Sundays are very special days for believers. We all go to church and leave the building feeling encouraged and with a renewed outlook on life. This positive experience is a result of great teaching as well as the opportunity to fellowship with like-minded people. Many churches have midweek services that help get us through hump day but the struggle for many of us is to maintain that “just churched” feel the rest of the week. A large number of churches are using the many new social media technologies to try and bridge that six day gap.
Ten Ways to Engage with Church Members During The Week – The Other Six Days
1. Email Them
If your church is not collecting and sharing information via member email addresses it might be a good time to start. Sending email blasts are a great way to communicate with members after church hours. This includes sharing new information (church closings due to inclement weather) or reminders to sign up for small group classes. Find a reputable email marketing vendor and follow the anti-spam laws to ensure you don’t inadvertently alienate members. Create some internal process guidelines to make sure email communications are limited, streamlined and focused to create the best possible communication experience for your members and volunteers.
2. Make Videos
Create a YouTube channel and upload church videos to share. Show church highlights and use videos to help others experience your church services, ministry programs, kids camp, youth outreach or member testimonies. The possibilities are endless. It doesn’t take expensive equipment anymore. Most smartphones have great video technology and can be uploaded directly to YouTube from the phone.
3. Scripture of the Day
We can all use more exposure to the word. Identify a daily scripture and tweet it to members. Use the verses that supported the weekly sermon to provide members with encouragement and reinforcement of the weekly message.
Blogging on your church’s website is a great way to keep the conversation going after a weekly message. Identify someone who can summarize a sermon topic and publish it as a blog post on your website. Take this opportunity to expand on the content and provide additional in-depth information. Try to post a blog article at least once a week and encourage members to share it with their social circles.
Create a strategy and send daily tweets about inspirational topics, articles or videos to reinforce a message. Don’t forget to keep it to 140 characters so it fits. Follow other inspirational leaders and share helpful tweets.
6. Thought for the Day
Sometimes a simple encouraging idea or thought can help someone through a difficult day. Summarize a sermon topic or inspiring quote into a one line thought-for-the-day. Condense it to 140 characters and tweet it to members.
Create a church sponsored Facebook page and ask members to join. Start a conversation and let it be a forum for inspiration, encouragement and life sharing. Set some ground rules for conduct and privacy and then start a conversation on a topic or lesson.
8. Share Inspiring Videos
We can all use a little inspiration once in a while. Use Facebook, and all social platforms to share inspiring videos. Subscribe to YouTube channels that create videos that encourage and inspire and ask Facebook friends to do the same. Identify inspiring videos and share or add them to a page on your website.
9. Share Inspiring Articles
Supplemental teaching is always good. If you run across articles or blog posts from other inspirational people, share it with members on Facebook or other social sites. Start a conversation and discuss lessons learned. Challenge members to locate additional supplemental content to share as well. This research process can be an important part of the learning and development process.
10. Join Them On Pinterest
Pinterest is not only for girls anymore. Create an account and start boards that members can share. Here you can post pictures of church services and events that link back to your website.
Instagram is another great tool to use to share pictures and videos. Use a smartphone to capture the action as its happening and share it. This is a great way to help others experience an event they may not have been able to attend. Take a picture or video and post it to share with members who may not be there. It might make them sorry that they missed it!
Create a video strategy and set some guidelines. Short and to the point videos are the most effective. The goal is to inspire quickly so others will share.
People join churches to grow in their faith, support a mission and belong to a community. It is often difficult to fulfill those needs in a few hours on the weekend. Developing a strategy to reach out and interact with members the other six days is a great way to help them feel valued, loved and engaged in their church community.