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Office Hours: Communication Volunteers & Church Social Media

Office Hours: Communication Volunteers & Church Social Media

February 8, 2012 by

Every week I hold online office hours and answer questions from folks like you. This week we’ve got a question about communication volunteers and staff. I also take a look at the true meaning of social media and how churches can participate. Take a look and be sure to join me every Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. CST for online office hours!

I’m setting up a creative team at our church to handle all the communication requirements. There are no staff on the team, just volunteers. Any advice on what to focus on most and what can wait until later?

My answer:

This is what I would do if I were you:

  1. Build a website.
  2. Put a newsletter sign up on the website.
  3. Build a Facebook fan page.
  4. Put a newsletter sign up on the fan page.
  5. Write a weekly newsletter telling people what’s going on in the church.
  6. Track everything—CTR, likes, site traffic, etc.
  7. Correlate growth, momentum, increase in XYZ, to the work you are doing.
  8. Get budget for a staff person.
  9. Hire someone.
  10. Go on vacation.

Social media is about relationships but on Facebook organizations aren’t able to connect with fans in meaningful ways, our page is just a bulletin board. So how can a church build relationships on Facebook? Examples? Do pastors need to friend our fans?

My answer: 

You wrote: “Facebook organizations aren’t able to connect with fans in meaningful ways”

I would say this is false. One of the best examples I can point you to is the Social Media Examiner. They do a fantastic job at engaging their community and making it a real place of give-and-take. And their fan page is bigger than almost every church out there:

The second part of your question is the real problem, “our page is just a bulletin board.” This is like going to a party and getting stuck in conversation with someone who only talks about themselves.

No one really likes that. Right? Social media is no different.

If you approach Facebook like a living room, inviting people into a conversation instead of telling them all about you, my guess is your momentum will shift.

Here’s a good list of churches to study: Top Churches on Facebook

Have fun. Remember this: social media are meant to share and interact. Share and interact. Share and interact.

Thanks for the great questions everybody! Hopefully this information will help you get from where you are to where you want to go. See you next time in the office!

Post By:

Justin Wise


Justin Wise lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife and son. He likes coffee, reading, running and blogging.
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