Influence

 the shape of leadership

Using Facebook Live in Ministry

Reach people where they are with social media

Influence Magazine on November 14, 2017

In the ever-changing world of social media, it’s a challenge to figure out how to use your church’s limited time and resources. You want to pursue channels that will have the biggest impact with the most number of people.

Current social media statistics reveal that 90 percent of smartphone users have Facebook installed on their phones. A staggering 73 percent of Facebook users say they’ve watched a Facebook Live video (Edison Research, 2017).

Facebook Live is a powerful tool that allows any user to stream live video from their smartphone or mobile device directly to their Facebook profile or page. Its raw, unfiltered, unedited quality creates an immediate personal connection with the viewer. Facebook Live gives the church the opportunity to interact directly with its own community at any time, as well as the unchurched community.

Live videos require almost no resources to produce other than a smartphone or tablet with a strong mobile data connection or Wi-Fi network. Facebook Live videos include text chat for audience interaction as well as the option to post the video so that it has a life beyond the live broadcast.

Ninety percent of smartphone users have Facebook installed on their phones.
Here are five ways your church can start using Facebook Live this week:
  1. Service and Event Invites Every week you have a service, and throughout the year you host special events. Either the night before or the morning of your service, jump on Facebook Live and build excitement leading into the event. Highlight some of the amazing things that will be happening and what you’re praying for God to do.
  2. Weekly Devotional — You spend lots of time preparing your sermon for Sunday; why not increase its longevity? Get on Facebook Live midweek and do a 5-minute sermon recap. It will keep the sermon fresh in people’s minds and allow you to preach to those who couldn’t make it on Sunday.
  3. Capture What’s Happening — Are you having a special water baptism event this Sunday? Is your children’s ministry performing a big event this weekend? Find a good angle to film from and throw it up on Facebook Live. You can watch it again later after the event, and it allows those who couldn’t attend to celebrate with you.
  4. Tell a Story — Every church has testimonies of what God is doing. Sometimes it’s easier to get a volunteer or congregant on camera when it’s in the moment, as opposed to a full-on video shoot. Share what God is doing in your life and in the lives of those at your church.
  5. Broadcast Services — Livestream your weekly services through Facebook Live. This can look like anything from setting up a phone in the back of the sanctuary to sending your broadcast camera feed into Facebook Live. This gives people the opportunity to tune in even when they couldn’t come to church that week.

These are just a few of the many ways to use Facebook Live to build community and connection with the churched and unchurched in your area.

This article originally appeared in the October/November/December 2017 edition of Influence magazine.

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