The One Team Your Church Is Missing

The One Team Your Church Is Missing

How to Empower Your Social Media Volunteers

Andrew Arrol | June 19, 2020 | Church Marketing Consulting marketing marketing web media photography Social Media

Is it possible you’re missing out on empowering your church and impacting more people than ever before?

You work hard to help your church grow.

You prepare a life-giving message every week. You brainstorm with your team to communicate effectively.

You set up a safe, welcoming environment. You make sure your church website, logo, and overall presentation helps people align with your vision, mission, and values.

Maybe you're a well-established mega-church, a dependable rural church serving your community, or a church planter getting ready to launch. (Perhaps you already have...maybe even during a pandemic).

Whatever type of church you are, and however much work you’ve put into all of the above, you probably have at least one other key resource. It helps your church grow numerically and in a discipleship capacity: Volunteer teams.

You have kid’s min volunteers, student min volunteers, greeters, security, ushers, parking lot, setup/teardown, production, and so much more.

But here’s a massive opportunity many churches are missing to reach more people and impact more lives than ever before: Social media volunteers. 

Empower Your Church Community

There are many ways your church community can help support your vision, mission, and values through social media.

Before you can mobilize people, make sure you know your goals for your social media and have some systems in place to support those goals.

The framing thought that would help you empower your community to leverage social media is this: Social Media isn’t just a promotional tool. It’s a platform where you can execute the mission of your church.

That means if you’re passionate about reaching people, you can reach people.

If you’re passionate about developing leadership, you can develop leaders.

If you’re passionate about making disciples, you can make disciples.

So how would you empower your teams to do this in person? You would: 

  • Create a unified team with a clear focus your community can rally behind
  • Encourage them to make sustainable commitments
  • Leverage unique skills & stories 
  • Bring that team together to execute specific projects or events to help the ministry take a big step forward

Create a Unified Social Media Team

So, where do you even start? How do you rally people around social media?

The short answer is, you don’t. You rally people around your mission, then connect how they can leverage social media to support that mission.

Most churches have a mission somewhere along the lines of reaching people with the Gospel and developing disciples.

Ask yourself, What kind of team would leverage social media in support of this mission?

Here’s an example:

I served for several years at a multi-site with both a permanent and a mobile campus. We had a bunch of volunteers that did various things such as photography, writing/blogging, hosting our online church services, and more.

They all did great work but expressed a lack of connection to the overall mission. I could tell some felt like they were just doing a task to get it done. I also noticed each volunteer contributed to a central idea. They told the story of what Jesus was doing in our community and invited others into that story.

So we brought all of these teams under one umbrella and called it the “Story Team.”

The Story Team was composed of anyone, adult or student, who would leverage creativity in a variety of ways to tell the story of Jesus in our community while inviting others into that story.

They were Photographers, Writers, Online Chat Hosts, and Woodworkers (yep). They were students, college-aged, middle-aged, and everywhere in between. Not only were we able to bring existing volunteers together, but we were also able to grow the team from 10 to 50 in 6 months as we:

  • Presented a clear connection between the team and the church’s mission that anyone from any skillset, campus, and age range could identify with.
  • Created community around the mission through a couple of all-team gatherings, a Story Team Facebook group, coaches for different sub-teams and skill sets, and (of course) coffee.
  • Added more opportunities to serve, both in a lighter and heavier capacity, so anyone who wanted to make the social media commitment could join the team and feel connected.

Create a team name everyone can latch onto. Build community around the mission. Make the mission accessible.

A Sustainable Commitment

There’s an easy way to make the team accessible, increase your church’s social media performance, and even leverage people outside of your specific volunteer team. 

Identify and ask every member on your team to make a sustainable commitment to support social media growth.

First, ask everyone on the team to turn on post notifications for your church’s Facebook and Instagram. 

This means anytime you post on either platform, your team will get a notification about the new post. This will allow them to execute on three other vital commitments easily:

  • Like every post: Hit the like button (On Facebook, have them choose the appropriate reaction for even better results).
  • Comment at least three times weekly - This can be as easy as commenting “Love this scripture” on Scripture graphics, answering an engagement question, expressing excitement for an event, or responding to someone else's comment.
  • Share at least one post a week - This is a weightier ask. It means your church’s content will appear on their personal pages, so asking for at least one share gives them freedom to choose what they identify most with, while also leaving room to share more.

Besides giving social proof to people that your content is engaging, these three actions also makes the platform’s algorithm happy 😊. 

Most social media algorithms will serve content to more people the more it is engaged with. Now just imagine, instead of one guy (who posts too much Scripture to his Facebook page) liking and leaving a weird comment on your post, at least twenty people immediately like it and comment in a way that prompts further conversation?

You’re now leveraging your community to reach more people instead of using your church’s budget to boost posts.

Want a cool bonus? Have your other volunteer teams ask their teams to commit to this. You can even work this into a message where you ask anyone who is supportive of your church’s mission to reach people to make this commitment.

You already have a bunch of people who love your church. They’re already looking for a great, accessible way to support their church home. Empower them to do so.

Utilize Unique Skills and Stories

There are plenty of people in your church with unique skills and stories. If your church values them, an easy and effective way to express that value is to connect those skills and stories to your social media content.

Sub-teams such as a photography team or a production team are fantastic, but what about utilizing people’s skills to use a phone for social media content?

What if you empowered a volunteer from your Story Team to do an “Instagram Story Takeover” on a Sunday? Give that person an outline to follow, and they can create content that would allow followers to  see the church from their perspective?

What if you created a workflow to capture stories from individuals and families in your church, took a nice picture of them, and shared those stories on your social media?

What if you knew what was the most impactful part of the message from Sundays because you had a variety of note takers letting you know what stuck out from the message?

These are powerful tools marketers pay thousands for, and you have access to them for free right in your congregation. Don’t pass these opportunities up.

Additionally, look for opportunities to integrate non-traditional skills into your missional strategy. 

For example, we identified someone who was passionate about woodworking. When our Christmas services came around, and we wanted to create some installments as part of the Christmas Experience, we empowered him and his non-church attending friend to create the installations. They used our space that had gear they normally wouldn’t have access to.

A non-church attender stepping into a church building. God-given skills developed. The Story of Jesus amplified through creativity.

Sounds like a win to me.

Execute Important Projects & Events

Student Ministry has retreats. Kid’s Min has VBS. What does your Story Team have? They have every big event..

Idea: Have a family outreach coming up? Mobilize your team to post a family selfie and tag the church so you can share them as Stories. Collect all of those selfies and make a Facebook album and Instagram carousel.

Idea: Make a big engagement based post to engage a larger audience by prepping your team to join in on the conversation.

Idea: Doing a livestream panel? Get your team ready to engage in conversation.

Idea: For Christmas, Easter, or another big holiday, get your team involved. Ask each team member to contribute a specific type of post., Then, create a Facebook frame they can put on their profile pictures and a Facebook Event so they can invite their friends.

Set the expectation, and you’ll be surprised by the creativity your team brings!

You Can Do This

You have a community of people ready to support your church’s mission. Take a step. Create a team. Empower others to create so they can do what God created them to do. You got this.

Not sure you have a social strategy in place to rally people behind? Want to level up your branding to communicate your mission better?

We believe in you. We can help.

Fill out the form at the bottom of the page, and let’s talk.