“We forget messages but not faces and if you look back at your own personal transformation, you probably remember the relationships more than the messages. If it’s true of you, it’s probably true of your kids. The most impact full moments in our lives were probably not messages but experiences and relationships.”
I loved reading this post from Tim Walk.
The relationships and experiences we have with people will always leave a bigger impact than the messages we share on Sunday mornings. When we use social media correctly, churches can strengthen those relationships and extend those experiences. The only way that happens is if we choose to bring more of our humanity into the content we post. It’s not an easy task, but it’s possible and it can be one of the most powerful relationship tools that your church has.
Would you say that in person?
Bringing humanity into your social media all starts with one key thought… If you were talking to someone in person, would you really say it that way? I always try to think about how my content might sound in a conversation with a friend over a cup of coffee. If it sounds like a machine and not a human, then I don’t post it. For example, if you were meeting with someone to encourage them to come on a retreat, you wouldn’t just tell them the registration deadline, would you? Hopefully you would share more about the exciting things you’ll do throughout the weekend and maybe share a life-changing story from last year. But you certainly wouldn’t just ask them for their money and information. Think about that the next time you just want to tweet “hurry up and sign-up!” or “don’t forget your money is due Sunday!”
The truth is, the content we choose to share on social media reflects more about our humanity than we might realize. If your church only communicates life-less information, then you’re allowing others to think of your church as a life-less congregation. But when a church uses their social media platforms to share bits of their humanity, it can be an incredible supplement to the experience of being a part of that community.
Being human takes work.
It’s so much easier to be a robot on social media than it is to be human. Because being human means that we have to think more about what we say and we have to work at responding to other humans that interact with us. There’s no doubt that it will take a significant amount of time and energy, not to mention you’ll need some really bright minds behind it. But when someone connects with you for the first time on social media, it’s so much better if they receive a warm greeting from a human than a cold, unresponsive handshake from a machine.
Spend 30-minutes building relationships.
Social media will never be a replacement for face-to-face interactions but it’s the best supplement. When you’re planning your week, carve out 30-minutes a day to connect with members of your congregation on social media. Seek them out on Facebook, RT their posts on Twitter, comment on their Instagram pictures, and share more of your personality with them. It takes work and if you don’t prioritize it, then you won’t do it. But these things will help you create individual moments with them throughout the week and will strengthen their connection to you and the church.