3 Easy Steps Pastors And Church Leaders Can Take To Better Engage Their Online Communities
I am going to speak about a certain type ofÂ local churchÂ leader thatÂ I have not heard anyone else speak on.Â When people speak of leaders inÂ local churches, they are usually placed in one of three categories:
- Positional Leaders – This is what we often think of.Â These are individuals whoÂ have a title such as pastor, elder, deacon, musician, children’s worker, etc….
- Non-positional Leaders – These areÂ individuals who attend your church and are leaders in your community.Â Â They have just not been plugged in yet at your church.
- Financial Leaders – These are individuals who have theÂ gift of giving and can add significant fuel and resources to advance ministry.
Now before I introduce what I believe is a fourth type of leader that has risen up, let’s re-visit the fundamental purpose of leadership in local churches.Â The primary role leaders play is the multiplication and advancement of mission and vision.Â
Because mission and visionÂ must be multiplied, the fourth type of leader I am nowÂ seeing is…..The Social Media Leader.
These are the people in your church who live on Twitter and Facebook.Â They are the bloggers.Â They are the ones who can promote message series, community service projects, and champion the incredible things God is doing at your church.Â Â These leaders know that a hashtag and the Like button can have as much impact as a platform announcement.
Here is an easy way to identify your Social Media Leaders. Announce next Sunday that you are “doing a message on (fill in the blank, let’s say money). I would like you to go to my Facebook page and send me the #1 question you have on the topic. And next week, I will answer the top 3 most popular questions I get.” In addition to getting great content, you will also immediately identify your online community. Oh, and don’t forget to engage your congregation online.
Now that you have identified your Social Media Leaders,Â how do youÂ engageÂ them?Â To help answer this question, let’s learn from Jared Leto, entrepreneur and member of the band Thirty Seconds To Mars.
In the June 2012 edition of Fast Company magazine, Leto stated, “I’d prefer 1,000 followers, friends, and fans that actually meant something, rather than 10 million that weren’t engaged.”Â So here is what he did to better engage his tribe:
- Dedicated Personnel – He created The Hive, a social media management and marketing company.Â In essence, he prioritized social media and hired someone to manage his message.
- Special Experiences ForÂ ”VIPs” -Â Churches oftenÂ have special events to honor their volunteers.Â Many also have special dessertsÂ for the sole purpose ofÂ casting vision to financial leaders.Â Leto created backstage experiences for his online leaders.Â He says, “These people are our loudest voices online.”Â Leto served his tribe.
- Online Experience -Â Pastors and church leaders should offer special webinars, vision casting sessions, unplugged music sets, and leadership training for those who log on.Â It doesn’t have to be long, may 15-20 minutes, 30 minutesÂ tops.Â Leto points out that “if someone is willing to log on…that’s a committed individual.”Â May I add, that’s a leader in your church you need to be engaging.Â
Pastor and church leaders, what is justÂ one step you can take from this postÂ to betterÂ engage your online community?Â
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