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Last year it became apparent that God was calling my wife and I to a new adventure. We were being asked to start a new church in Mesquite Nv. This was not my first church plant, I have done 2 others, but it was the first one I was planning that I really didn’t have connections in the community. So I had to learn how to do something new. I had to learn how to do Facebook for church planting and growth.
Facebook is the modern-day watering hole. Just as Paul hung out at Phillipi at the riverside where the women went to pray, (Acts 16:11-15) Facebook is today the place where people hang out. Instead of talking about the community at the local diner, people now communicate via Facebook.
So I decided that I was going to use Facebook to start a church. What follows is the steps that I have taken to date, that has allowed us to start with a vision and end up with a small core group of believers ready to move out of our home and into our first building. I hope it will help you in your endeavors to start or grow your church using Facebook.
Using Facebook For Church Planting Or Growth
There are 2 things you need to do in order to get started using Facebook for a church. You need to create a church Facebook page and you need to have a church website. I am not going to go into all the details of building a church website. I have already written a comprehensive guide on building a church website here.
However, if you are going to use Facebook to build your church, you need to have a website to drive some of the leads generated by Facebook to learn more about your church.
Creating A Facebook Page For Church Planting And Growth
The first thing you need to do is create your church’s Facebook page. Go to your profile and click the create button you see up at the top of your Facebook profile.
Once you click on create, you will see a list of options. Click on the “create page” option. You will then start the process of giving Facebook the information it needs to create your page. Follow the directions and begin the process.
Church Facebook Cover Photos
The first thing you need to do after creating your page is to put a cover photo on your page. This is the large banner photo at the top. This image can be your logo, a picture of your church, a picture of families worshiping in your sanctuary. Anything that depicts the mission or values of your church.
Your cover photo needs to be 828 x 315. Here is an example of mine. For a complete list of Facebook image sizes click here.
One thing to note is that your profile picture will cover part of this image at the bottom left-hand corner so do not put anything important there.
Next, you will want to upload a profile picture. This can be an image of a person, a graphic your church uses regularly, or your logo. You want to use something that when people see the tiny thumbnail picture in the post, they recognize it is your church.
Church Facebook Post Examples
The first thing you need to understand is that your Facebook page is part of your ministry to the community. It is not a glorified events calendar or church bulletin. If you are too self-promotional people will pick up on that and shy away from your church. The golden rule of Facebook posts is to post 5 posts designed to minister to your community for every 1 post inviting them to your services or events.
There are different ways you can do that.
A meme is an image with writing on it communicating a message. You see them all the time on Facebook. You can use memes to communicate a simple principle or encouragement that aligns with the values of your church
Use a template and make sure you use branding, for instance, your logo so that people know it came from you. Here is one of our memes.
You can use scriptures, Christian quotes, or maybe your own tweet-sized (150 characters or less) devotional for the day. We share 5 memes per week. Monday through Friday.
Sharing a website URL:
Hopefully, you know that you can share pages from different websites on Facebook. You can share inspirational articles from your favorite publications, you can share events that are happening in your community, and every so often you can share something from your own website.
We have a section on our website that shares testimonies of what God is doing in the lives of our people in the church. Here is an example.
And here is an example of sharing someone else’s post on Facebook. This is a post from my personal Facebook feed but you can do this with anyone who has their settings for that post as public. This can be something from the community or something from another believer or person attached to the church. The sky is the limit here.
The embed of that post looks a little weird but on your page and on other people’s feeds, it looks different.
Events are another type of Facebook post you can take advantage of. Whether it is Sunday services, a church potluck or vacation Bible school, you can think of something to share on Facebook inviting people to come.
Here is the latest example of how we are using events to promote our Sunday morning service.
Events do not embed in websites so you will have to click the link to see what it looks like.
Church Facebook Ad Examples
There are 3 types of Facebook ads you will want to use. These are ads designed to get people to like your Facebook page, ads to send people to your church website, and ads that make people aware of your church.
So far in our church plant, we have used 2 of these types of ads. We have used ads to gain likes on our Facebook page. This is important because people will not see your posts unless they like your page.
We live in a smaller community of 22,000 people. We ran an ad for a month and gained 100 likes. It was a great base to start with to spread the word about our new church. In a larger community or a city, you could get 500 or 1000 people following your page. Here is an example of the ad we used.
In all your advertising remember to include a call to action. Notice the request to like our page at the top.
Later we used Facebook ads to inform people of our services. Here is an example of that ad.
You can also use the “boost” feature to use your normal posts as ads on Facebook as well. We have boosted our event posts from time to time.
Using Facebook Live For Church
Another powerful way to reach your community for Christ on Facebook is with Facebook live. I have written an entire article on using Facebook Live here. Suffice it to say that once we started holding Sunday morning services we started live streaming those services.
At first we had interest from people who wanted to check out the new church, then as with all things new, once their curiosity was satisfied, the numbers dropped off, however over time we have been building an audience. Take a look at the views we are getting.
As you can see we almost hit 100 views in a church 1/3 that size.
Besides live streaming your Sunday services, you can produce short videos explaining your beliefs, sharing testimonies, or going over the mission of your church and why your church is unique.
Best Camera For Church Facebook Live Streams
If you are really new at the whole idea of using Facebook for church, I have written extensively on all the ins and outs of live streaming. I had to learn the hard way by trial and error and hopefully, my experience can help prevent you from making some of the same mistakes.
You might want to check out these articles as you get started on this grand adventure.
Church Facebook Page Tips
The biggest tip I can give you is to experiment. Pay attention to what people are resonating with. If your audience loves something, figure out why. If they don’t respond to what you are doing, try something else. And whatever you do, don’t make this about you. Make it about ministering to them. If you touch their heart and life, they will eventually come through your doors to be a part.
Be patient, relationships even on social media are not created overnight. They take time. We are just now seeing the seeds we planted in October starting to come to fruition.
In the end, what has been our success rate? 30% of our current core group has come from Facebook. It is not huge, but we only started a few months ago. We have proven that using Facebook for church planting and growth really works.