By Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com
Every crisis presents opportunities.
The COVID pandemic is no different.
Because of COVID, people have been forced out of their normal activities and routines. Many people are anxious about their family, friends, health, and finances. Many are feeling disconnected, depressed, and hopeless.
One of the greatest opportunities Christian churches and individuals have right now is to live out the faith, hope, and love we have in Christ by the way we interact with others in social media.
7 Ways Your Church Can Use Social Media to Minister Through COVID
1. Offer to pray. It can be as simple as posting, “How can we be praying for you today?”
2. Live stream services. While some churches have started worshiping together in person, many people are not comfortable with that yet and would prefer to participate in their homes via live stream. One major benefit of streaming with Facebook Live or YouTube Live is they make it easy for your church members to share your live stream with their friends. I’ve seen many of my friends and neighbors - some of them who are not yet believers – check out my church’s services on Facebook Love.
3. Share scripture. In a crisis, when uncertainty abounds, the key to finding peace is to focus on that which is certain and unchanging – God and His word. Sharing bible verses on your church’s social channels is an easy way to encourage your church members and help them encourage others.
4. Ask questions. Questions help initiate interaction and community. Post an emoji that expresses how you’re feeling today? Where have you seen God at work lately? How are you spending your free time lately? What’s one bible verse, quote or story that has encouraged you recently?
5. Share devotionals. It’s important for followers of Jesus to start their days with Him. You can help people do this by sharing short devotionals on your social channels. Some churches have started writing their own devotionals and posting them on their blog, others churches share devotionals written by others. One extra benefit of this is that doing the same devotionals and reading the same scripture passages, gives an added sense of community as your church goes through the crisis together.
6. Share stories of hope. It’s one thing to read stories from scripture where God came through supernaturally centuries ago, but it can be even more powerful to hear about what God is doing today, locally, among people we know. Ask for and share praise reports from people in your congregation.
7. Facilitate help and sharing. Social media can be used to ask people about their needs as well as how they can help others? Who needs toilet paper? Who has extra toilet paper they can share? Is there anyone with underlying health issues that would like someone to do their grocery shopping for them?
Bonus Church Social Media Tips
1. Create a content schedule. People will engage more when you share the same kind of content at the same time and day of the week.
2. Don’t do it alone. Create a team to work together to plan and create content, or at the very least are committed to liking, commenting and sharing your content. Text them when you publish new content, so they can engage with it. This will dramatically increase the number of people who see your content.
3. Equip others. Your primary goal should not be to build up your church’s reputation and audience but rather to equip the people of your church to engage with others, have spiritual conversations, share the gospel, and serve others.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. - John 13:35
This article originally appeared on OurChurch.Com