Social media is a goldmine of endless opportunities for any youth leader who wants to stay connected with teen culture! Over one billion users worldwide are engaging through sites like Twitter and Facebook. While some people create posts with trivial cat videos or vine fails, many are increasingly using social media to interact with society at large and influence others, i.e., think political campaigns..
With the right know-how, you can use these social media channels to help project the gospelized voices within your ministry and effectively pursue your ministry goals.
Here are six social media tips to help you harness the power of social media channels for more effective gospel advancement.
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This week, strategize with your adult and student leaders by coming up with ways to amp up your youth ministry’s social media impact to more effectively advance the gospel.
1. Online Invites
Each time you plan an event, create it on Facebook. This will allow you to better track how many people are planning on attending the event. If someone can’t go, they can leave an explanation and RSVP their response. This approach is far more relational and engaging than printing flyers and sending out mailers.
With an event page, people are also able to post up questions they may have. If your event requires people to bring food, you can easily manage it by posting on the event wall what menu items are needed, and people can begin adding their contributions to the post. This removes you from the task of communicating who is bringing what. And if for some reason the event needs to be adjusted or canceled, you can push that information instantly without spending extra time making calls.
2. Capture Moments
If your Gospel Advancing Ministry is actively working on folding in the seven key ingredients, then there’s a good chance that exciting things are going on within your ministry. Try to capture moments by encouraging your leaders to post about Gospel Advancement. (Remember to always ask for permission from parents if teenage stories and pictures are being used.) You could strategically assign leaders each week to pick a day where they post up something related to gospel advancement—this will always keep the students and community aware of the exciting happenings of the ministry. It keeps faith-sharing and the youth ministry on the minds of your teenagers and parents.
3. Fill-in the Gaps
Communicate with your leaders what you are trying to accomplish through social media. Explain that you are trying to create a culture among the students where Christ is in the center. Remind them of the times when youth leaders could never know what their students were up to until Sunday or on youth nights. Help them buy in by explaining how social media will help bridge the gaps between youth nights by keeping people connected throughout the week. They will hopefully understand that it allows students to always feel connected to the ministry, and it affords leaders the great opportunity of continuing the conversation after the youth group meeting. And by filling in the gaps, you can help your teenagers with accountability.
4. Demonstrate Gospel Advancement
If you are teaching about the love of God and living a righteous life, but posting questionable items on Facebook, then there is an apparent disconnect. Help your leaders demonstrate authenticity by being authentic yourself. Illustrate a gospelized lifestyle in everything you do, and ask your leaders to do the same. Remember, the Christian life is like a big “game” of Follow the Leader. You could write up a post about a helpful video link or photo you have used to initiate a spiritual conversation, or share a website you’ve found helpful when sharing your faith personally. Be authentic about your own efforts and challenges as you seek to pray, pursue and persuade those God has put on your heart to share your faith with—just be sure to leave names out of it.
5. Work Together
After your leaders understand what you are trying to accomplish, encourage everyone to like and share each other’s posts made on social media. Most social media engines have a ranking system that favors posts that have more interactions or impressions. By getting your leaders on board with your ministry’s social media strategy, there will be a greater chance that everyone’s posts will rank higher on social media boards and therefore gather more eyeballs for the sake of gospel advancement.
6. Don’t Force It
Be careful not to go too far with social media. While you want to have some strategies to help promote your ministry, you don’t want it to appear manufactured. Encourage your leaders to make impressions, but make sure their impressions don’t look forced. Your students—and the outsiders they are trying to influence—value authenticity. So coach your leaders, if necessary, so that posts don’t look too much like a marketing campaign that is only interested in generating “sales.” Otherwise people will think that everything you do has an agenda.
Let’s use social media to better captivate the students we lead, paint a clearer picture of the goodness of God and keep the priority of sharing our faith front and center!6 social media tips to help you harness the power of social media for Gospel Advancement Click To Tweet