Over time, there has been a lot of controversy as to whether or not social media will do the church as a whole any importance, or if the digital church should exist in the first place. As a church leader, there is the possibility you might have thought about this over and over again. It is indeed an important subject and shouldn’t be considered trivial.
Unlike other institutions, you shouldn’t run your church as ‘business as usual.’ Whatever decisions church leaders make must be done with wisdom. The church requires active management to ensure all systems are working together in furtherance of a common goal.
We can’t deny the fact that social media and technology have helped to make systems operate faster, resources effectively utilized, operations to be automated, and so on. Individuals and institutions have also leveraged technology and social media to expand their businesses and brands beyond their immediate reach. The benefits are enormous.
However, since social media has created a more extensive platform for companies, brands, and individuals; some persons have corrupted these spaces such that if not carefully used, it can turn out to have a negative effect.
In this article, we will take time to evaluate the benefits and risks of having a social media ministry or utilizing social media for your church.
Benefits of Social Media to the Church
Social media can help reach and build a broader community
The church is continually seeking means to reach out to more people which include those who are yet to know Christ, those who are in Christ, and those who might have backslidden. With social media, the church has the opportunity and access to millions of people across the globe.
With the help of social media, you can be where your audience is no matter the location. The church has to help and serve people. If church leaders are not on these platforms and actively looking for ways to reach these people, there is absolutely no way to have access to these people.
Social media can help disciple people
Without a doubt, every church minister should know that discipline takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. The problem some people have is mostly lack of time and inability to understand how to juggle different roles and responsibilities of daily living.
It is where utilizing social media to the benefit of the church comes right in. In this day and age, almost everyone has a smartphone that grants them access to social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.
As a minister, you can make use of your social media platforms to provide teachings to your audience in different engaging formats.
Social media can help strengthen communication with the congregation
A lot of churches have large congregations and can’t reach everyone after Sunday service or mid-week services. Think of how you can manage a platform like WhatsApp, where you can have smaller group chats for church staff, teenagers, youths, church workers of various units, and lots more. Social media helps you to narrow down communication, strengthening their faith even at a closer range while keeping an eye on their spiritual growth.
Social media is affordable
You don’t have to break a bank to build your community or reach out to people on social media. Even when you have church programs and meetings coming up, you can take to your social media platforms to advertise and drive traffic.
For instance, you can live streaming your services on ChurchPad on Sundays, and other weekdays, you can make a post across your various social media platforms to inform members and non-members of upcoming services more cheaply and effectively.
Social media can help you get feedback
Getting feedback is vital for your ministry’s growth and development. You can get ideas, suggestions, and remarks from your congregants which will help you help them better and also understand their struggles. It will also help in planning upcoming events, rating past events, and knowing where to make amends.
Social media is a powerful platform to gather this feedback. By making use of tools like Instagram Poll, Facebook Poll, or Twitter Poll, you can increase your engagement online.
Risks of Social Media
Some risks abound when the church uses social media without precaution and a clear cut guideline. For instance, just as you use social media to reach a broad audience, wrong information can spread to a large number of people fast and cause a lot of damage which will take time to fix.
Things like unintended messages, unsupervised posted, inappropriate discussions, private information leak, misrepresentation of church image and much more can occur if there are no adequate checks; all of which can cause significant damage to the ministry.
It is essential to follow all ministry activities on social media with caution and wisdom. You must adequately supervise all posts to ensure you pass the right information. Inappropriate discussions should be frowned at whether during online programs or when responding to comments and remarks.
The church’s image should be protected at all costs even as you utilize social media to its benefits.
It is important to note that social media can be a powerful tool if effectively used; however, if not effectively used and managed, it can become a detriment to the church.