Creating Anticipation Through Social Media

Much of my inspiration recently has come from quotes. So I’m going to start out with another great quote from Carlos Whittaker,

“We’ve created a system of church in that there is zero anticipation for something new…We need to disturb and disrupt the career Christian for the sake of them seeing Christ’s face afresh.”

In church we have become experts at churning out the plan for a church service. Prayer, songs, greet, songs, offering, announcements, sermon, songs, prayer. Those are the most usual elements of a church service, right? And we wonder why ‘going to church’ just becomes something that people do to check it off their list. And we wonder why people leave the service and go on living their lives the same way they did when they entered the service. There’s no element of surprise anymore.

And I’m not talking about just moving around elements of the service for the sake of moving them around. I’ve sat in meetings with pastors that were convinced that if we simply put all the songs at the end, then it would surprise people, and cause them to leave the service differently. That’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about confusing people.
Instead of just handing them something, give it them piece by piece.
Carlos said it well, “Instead of just handing people something, invite them into the story of Jesus Christ.”


Yes, I know you’re jealous of my amazing bowl cut.

Let me say it this way, when I was a kid, if all of my Christmas presents were simply sitting unwrapped under the tree when I came downstairs on Christmas morning, it might be cool for a couple minutes, until I realize that there is nothing to unwrap. The element of surprise would be gone. And let me tell you, the anticipation that was built up inside me on Christmas morning was crazy. I couldn’t wait to unwrap my gifts.

Jesus is the best example of this. He didn’t present the gospel the same way every time. He told parables. He forced people to unwrap the gospel for themselves. He made people think about their own lives, and then he presented them with the gospel. How can we do the same?

This is where social media comes in.

I want to challenge you to use social media throughout the week to create anticipation for what is coming. Maybe it’s by posting a piece of the new series artwork, without revealing the entire piece.
Maybe it’s by asking questions that will cause people to think about a certain topic.
Maybe it’s by posting a picture of a service run-through or a set design.

And this can go further than just creating anticipation for your weekend services. Utilize social media to create anticipation for an event, or campaign.

I know what you’re saying to yourself, “What about the gospel? God can cause people to see his face afresh in anything, right? The church service isn’t the end all be all.” Yes, yes, I agree with all of those things, but God gave us these mediums to use for his glory, and the gospel is a story. Let’s use them to tell the story as best we can.

The possibilities are endless here, but all I want you to do is stop simply handing people everything at once. There’s no fun in that. And it affects people more than you think.

Make sure as a church you’re wrapping the story, instead of giving them what they expect. When people become comfortable they begin to tune out. Keep things fresh.

What are some other ways you can create anticipation through social media?

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