In many churches today, it is easy for social media to become an afterthought. Instead of having a well thought out strategy for when and what to post, it is a task handed off to an intern. For some, it feels like a necessary evil. For others, they don’t bother with it at all.

Maybe that describes your church’s experience with social media. Maybe you have even asked the question: does our church even need to have a presence on social media?

My response would be that you absolutely need a presence. In fact, I would argue that your church can’t afford not to be on social media, and you can’t afford to not take it seriously. Here are 3 reasons why.

1. It’s where your people are.

We are called to meet people where they are at, and your people on are on social. If churches want to have a presence where people are spending their time, then a strong social media presence is a must. A recent study showed that 7 in 10 Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information, and entertain themselves. If that doesn’t convince you enough, think about this crazy stat: Facebook has over 1 billion daily active users. That means there’s a good chance almost all of your people are on social media. Don’t miss the opportunity to communicate and connect with them there.

2.It’s your first impression on guests.

Some research shows that our first impression, and often times, our lasting impression, is determined within the first ten seconds of meeting someone. As churches, we know this, so we do our best to create a welcoming environment, have a friendly guest services team, and train our volunteers to be on the look out for visitors. But even before a guest makes it to your parking lot, they will already have an impression of your church simply based upon what they see or don’t see on social media. When guests arrive on a Sunday, they probably already have expectations in their mind about what your church is going to be like. So make sure you aren’t creating a barrier for someone to come to your church before they arrive. You don’t get to make a first impression twice.

3. It keeps everyone feeling informed and engaged.

This one really comes from personal experience. As church member, it is easy to miss important announcements from your church due to traveling and other circumstances. But when a church is constantly sharing quotes from sermons, dates of upcoming events, and other helpful information, social media can allow you to still feel connected and informed, even when you weren’t present. When your people stay informed, there is a good chance they will also become more engaged. Also don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate life change on social media. For example, if you have a service that includes a baptism, share about it. If someone was unable to attend that morning, they will still feel included in the celebration. What gets shared, gets celebrated.

Chandler Vannoy

Chandler Vannoy is the Brand Manager for LifeWay Leadership. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and is now pursuing his Masters of Divinity at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He loves the NBA, C.S Lewis, and good coffee.