Your Comprehensive Guide on Facebook for the Church: How to Create a Church Facebook Group

So you’ve decided it’s finally time to get on Facebook. Here’s how to create a group on Facebook for your church. Creating a group on Facebook may sound a bit difficult (and the length of this post may cause you to think that it is), but it’s not that hard. Just follow the steps below to creating a group on Facebook for your church. The following simple guide assumes that you know how to 1) turn on the computer and 2) be able to get on the Internet and 3) sort of find your way around with a mouse and stuff. Are you ready?

MARCH 17, 2011 UPDATE: Facebook has changed the process for starting group pages and fan pages. This guide may provide some insight, but there will be some differences with the actual process, particularly on steps three and four.

Step 1:  What do I do first?

Okay, if you’re not on Facebook yet, do that. You have to be a member of Facebook in order to create the group. If, on the other hand, you’re already part of the 500,000,000 (seriously) who are already on Facebook, you’re ready to go.

Step 2:  I’m a member. Now, how do I start to create a group?

Next, we’re going to actually create a group. Since the appearance of Facebook seems to change every few months, it’s kind of hard to keep track of where all the buttons are from iteration to iteration. Besides, as Facebook has evolved, it’s become more and more complicated. Never fear. Just follow these simple steps. In order to create a group…

  • Go to “Account.” It is the button in the upper right hand corner. All the way to the top; all the way to the right. When you click on it, a dropdown menu will appear.
  • Now, click on “Application Settings.”

    Click on "Application Settings"

When you get to the next page, you’ll see a menu that will probably show several “applications.” One of these applications should be “groups.” If you don’t see “groups” in your menu, toggle the various options under “show” until you find a menu that displays groups. Once you’ve found “groups,” click on it.

Click on "Groups"

You will next find yourself on a Facebook page featuring groups that you’ve been invited to and groups that you are a part of. In the top center of this screen, find this little button and click it:

Click "Create a Group"

Step 3:  Finally, I’m ready. How do I go about actually creating the group?

When you click on “Create a Group” you will find yourself on a page that looks like the one below. The process is self-explanatory. Simply fill out the information. Sample information below:

Enter the information

When you’re done, click “Create Group.” Your church is about to enter the realm of Facebook….

Step 4:  Customize and fine-tune the group settings.

Next, you enter into the managerial details of your Facebook group. This is important, so don’t fly through this. Here is where you control wall settings, group events, discussion, access levels, and all the other significant things that a Facebook group can do and be. Look over each one, and decide whether you want to check the box or uncheck the box.

Select group options

Step 5: Spread the good news…or wait and do it later.

Announce it on your wall or wait.

When you proceed from the last step, you will be faced with an option to post the good news to your wall. You can if you want, or you skip to the next step.

Step 6:  Send out the invitations!

The next step to which Facebook guides you is the invitation phase. You can select various and sundry of your friends (or all of them) and send them a Facebook invitation to join the group. You can even send invitations to people using their email address. Again, you can wait until later to send out invitations. This might be a good idea, because you may want to do some fine-tuning before the invitations are released.

Step 7:  Getting to the actual page.

It can be a bit confusing to actually get to your group page. Where is it? What does it look like?

  • Once you “create group” you will have a menu near the top of the page that looks something like this.
  • Click on “Back to [Your Group Name]” to get to the main page for your group.
  • You should see a screen that looks something like the one below. It is the main page for your group.
  • (Alternately, you can search for your group using the Facebook search menu at the top of the screen. As long as you type in the name of your church how you created it, it should come up in a list. Click on it, and you’re ready to roll. It looks something like this:

Step 8:  What about an image? Can’t I add my church’s logo to the page?

Absolutely. Time to add some pics! Once you’re on the main group page, move your pointer to the drab, bland, boring question mark that stands where your group picture should be. Click “change picture” which appears.

Click "Change Picture"

Upload your picture. Most likely you will click the “Upload a Picture” option that appears in the dropdown menu. There, you can select your church’s logo or picture, and use it as the profile picture.

