Spreading Gospel Values Through Social Media

Vernette John-Joiles shares insights on how churches can enjoy the benefits of social media to spread a gospel message

As Christian believers, I think we can say that we know how powerful social media can be for sharing about the life of our churches and their latest activities. With that in mind, we also have to acknowledge there is so much content to absorb on social media these days. During the pandemic in 2020, there was a significant increase in the use of the internet for day-to-day activities. This resulted in a rise in social media usage, with more images and videos being posted on a daily basis. Today, churches creating content to post on social media will need to exert more effort in order to spark interest and gain new followers. In this article, we’ll examine a few points about creating social content and digital tools to make the process more productive.

Understanding Social Media Platforms
If you’re focusing on key platforms like Facebook (FB), Instagram (IG), Twitter (TW) and YouTube (YT), an important factor to bear in mind is learning which platform works best for your church.

FB and IG are generally well-known platforms that can be used to share most forms of content. On FB, there is the option to join groups; this provides an opportunity to share content about your church. For example, if your church location is north London, you can search for groups in that location and start to engage with people about your upcoming activities.

One significant difference between FB and IG is the use of the hashtag (#). The hashtag is used extensively on IG and is one of the primary ways to build awareness of profiles and to attract users who are not yet followers. For example, if you were posting about prayer points, you may accompany your post with the hashtags, #prayer or #prayerpoints. In doing so, users who follow any posts that use those hashtags will get a notification on their device to have a look at your post. With this in mind, it may be a good idea to compile a hashtag list you can refer to for use with future content.

The same principle about the hashtag applies on TW, which works well for sharing most types of images, short-form videos or links to content on other platforms. If your church has a presence on TW, be mindful of the 280-character limit which restricts the length of your post caption or description.

YT utilises the power of video and now also allows for ‘shorts’, which is handy for sharing video snippets. Writing engaging titles and descriptions helps the searchability of your video.

Whichever social media platform you choose, be sure to monitor the analytics (not just the likes) to learn what content has been working well.

Being Creative with Content
There are lots of ways to create interesting content to convey the life or message of your church. Some ideas to consider could be:

  • YT shorts or IG reels to share snippets of sermons
  • IG carousels for teaching biblical themes or encouraging prayer points
  • FB images about church events with ‘calls to action’ (CTAs) to visit other platforms

One great example of a church utilising social media effectively is Arc Thurrock Community Church on IG (https://www.instagram.com/arcthurrockuk/). They have worked well to share the vibrancy of the church with:

  • IG reels of short-form video, featuring their church family in various settings
  • IG carousels to express biblical concepts and other church information
  • bright and eye-catching images to highlight church events
  • IG content directing users to their other platforms, such as YT or the website

Digital Tools for Managing Social Content
Here are a few tools to increase your productivity for managing the social content for your church. You can search for them on Google, and they are all available to sign up for free.

  • Canva is an online design tool, with lots of social media templates for all the popular social platforms. 
  • Walling is a digital tool that can be used like a mood board to visually collate initial ideas, and for planning the social content types.
  • Buffer is a social media scheduling tool. It connects to social platforms so that social content can be scheduled for posting at whatever dates and times you set. 

If you haven’t used these tools before, I think you’ll find they work very well as a time-saving workflow for social media management. 

Vernette John-Joiles is a digital consultant, informal educator, and founder of  www.digginginto.digital  She is committed to sharing information on how the Church can use social media and digital tools effectively

MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: Andreas Prott – stock.adobe.com

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