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Facebook: A Powerful Tool For Small Churches
A few weeks ago we talked about the 6 Reasons Nobody Goes To Your Church Website. If you're a small church under 75 people, a church website may be the farthest thing from your radar. Though we still think every church should have some sort of web site...the reality is that many small churches just don't have the time, the knowhow, or the money to dedicate to it. That's perfectly okay.
So how do you still have a web presence without having an official website?
No matter how you may feel towards Facebook...it's hard to ignore the fact that the majority of people have a Facebook account. This includes your members and future guests. The fact that Facebook is FREE is a nice benefit too.
It Starts With Your Page
The Facebook Page for your church is a great way to tell people when and where you meet, what you believe, and even donate to your church. Facebook Pages are viewable by anyone as well. Another plus of Facebook Pages is that when someone searches your church on a popular search engine like Google or Bing, it will be one of the first things that comes up.
Believe it or not, people will often look at your church's Facebook Page to really see what you're about. Because of that, we recommend that you regularly update your Page with posts, pictures, and even videos. The worst thing you can do is have a Facebook Page for your church with no recent activity. People seeing you for the first time will take notice of this quickly and may perceive your church as "not all together".
Just a side not though...unless you're a larger church with the proper streaming equipment for both video and audio, we don't recommend posting your entire church service on social media. Low quality video and audio may discourage new guests from coming.
Create a Facebook Community
A Facebook Community is very different from a Page and is geared towards your congregation. Many churches that create a Facebook Page stop right there and never create a Community linked to their Page. Recently Facebook has placed more emphasis on the Community feature and it's for good reason. The Community has features that are more suited to getting people to interact with it.
This is where you can have the people of your congregation post praises, ask questions, ask for prayer, create polls and more! We have been completely amazed by what some of our churches have been doing with their Facebook Communities when it comes to planning and executing REAL MINISTRY outside the church walls. I've often described the Church Facebook Community as one giant group chat that everyone is a part of!
Depending on how active your people are in your Facebook Community, it may be beneficial for you to make multiple Communities connected to your church. For example, I went to a church once that had a community for each life group. This worked really well for them because the people in the life groups could keep in touch throughout the week and also plan for future meetings for their group.
What about Online Giving?
Believe it or not, your church doesn't need a conventional website to enjoy the benefits of online giving. You can easily make the call to action button on your Facebook Page go directly to your ChurchTrac Online Giving. We have quite a few churches that already do this and they love it!
What are you waiting for?
If you don't have a Facebook Page or Community for your church, take a few minutes to create them today. If you already do, make sure they are up-to-date and get your people active on them. Though Facebook will never take the place of real ministry and real community, it's a powerful tool that can't be overlooked. Plus it's FREE... and we like things that are free or affordable!
Affordable is part of our motto at ChurchTrac for Petes sake!