Let me ask you this question, “if 70% of your town was going to the same place every day to look at something, wouldn’t you want to go there to?” This is what is happening with social media. Approximately 7 out of 10 Canadians are actively engaged in social media on a daily basis*. This is why you need to be there. You need to be aware of what is going on. You need to lend your voice of influence to what is going on.
The key to understanding social media is simply sharing. Here are 3 things you can share.
Share your thoughts. I don’t mean controversial articles and opinions, I mean positive and insightful thoughts. Thoughts from scripture. Thoughts about doing life well. Thoughts on leadership. The Bible app has a great feature that allows you to share a scripture verse from your devotional. You can take a picture of a quote from the book you’re reading and share that. You can quote one of your favourite preachers or authors. Share your learning and not your opinions. And remember, not everyone is going to agree with your thoughts. If someone differs with you on social media, just let it be.
Share your life. I’ve heard it said, “no one cares what I had for dinner yesterday”. And maybe that’s true, but sharing your life is a great way to build rapport with your community. They get to know your family. They get to know your journey. They get to know you. Many pastors and ministry leaders are only known by what we do on the platform or in our ministries. Social media allows people to have a 360 degree look at the other aspects of our lives. And in a world where authenticity is an increasing value, this is a huge benefit. You don’t need to overshare, but you can intentionally share some aspects of your life that will create a greater connection between you and your community. Perhaps you’ve just started your own business and want to utilize social media for ecommerce purposes. If you’re not sure what the definition of ecommerce is, put simply, it’s the selling of products online. So if you’ve got a business where you can sell things on the internet, make the most of ecommerce and social media.
Share your encouragement. What is it that all humans want? To be loved and needed. In your ministry, you know that the greatest reason why people come back is not for your preaching, but for the connection. When you take time to post, comment, like, and tag other people in your community, you are connecting with them. It may not seem as effective as a face to face conversation, but think of it like a thank-you note. Sending positive and encouraging words on social media lets people know they’re loved and needed. And in a world where people put a lot of stock in the feedback they get on social, why not be an encouraging voice? You can start by wishing people a happy birthday on Facebook.
If you’re not on social media, I would encourage you to get to the place where the majority of your community is. If you are on social media, I would encourage you to actively share a thought, a piece of your life, and a word of encouragement every week.