Jesus said “Occupy, till I come” (Luke 19:13, KJV).
As Bible believing churches and ministries seek to fulfill that command and reach out online until the Lord comes again, it seems many are making some crucial mistakes when it comes to using Facebook in their overall outreach.
Is your church making these mistakes? If so, what can you do to correct the problem? Here are some problems and remedies…
1. Having Just ONE Facebook Page
Most churches trying to have a presence on Facebook have a “Facebook Page” that, for the most part, is just like their church website.
It has the same basic categories of information.
If updated regularly, it resembles church website’s “Church Calendar” with perhaps a mixture of “Quotable Quotes” and perhaps links to recent sermons which are also on the church website.
While someone actively seeking information about a church may come to your church Facebook page, click a link, and be blessed… for the most part those who are, by definition, farthest from Christ are probably not looking for churches, sermons, or church activities. They may not even know they need Jesus Christ.
To reach people not actively looking for a church, it’s best to ask “What do lost people believe they need?”
It is the wound in the heart that points to the deepest need for Jesus Christ that you should be targeting with a completely different Facebook page that is devoted to your geographic ministry area and which addresses that deep need.
What should the page be about? Ask yourself these questions?
How is God already blessing your church or ministry?
Is your outreach to divorced people wining souls? Does your ministry to preschool mothers or midweek youth program end up leading mothers and whole families to Christ?
Answer this question and you know how to create one or more powerful Facebook pages for your outreach ministry!
In a nutshell then:
a. Find out what God is blessing, b.Find the needs that this ministry is meeting, and c.Find other people in your community with that same need(s) on Facebook using a unique Facebook Page.
Small church? Don’t worry, this can work even if you DON’T have money to advertise as long as you want to reach people for Christ. Let’s talk about how this can work without a big advertising budget.
2. Not Using Facebook Groups
Churches and ministries may think they can’t do anything without a big advertising budget on Facebook.While having advertising money is nice (and nowadays cheaper than most other advertising options), this thinking means you are not using Facebook Groups correctly or else you live in a very small town where everybody literally knows everyone else.
If you have an outreach ministry God is blessing, you can find new people to reach by finding as many LOCAL FACEBOOK GROUPS as possible. You’ll find hundreds if not thousands of people to reach, plus their connections on Facebook.
You simply have to post something of interest regularly and consistently to these groups.
One church in Texas has a “house blessing” ministry. They are finding new homes outside their congregation’s membership all the time. They visit in person, pray, and begin relationships that, over time, can help these people become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. While some of these people find them from advertising, many come from posts to groups and on church member “timelines”.
3. Not Mobilizing Workers
Most churches have plenty of people who “live” on Facebook. They may have no other role in the church or ministry. Once you’ve built your new Facebook Page, put these people to work sharing that page far and wide on Facebook. They’re doing what they love while helping your ministry reach new people.
4. Not Capturing Contact Information.
“Likes” and “shares” on Facebook. This is essential for your page to be noticed and build up a following. But ultimately you need to be communicating with people online or, even better, in person for face to face discipleship.You usually can’t do that unless you have a way to capture their contact information… a cell phone number for texting or an email address.
A “Google Form” is free and will let you get the contact information of people wanting “more information”. You can send people from your page to this Google link and build a list of people you can invite to other ministries later!
5. No End Vision for Discipleship.
So why are you on Facebook in the first place for your ministry? What do you want people to do? Come to a Bible study? Hear a speaker on a “hot topic?” Download a sermon or free book? Then what?
Try to map out a path way as you see it from a connection on your Facebook page maturity in Christ! Then prayerfully help people along that path!
6. Not Following-Up
All your time, money and effort spent on this process will be worthless if you never meet anyone in person to talk about Jesus! Sometimes this happens because we have such good results nothing gets done… or we’re simply afraid to contact people.
Don’t worry about not getting 100 new people into your church right away.
Work to talk to JUST THE FIRST ONE… then repeat what you’re doing and keep talking to more and more people.
Over time you’ll learn what works in your community and how to be more effective in reaching out through Facebook. Just be patient and keep making contact with people one at a time! Love them and point them to Jesus!
If churches and ministries take these simple steps, they can be much more effective in using Facebook for outreach. For more free information on using Facebook for active outreach, visit SecretSignalsBook.com and the free template at the link below!
Using Facebook correctly for outreach is ONE WAY we all can “Occupy till [Jesus] comes!”