facebookFacebook is a great tool to use in conjunction with your church’s main website. Your website can hold all the information visitors and members need, and Facebook can be the hub for church life. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Special events–Facebook is a great place to publicize your special events. Create an event on your church’s page & invite people to it. Sent out reminders in the two weeks before the event (more if you’re doing something like a rummage sale & need donations!). Big events like VBS can be set up months in advance so people can get a taste of what you’re planning and you can help recruit volunteers.

2. Pictures–Use your Facebook page to share pictures of your church’s life. It creates a great memorybook and helps give others a good overview of what your church does. You can also post short videos to Facebook now. Short, snappy videos can be a great way to capture the energy of your church, Be careful when taking pictures of children and youth. Even with signed permission slips so you can put the photos up, you don’t want to tag any minors.

3. Discussions–Use Facebook to pose questions before or after worship services based on the day’s readings or message. You get a glimpse into what is on your community’s heart during your sermon prep. You can also see how people are carrying the message into their week. If anything becomes disruptive, move the conversation into private with that particular person. You can set up ground rules in your church’s information section.

4. Hashtags–Your church can have its own hashtag on Facebook for special events and for the everyday. Type in hashtags you think would work into the search box to see if anything else is using it. (You want to search Twitter & Instagram, too.) Instead of #FPC (First Presbyterian Church) you may need to be #FPCSpringfield or #1PCS. It’s a good idea to keep your hashtag the same on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if you’re going to use any combination of them. So opt for a shorter hashtag.

5. Boundaries–There’s a debate among church leaders about whether you should be friends on Facebook with church members. Having two Facebook accounts (one personal and one professional) which is a popular response to this question is against Facebook’s rules. You need to figure out what’s right for your community and for you. A church Facebook page can help establish boundaries. Your official Facebook communication can come through the church’s page and your personal account can stay personal even if you’ve friend-ed church members. When/if you leave the congregation to take another call, the church’s Facebook presence won’t be tied to your personal account.