Why is it that in the church we can become so obsessed with numbers? We convince ourselves that it is the only concrete way to measure succcess within the church. It’s especially easy to get caught up in the nunbers game when it comes to the web and social media.
It is easy to equate “Likes” and Followers, and retweets with success. These are helpful elements to observe in a church’s overall social media strategy, but don’t base success on numbers of followers, “Likes”, retweets, or anything else. When we begin to base our success on these things then we begin to forget about why we are using social media in the first place. It is easy to forget about the people that we’re actually interacting with, and we forget about providing value for them, and helping them connect with each other and with God. All of these things can get lost when we turn these people into numbers. Numbers that we convince ourselves need to get bigger in order for our church’s social media presence to be successful.
But what does success actually look like in social media in the church?
Success could look like… The single mom who reads your sermon quote on Facebook about calling on strength from God and it reminds her to pray that day.
Success could also look like… The father who reads your tweet of Proverbs 23:24 about raising a wise son and is encouraged to talk to his son today.
You see, success in social media in the church is hard to measure because we’re not selling a product. We don’t have concrete sales numbers.
But we have God and we have people. We have people that we are striving to connect with each other and ultimately connect in a relationship with God. If we ever lose sight of these people then we’ll get caught in a numbers game, and that is a game that is not worth playing.
This may seem discouraging when a church is first starting out online because we want to see results immediately. Unfortunately the results we get probably won’t be visible immediately, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there. I receive emails, comments, and replies on a weekly basis from people being encouraged and spurred on towards growth because of something they interact with through one of our social media platforms at Park. These stories are a good measuring stick of success for social media in the church. Also these stories may take a while to surface in your church, but they will, and when they do be sure to capture them and share them.
Social media in the church is about people, and connecting those people with each other, and ultimately with God. If we’re doing this then the numbers will follow.
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