: You can create resources on how to pray, how to combat anxiety, or share a particularly practical video clip from a recent sermon.
Tip: Check out trends.google.com for more ideas of what content people are searching for.
Your congregation today is not your pre-pandemic congregation. And your mission is more than just a statement on your wall. In this webinar, Tony Morgan & Amy Anderson will teach you the practical strategies needed to reignite your church’s passion and purpose for living on mission in this season.
3. Leverage digital spaces to start building relationships.
Sharing the Gospel begins by building relationships—so we have to create opportunities online for connection, not just broadcasting. One example could be affinity-based groups for people in your church, such as motorcycle riding, crafting, etc., started and managed by a volunteer leader.
To dive even deeper into this topic, read “From Social Media to Social Ministry” by Nona Jones.
4. Go on a “digital missions trip” together as a church.
Start an initiative in your church that trains people on how they can leverage their digital spaces for good. Consider how you could offer digital opportunities or challenges in tandem with a sermon series that would train your congregation on how to engage with people outside the church or faith online. Here’s an example for a series on reaching your community:
- Week 1 – Message four Facebook friends and ask how you can pray for them.
- Week 2 – Share a content resource from your church.
- Week 3 – Volunteer in your community and post about it, encouraging others to join you.
- Week 4 – Pick 3 friends to encourage with a small e-gift card.