A note from Kelly King: I often get questions from ministry leaders about how to use social media in their ministry. Whether you are tech-savvy or you would rather it all go away, it’s an important tool that can be used for the advancement of the gospel. Today Whitley Tracy gives some easy ways for you to engage in social media and use it to help communicate to a broader and often younger audience.
When my associate pastor refers to “face time,” he doesn’t mean the app that allows you to see someone’s face when you call them on your cell phone; he actually means face-to-face time, as in having an in-person conversation with someone face to face. We often joke with him that he is stuck in the “legal pad and #2 pencil” era, and as he says, “I’m just fine with that.” Whether you are in the same camp as David, or if you consider yourself pretty “tech savvy,” I think we could all agree that technology and social media are a way of life these days.
But have you ever thought about how you could use technology and social media for the advancement of the gospel? What about how to use technology to reach more women in your community to invite them to a Bible study where they find authentic community?
I once heard this statement on a podcast I listen to: one of the best forms of communication in today’s world is social media, and in relation to biblical times, this would be similar to how Paul used letter writing in his day. It was the best form of communication to reach the people who needed to hear it the most. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “There’s so much junk on social media; how is that advancing the gospel?” I would have to agree with you. However, we have all been given a circle of influence (yes, even an online circle), and we control the content we post, comment, and share, which means we can influence that circle for the gospel!
I’ve been memorizing the following Scripture with my mentor this past month, and it can be used as a filter for not just what we post on social media, but how we are to live our lives as well:
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” —Philippians 4:8-9 (NASB)
These verses tell us exactly how to go about this. It says to practice these things, which means in every aspect of our lives—even the online life. Social media isn’t just a place to advertise the latest Bible study (although it is a good place to do that), but it can be so much more! We can minister to our circles (which includes people we may never even meet) and share about the way the Lord loves us, the way He is molding, pruning, teaching, and growing us.
Here’s How to Use Social Media in Your Ministry:
- Be vulnerable. Faith is a journey; put social media posts up about what God is doing. Include the highs and the lows.
- Use as a telephone and not a megaphone. Before you post, think about how your post will be perceived. Engage your circle in conversations but not debates.
- Use social media to connect people with your ministry. Who wouldn’t want to be part of something exciting? Use your social media to invite people to join in what God is doing in your ministry at your church!
Technology Tips & Tricks
- Time of day is important. Post when you are usually on social media (during lunch, in the evening before bed, etc.)
Tech Hack: Did you know that you can schedule posts to a page? Before you post, click the clock next to the post button to schedule when you want your post to go live!
- The more you can put text to a picture, the better. Facebook loves photos. Photos get more clicks, and more clicks mean your post reaches more people.
Tech Hack: Check out the app WordSwag to easily put plain text into a cute font on top of a photo. Unsplash.com is also a great place to find stock photos to make your graphic look good.
- Focus on no more than three social media platforms at a time, and do those well.
Tech Hack: Check out the app Hootsuite. It can help you make this easy by posting to three apps with one click of a button.
My hope is to leave you with some practical application when it comes to social media so that you will feel more confident in using it as a ministry and more encouraged to use social media as a platform to speak life into those people whom the Lord has placed in your circle of influence. As Proverbs 18:21 says, “death and life are in the power of the tongue” and in this case, at our fingertips when it comes to social media. I encourage you to keep your eyes on the Lord, trust that He can use even the smallest things for His glory, and have fun posting!
Whitley Tracy is a small-town farm girl from Oklahoma and is thankful for God’s plan being better than her own. Graduating from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Whitley is now continuing her education at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Girls and Women’s Ministry. She has been the Girls Minister at Trinity Baptist in Ada, Oklahoma for the past six years and has a passion for girls to find their true identity in Christ and live for Him. Simply put, Whitley loves all things Girls Ministry and passing that love on to others. In her spare time she enjoys living life with her two roommates, visiting family, cooking, listening to music, eating ice cream, planting flowers, and laughing.