Step 9:  Add some info.

As a final bit of finesse, add some information to your Facebook Group page. On the right column, select the box that says “Write something about [Your Group Name].” Here is where you can add some additional information, an inspiring quote, a verse, or some other creative bit of content.

Add some info

You did it!

Wow. How does it feel. You’re on Facebook. Not so bad, huh? If you’re used to the Facebook interface, your group page will be a breeze. Just for good measure, we’ll keep you updated with some insider tips and tricks so you can get the most out of your Facebook group, and so you can further involve members in the life of the church. Ever wondered how to start a “discussion” or what that “events” tab is all about? What if you want to add some of the other pastors to to the Facebook page so they can help manage it?

Stay tuned….more Facebook information coming.

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10 thoughts on “Your Comprehensive Guide on Facebook for the Church: How to Create a Church Facebook Group

  1. Perhaps a church’s first question regarding Facebook is whether to start a “group” or a “page” (formerly known as a fan page) — there are some key differences. After some research, we opted to start a page — http://www.facebook.com/firstchurchpage — and it appears that most churches, nonprofits, and other organizations are doing the same. A recent national webinar on social media also recommended that churches have pages, not groups.

  2. Yes, but once you have the facebook page, how can you get each and every post/comment to be emailed to you? And I DON’T want every post/comment from my friends coming to my email. Just for the fan page so I can weed out inappropriate ones. How is this accomplished?

  3. @Dave Gilbert, great point. Check out the post we just launched. Thanks for bringing this up!

    @Nathan Morrow, we’re going to get into some details on that in short order. You raised an important issue. More coming…

    1. Hi Doug,

      As long as you are an owner/editor of the Facebook group page, you should be able to organize albums on the group page.

      First, make sure that you have the the “Photos” tab activated. (If you see it on your page, then it’s active.) Once you click on “photos” you should see a button near the top of the page that says: “Create a Photo Album.” That is where you go to create a new album of pictures. You can create as many albums as you want.

      This page should provide some more help regarding photos: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=830

      Hope that gets you started. Please let us know if there is any other way we can help.

      -The Sharefaith Team

      1. I have been able to load photos, but when I select the Photos tab, all I have is the option to ‘Add Group Photos’. When I select this all it will do is upload all selected photos and displays them all on the photos page. I have NO option to create a photo album. Am I missing something. Should I start over and make my Group into a regular Facebook page?

        Thanks again for your help.

        1. I’m not exactly sure about this issue, Doug, but I think you’re on to the right solution. Group pages are limited in their functionality. Perhaps the best solution is to create a regular Facebook page (i.e., a “fan page) instead of a group page. This might give you the ability to create photo albums, but I can’t guarantee that. We recently switched from a group page to a fan page, and found that it works much better and gives us the ability to do more.

  4. Thanks for the article! Now that Facebook Groups have changed, is there anything that needs to be changed in this article, or is it all still the same? Also the Group vs Page article? (I tried to post there but there was some problem?)

    1. Hi Craig,

      To the best of my knowledge, you should still be able to follow this guide to create a Facebook group. As indicated in the “Facebook Page or Facebook Group” article, a Facebook page would probably be better for a church. (Sorry you weren’t able to leave a comment on that page.)

      Facebook is constantly tweaking, modifying, changes, and overhauling their settings, so it’s nearly impossible to keep current Facebook news posted! If you have any other questions, please let us know! We’ll do our best to help out.

      – The Sharefaith Team

      1. Hi. Some things I noticed is that your Step 3 and 4 pages are very different now, less options. Also no invitations, just add members directly. And when you go to the page it doesn’t have the Wall etc tabs at the top. There is also an add document option which I haven’t experimented with yet, and not sure what is possible. Basically looks like there has been a major overhaul of groups. Not sure if pages have changed. As I’ve searched the net, most comparisons between groups and pages haven’t used the new groups, and you can’t create old-style ones any more. Maybe your site can be one of first to have current info :) Thanks!

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