How to make big wins in online ministry, even when you have little time.
Gone are the days where online ministry was only about recording a sermon and making it downloadable on your church website. These days, the term “online ministry” encompasses a variety of ways churches reach people through social media, courses, podcasts, and video (to name just a few).
It’s easy to feel like a deer in the headlights when it comes to figuring out how to ‘do’ online ministry effectively. The ideas below are designed to give you some direction on things you can action immediately.
This article was adapted from an article written by Matthew Boffey, originally published on the Faithlife website.
4 QUICK WINS FOR ONLINE MINISTRY
1. CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR
It has been said that budgets are moral documents—they reveal our values and priorities. Calendars are, too. Show me your calendar, and I will show you what matters to your church. I expect that it’s full of good things: sermon preparation, prayer, counseling, deacon meetings, and so on.
Does it include what you’re doing on social media? If your church is serious about digital discipleship, it will. You can knock this out right now, in one minute.
Start small and schedule the following prompts or posts for Instagram and Facebook:
Prayer prompt: “Spend a minute to pray about a need that’s on your heart for this week. Please share your prayer in the comments below so others can pray with you.”
“What did you read in your Bible reading today? Share any interesting insights; we’d love to know!”
“The week is halfway over. What are you looking forward to this weekend?”
Share an interesting quote or idea from your sermon preparation, followed by something like, “More on [topic] to come this Sunday! What are your questions about [topic]?”
Share a passage from Scripture.
Quick video update from a staff member inviting your church to the service tomorrow.
Morning reminder to join your church service online or in person.Show me your calendar, and I will show you what matters to your church. Click To Tweet
Church website inspo: 10 Varied Church Websites Using Ministry Designs Omega Platform
2. SHARE OUTSIDE VIDEO CONTENT
Here’s a very easy digital discipleship win: circulate high-quality content you didn’t make. This is a win-win-win.
- Your congregation wins because they get fed great content.
- Your staff wins because you feed your sheep chef-quality meals you didn’t spend hours cooking.
- The content creator wins because they get more exposure.
OUTSIDE VIDEO CONTENT IDEAS
Desiring God’s “Look at the Book” series (desiringgod.org/labs)—brief videos where pastor John Piper shows you how he studies a passage.
The Bible Project (bibleproject.com)—hundreds of exceptional animated videos explaining books and themes of the Bible.
Faithlife Courses (courses.faithlife.com)—seminary-level, accessible courses from top professors throughout the world. (Share internally, not on social media.)
Look for great content that you want to shape the hearts and minds of your congregation, and share it liberally.Does your church’s planning calendar include their social media content planning? If your church is serious about digital discipleship, regular content planning will be scheduled in. Click To Tweet
3. PROMPT SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES
There is so much noise online, and it’s important for churches to cut through it. Use these platforms to help people pivot from mindless scrolling to soul-shaping disciplines. One crazy idea? Call your church to silence. What if, while scrolling through your social media feed, they saw a big, bold, large-font image that said:
STOP. BE STILL FOR TWO MINUTES.
And then were invited to close their computer, turn off their phone, and practice two minutes of absolute silence? You could also prompt spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible reading, or fasting.
Read this before you create your church app: 6 Smart Church Apps to Investigate Before Creating Your Own
4. RECRUIT THREE VOLUNTEERS
For a truly robust digital discipleship ministry, you need to put resources behind it. Get volunteers for this ministry, just like you would for any other ministry of your church.
Start with just three volunteers. Look for people of Christian maturity who also know their way around digital platforms. Rather than just give them a list of things to post, invite them to shape the ministry. Gather their ideas, and make it an opportunity for discipleship with them. This lightens your load, and it’s exactly what pastors are called to do: equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:13).Does your church’s planning calendar include their social media content planning? If your church is serious about digital discipleship, regular content planning will be scheduled in. Click To Tweet
YOU CAN DO THIS!
Although it may seem daunting at first, your church will reach far more people if you embrace the various avenues of online ministry available to us today. The key is to prioritize understanding the different options and then scheduling them into your church planning. You’ll probably find that you have several people in your church who know a lot about the platforms you’ll need to use. Don’t hesitate to invite them in to help your church spread the word of God.
Learn more about using social media to reach others by checking out 5 Time-Saving Ways to Repurpose Your Social Media Content
This article was adapted from an original piece featured in Ministry Team Magazine.