There are many different factors that go into someone deciding upon a church to attend including timing and location. But the general vibe and atmosphere of a church also influences a person’s decision point.
Having your church congregation online is an incredible way to create a vibe and atmosphere, if done well, and should be encouraged. However, having the church Pastor online brings about another layer of familiarity and authenticity to a church. As shown in the infographic below by The Barna Group, Pastors are increasingly believing in the importance of social media to their church’s ministry.
Here are 3 reasons why I feel a church’s pastor should be regularly engaging in and utilizing social media:
- The Pastor’s engagement online gives the church a personality.
The pastor using social media creates a space whereby the church is more human and accessible, dispelling the myth that pastors are inaccessible to the general public. By being open and authentic online, which could look like posting their own photos, events and musings, brings a “face” to the church even before actually meeting face-to-face.
A pastor’s online presence also gives a glimpse as to what the preaching might be like as well as the overall tone of a church community.
2. Social media familiarizes the Pastor with their community’s current cares and concerns, and vice-versa.
It has been my experience as a Pastor, that by keeping up-to-date on posts on my Facebook Neighbourhood Groups, and even following locals on Twitter, that I stay in-tune with issues and factors affecting my community. It has helped shape my sermons as well as overall responses by our church.
Pastors can also use social media to direct people to their church’s website for more information and providing neighbourhood needs, i.e. community services they offer such as food bank, volunteering, etc.
3. Social media can be an extension of your current pastoral ministry.
Some people feel they can be more vulnerable online vs. in person. It has been my experience that many people – particularly those with a more introverted personality – are more willing to share their cares and concerns in a private direct message on Facebook. A pastor who is willing to minister on social media brings the church online’s presence from that of broadcasting only (i.e. the posting of church events), to a place of interaction and engagement. Please see the video below by The Gospel Coalition with regards to “using social media as an extension of your platform.”
How about you? If you were actively searching for a church family to be part of, would having a pastor actively posting on social media positively influence your decision on checking out their church?