If you don't exist digitally, you don't exist. This is the ever-increasing mentality in society.
In a digital world where we're more connected than ever, it's imperative for churches and ministries to be contributing to the space. However, adding to the noise isn't enough. Doing so with high quality content is key.
In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul says that everything should be done “decently and in order.” In this day and age, that includes the quality of a church’s communication with those in the pews and in the surrounding community. Today, if you want to reach people, at some point you’ll use media. The quality of a church’s communication may convey how much (or little) it cares about the people it’s trying to reach.
In this article, we're going to outline 3 reasons why your church or ministry should be engaging with society digitally whilst providing practical ideas of how to do so.
The obvious challenge arises when people look for you on Google, Facebook or another online search tool. They may have heard about the great work you're doing, they may be looking for a new church in the area or they may just be browsing through local opportunities to get involved in, but they won't find you unless you exist digitally.
Many of your visitors will first encounter your church on the internet. In many ways, your online presence acts like a front door to your church. Whether it’s your website or a social media channel like Facebook, this initial impression influences whether people will visit you. Having a great website isn’t about being cool or modern—it’s about being welcoming and inviting. Simply put, it’s about loving people. Do you have a sub-par site? Chances are you losing opportunities to minister to families who would otherwise love to be a part of your church.
There are a host of digital platforms that will want you to sign up for their services but the reality is, you won't be able to manage them all effectively. So instead of signing up for 5 or 6 social media platforms, identify 1 or 2 and focus on them. Facebook is always the obvious choice to begin with.
As churches and ministries, the end goal is to communicate the gospel far and wide. We want to share the good news of Jesus with as many people as possible. Having an online presence will help you to fulfill this.
For example, if on an average week you have 100 individuals attend your church, you could easily double those numbers by uploading your service to Youtube. This way your members could share your service with their friends and family. Who knows where those "shares" could lead to.
The challenge ministries and churches face being program-orientated is how do people access them outside of these events? If your ministry hosts conferences, what resources or support are you providing to those individuals outside of those conferences?
Having an online presence will allow you to be accessible 24/7. If your content is high quality, people will be finding your content without you having to do much to share it in the first place.
Jesus frequently used illustrations involving money, farming, politics, fishing, weddings—things that people could relate to easily. He pointed out real situations such as the widow tithing at the temple. He gathered children into his arms and used that opportunity to teach on faith. By wrapping deep biblical truths in simple concepts and illustrations, Jesus’ message was clearly and profoundly communicated. When we use care with our media efforts, we are taking the time to connect with people.
However, whilst it's important to be present digitally, make sure you create high quality content!