Breaking news! There’s awesome stuff happening in your local community.
We want people in our church to hang out, outside church don’t we? Sharing local news and events on your church fan page increases the opportunities for people to strengthen and build new relationships outside of Sunday morning. With declining local newspaper readership and long commutes to work, you may be your fans only source for important local news and events (outside of word of mouth of course).
How do you choose which news and events to share?
Obviously there are far too many news stories and local events to share without turning your church fan page into a news ticker and community calendar. Generally speaking, I recommend that you prioritize news that highlights community needs and events with the greatest outreach potential (i.e. events with volumes of people who aren’t a part of your church). My rationale here is simple: the Church should stand at the center of every community. By informing our fans of important community needs and drawing them to events with lots of “strangers”, we are creating more opportunities for the church to be, well, the church.
Serving people. Meeting needs. Doing life together.
Now that I’ve shared the news or event on my fan page, what do I do next?
Sit back and see what happens. Do people respond? If an article about a local catastrophe or a post about an exciting community event creates a swarm of likes and comments, you know you are on to something. Based on the level of fan compassion or interest, decide if the news or event warrants follow up.
For example, if the article about a local catastrophe resonated with a lot of people, alert the pastor or missions coordinator. Start a formal, coordinated effort, inside of the church, and promote it as a follow up on the fan page to solicit further action from your fans. Chances are, they will help you spread the word beyond your fan page because they have already expressed a heart for the cause.
Likewise for events, if people are fired up about the community carnival, coordinate a “Church Night Out”, where you invite people to go to the carnival together. Use your church fan page events tool to extend the invite. You should also promote the event in the bulletin and Sunday morning announcements.
Raise awareness. Capitalize on opportunities.
Using local news to bring people together around a community need or event on your church fan page takes some of the guess work out of building community. We often try to force needs or community events that may in fact only be on the heart of a few. Weak attendance and support are sure to follow. By “testing” news and events on your fan page, you find serious opportunities for ministry and building community that would have previously gone undiscovered.
Photo compliments of DVS.