10.) It builds relationships with your church community.
Want to know the fastest way to make the day of someone in your church? Wish them “happy birthday!” on Facebook. Heck, Facebook even notifies you when it’s someone’s big day. It could not be easier. It may not seem like much to you, but a note from the pastor goes a long way for the people in your church.
9.) It builds relationships with those OUTSIDE your church community.
Out of this whole list, this one might be my favorite. When I was on staff at my church, we kept the giant blinds open in our sanctuary on Sunday morning. Why? So people from the outside could see in. No mystery. No shroud of secrecy. Wide open for all to see.
Social media works the same way. When you’re active on social as a pastor, it allows people who don’t go to your church to see what you’re really like. It lifts the veil and gives people who do not attend church a way to see what the normal Christian life looks like.
8.) It gets you into places you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
My favorite Twitter memory is when the bassist from my favorite band followed me and we DM’ed (direct message) each other. I don’t know him personally. He doesn’t know me. He just made it a point to connect with fans of the band. I was beside myself.
Without social, I would have never had this opportunity. Same holds true for you. Is there a hero you want to connect with? A role model you’d like to tell how she influenced your life? Social gives you the opportunity. And who knows…they may even respond back!
7.) It’s where the people are.
With 1 out of every 7 people on the planet using Facebook on a daily basis, it’s clear where the action is…ONLINE! As pastors, we care about people. Plain and simple. It used to be the people were physically in front of us–coffee shop, mall, townsquare, drive-in, etc. Now, people spend more and more time online. New wine must go in new wineskins. It doesn’t mean we stop meeting in-person. It just means we have a huge opportunity to be present in the virtual highways and bi-ways where people gather.
6.) It keeps you humble.
Technology reveals who we are. Social media is a form of technology. Therefore, social has a way of seeking out the faultlines in our character and exposing them. But this is a good thing. Awareness of our faults allows us to correct them quicker. (If you think this is a stretch, pay attention to your reaction the next time the ultra-political person in your newsfeed posts something you disagree with!)
5.) It grows your personal impact.
As a pastor, you have a unique position of influence in the lives of your people. The more connected you become to those people, the bigger your impact. It’s not prideful to desire influence. It’s actually a huge part of your calling. Social media (i.e. leveraging technology to grow, nurture, and sustain relationships) gives you the privilege of growing your influence. On purpose. For a purpose.
4.) It grows the impact and profile of your church.
Want your church to grow? Connect with as many people as possible on social media. As you do, people will get curious. If you do it right, you’ll build trust. Trust is the rocket fuel to make your church grow–both qualitatively and quantitatively.
3.) You get to see what other churches are doing.
Social media is great because you can totally rip-off what other churches are doing online. See something you like? Add your church’s flavor to it and send it out. Pay attention to the churches and leaders who fuel your imagination. What are they doing? What does their Instagram feed look like? What are they tweeting about? Emulate it and make it your own.
2.) It gives you a peek into the real, everyday lives of your people.
The worst mistake a pastor can make is preaching a sermon no one needs to hear. Social gives you a peek into your people’s lives. Church members put their game face on for the weekend worship service. But what are they like on Monday morning? Social has a way of showing you the “real deal” when it comes to your people. What are they struggling with? What questions are they asking? You may have to read between the lines, but if you’re paying attention, you’ll see it. Seeing the “real” helps you preach better sermons.
1.) You’ll become a better person.
I know, I know. “That’s ridiculous!” It’s what you’re thinking. I can tell. But social media exposes us to voices we’ve never heard before. We see struggles we never knew existed. We seen new pains and heartaches. But we also see joy in new places. Hope in the oddest situations. Why? Because social lets us put our ear up to the chest of humanity and hear its heartbeat.