Your weekend service is a marketer’s dream come true. Never take for granted that it is just part of how church has to be done. Outside the church world, marketers would be in heaven if every week for multiple hours, everyone on their team came together to create a live event.
At the core of what we’re doing is introducing people to Jesus; an experience that can change their lives, and for those who are on the fence, or haven’t considered the possibility of experiencing a relationship with God at your church, seeing their friends on Social Media experiencing that could open a door for them.
The average American who considers themselves a church goer is at service once every 3 weeks. You may be thinking “We don’t use social media during service because everyone who follows us is at church.” but imagine how often people are travelling for work, taking their kids to a sports league game or out sick. On top of that, if you have multiple weekend services, there’s the opportunity for someone who came to first service to engage online with you for second service.
Based on your core values, and your church’s unique strengths, you may decide that some of these ideas work well for your church and some don’t. Facebook posts have a longer life span than tweets or instagram posts, so I usually go lighter on Facebook – one or two posts, and heavier on twitter / instagram.
Here are some ideas that you can engage with your online audience during your service (live event).
(Side note: Here is another article on 40 ideas to repurpose content you’re already creating – this would help you use that content through the week between live services.)
- Live Stream one of the most popular songs on the list that morning (periscope, Facebook live, record and then post to youtube or twitter.)
- Tweet the name of the next song with a link to your broadcast so people can know what’s coming or logon to watch.
- Take a picture of your worship team and make it like a message quote, but with lyrics (works well for instagram, Facebook, twitter.)
- Take pictures of your slides before service, then during service, post an album of all of today’s song lyrics. People can scroll through the album while they’re singing during service to follow the lyrics, or use it if they want to sing those longs later in the week.
- If you have video announcements, break them into pieces or 30-60 seconds (like each announcement is its own video) and post them as a group on twitter as they happen live in service. People who aren’t able to be at church will still know what’s going on and feel included, even if they’re not on site.
- If you have Live announcements, stream them for the same reasons as above.
- Depending on the length of the announcements, if they’re less than 12 seconds, snap chat them individually, or create clips of videos with your website link in the snapchat text.
- Take a picture of the person doing announcements, or a screen shot of the video and include the essential details in an image on instagram (or choose the announcement that would most likely apply to an instagram demographic – youth, young families, etc.) and use that as a stand alone.
Offering or Closing Prayer:
- Does your church have a specific method for offering and can you utilize that? We use our offering time as an opportunity to share a testimony. We ask people to send them through the week by email and we pick one to read. We’re starting to have those testimonies show up as text / image (pre-made) on social during service.
- Video a reading that everyone does together, or a tweet a screen shot of a bible verse you use during that time.
- Snap a picture of whoever is taking up the offering, or record a video of them praying over that part of your service.
- Record the prayer portions or the call to action portions of the close and use that video online.
Message / Teaching / Preaching / Sermon:
- Take a picture of your Pastor and add in a quote using canva, instaquote or adobe post.
- Take a snap of your Pastor giving a quick quote (this takes Ninja Skills, but if you take enough, you’ll can throw them out by the time your get to the good one.)
- Create a message quote over your logo, picture of your church building from the outside, picture of your auditorium or on top of your series graphic.
- Screen shot the bible verses as you read them and tweet or post to instagram
- If you Pastor is up for the challenge, let people ask questions on twitter during the message, and then have him or her answer them.
- Create a hashtag and add it to your message graphic. Retweet or reply to users who post with it during the service.
Before & After Service:
- Setup a photo booth where people can take selfies or photos of each other. It could be for an event like Mothers Day, Easter or Christmas, or it could be based on your current series – something worth talking about. Maybe you’re on a starters theme, so you have a cockpit of the millennium falcon for pictures, racing theme so you can sit in a race car, Fruit of the spirit theme and you have a fruit stand, Tipping sacred cows theme so you have a cow statue people can take pictures with… these are great ways for people to create their own content (with your Photo Booth) and post on their own pages. Try to include your logo, or suggest a hashtag to use so people who see those will trace it back to your church.
I would love to hear what ideas you’ve been using to engage your online audience during service. Comment below or tweet me: @adam_mclaughlin