What makes your church special?
The words “church” and “competition” are normally frowned upon when they are used in the same sentence. Prepare to be uncomfortable. Your church is competing with others in your community to be clear about who you are, what you do, and why you do it. To look at this another way, people who show up on Sunday morning need to know why they are there (as opposed to somewhere else) and what they are supposed to do. This is critical to developing congregational engagement.
In Albert Winseman’s “Growing an Engaged Church: How to Stop Doing Church and Start Being the Church Again”, he affirms that the secret to building an effective church is by fostering spiritual commitment and congregational engagement. He writes:
“Most church leaders confuse involvement with engagement. They believe the conventional wisdom: The way to get new members to really connect with their new church is to get them involved in something anything! But involvement is not engagement. Involvement is what you do in and for your church; engagement is how you feel about your church. This is a crucial difference. Engagement is about emotions. Good Soil churches have a climate that fosters a deep and strong emotional connection.”
It’s not enough to simply get people plugged in! In order to foster a deep, emotional connection to your church, people need to be able to clearly define why they show up to your church on Sunday, as opposed to the alternatives.
Your Facebook fan page is a powerful tool to help you reinforce your church values.
Most churches stick to communicating spiritual truths, bible verses, and church events. This isn’t bad, per say, it’s just incomplete. As you think about your fan page posts in the coming months, consider how you can use your statuses, photos, and videos to reinforce your church values (aka what makes your church special?). Don’t just cut and paste snippets from your mission statement. Try one of these three ideas…
#1 Share personal stories and testimonies from people who have been changed through your church’s ministry.
This showcases your mission in action. It is where your church’s mission meets flesh. There lots of ways you can get those stores out there. You might try on these options:
- Shop My Church. People from your church can share their stories about how God changed their life on Shop My Church (www.shopmychurch.com). Visit the site and list your church. After it is listed, send the link to your listing out to your church members and ask them to share their life changing story. The site is integrated with Facebook so the word will get out!
- Video Interviews. When people are touched by your church’s ministry, consider interviewing them and capture their story. Upload these videos to YouTube and share them on your church fan page.
- Church in Action. Capture your church’s ministry in action! By taking and sharing high quality photos of bible studies, service projects, and sunday morning worship, you are showing, not telling what you church does and what makes it special. These photos show where the stories are made.
#2 Rotate your fan page cover photo to highlight core values.
Your cover image is the first thing that people see when they visit your fan page. Over the next year consider creating a set of cover photos that capture key elements of your church’s mission. For instance, my church’s core mission is Finding and Following God Together. We’d create one cover photo with that statement and a compelling graphic.
#3 Create a custom fan page Welcome Page.
Be crystal clear. Create a “no bull” welcome page app for your church fan page. This custom app can house all of the essentials about your church in text, video, and photo. Everyone who visits the page will have the opportunity to experience the essential values, statements, and beliefs that define your church. Keep it simple, elegant, and beautiful. In other words, don’t post a 1,000 word statement of belief. Leave that for your website.
If you are interested in learning more about getting your congregation more engaged, I highly recommend Albert Winseman’s book “Growing an Engaged Church”.
Photo compliments of CreationSwap: http://creationswap.com/chariorozco