Facebook for Churches: Pastors on Facebook

Facebook for Churches: Pastors on Facebook

June 28, 2010 by

This is part 3 of a 5-part series on using Facebook for churches.

I know that a blog series like this can be frustrating because, chances are, if you’re reading this you aren’t the one who has the influence to make it happen. How my church uses Facebook and getting staff to embrace Facebook is all well and good, but in the end it comes down to your pastor.

So this post is simple: three quotes from three different pastors. Why? To help you show your pastor how Facebook can work for your church.

Here’s what our preaching team had to say when I asked them about their thoughts on Facebook now that they’re on the other side of embracing it:

“Being relatively new to FB, it was like walking into a closet and ending up in Narnia. It’s a world I didn’t know existed. I’ve connected with old friends, made new friends, spread some good news, got some key information, encouraged some people, counseled others, and got some others worked up. FB is like throwing a stone into the center of a pond. The ripples are widespread.” -Al Detter (Pastor at Grace for more than 30 years)

“I went into Facebook solely looking to connect with friends and family who live at a distance.  Within weeks, I realized this medium has enormous ministry potential.  Now Facebook has easily become one of my primary tools for interacting with the people from my church and the unchurched.  People are far more comfortable discussing pressing needs and issues in their lives initially via Facebook messages than they are through a phone call.  I have also benefited from the networking relationships I have with other pastors.” -Mike Watson (Pastor at Grace for over 10 years)

“In the past year social media has proven to be one of my most effective means of evangelism. I think the fact that people are able to ask questions and push back on Christian ideas from a safe distance provides an effective segue to deep spiritual conversations.  I have also found that the e-buzz that goes on following a great worship service or church event acts as a drawing card that entices people to check out our church. The public social media conversation the flows out of authentic Christian community can really capture the imagination of someone who has never experienced it before.” -Derek Sanford (Former youth pastor and now executive pastor, started at Grace in 1995)

Post By:

Danielle Hartland

Danielle Hartland is the director of communications at Grace Church in Erie, Penn., where her goal is to create and foster accessible communication strategies that cut through without cutting in. You can find her fastest on Twitter: @daniellesuzanne.
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6 Responses to “Facebook for Churches: Pastors on Facebook”

  • KatieK1944
    June 28, 2010

    I so enjoy reading what my Pastor put on the site & what the other Pasators have to say also. The messages really give me comfort throughout the day because I carry them on my cell & refer back to them.

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  • Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade
    June 28, 2010

    I have found that facebook also serves as a great pulpit and place from which I can invite parishioners, family and friends to think about and re-think about matters of justice and peace.

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  • bondChristian
    June 28, 2010

    Excellent quotes. We often need encouragement more than tactics to get started.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

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  • liz
    June 29, 2010

    I read a very interesting post in the past day or two about Catholics using social media and all kinds of new technology and how it’s working out, some of the problems, etc. Personally, I think anything that helps get the message out, that engages people, that reaches people, is a good thing. A year ago I didn’t use Facebook at all. Now I usually check it once a day. (My kids — they’re on it constantly!) To me this is just another way to make church more relevant
    to people’s ordinary, everyday lives. And that’s the point of a great book, “The Gathering,” by Ray Barnett (who, it must be pointed out, is an advertising copywriter — he knows how to put across a message!). It’s easy to read and has many examples and stories, but at its heart it’s a serious call to reformation for the church, to go back to our roots as the simply gathering of Jesus. It examines the foundations of what God actually says about being a local church. You can read it — and then talk about it and what it all means on Facebook! That would engage your parishioners.

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  • Sheila
    October 21, 2010

    Thank you for this article. I believe that Facebook can be used as part of evangelism and ministry. I believe that we can use it to get in contact with our members doing the week. It is a wonderful tool to use if we remember what “thus said the Lord” about anything that we undertake.

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  • David Oliver Kueker
    October 22, 2010

    After resisting it for many years, I’ve become an avid user of Facebook. For me it has three benefits:

    1. I can easily keep in touch, comfort and encourage church members and others who share their life situations on their FB pages. What tipped me into FB was the testimony of a pastor on how effective it was to use FB to easily stay in touch with lots of folks in his large suburban congregation.

    2. I can start and participate in discussions on my passions, which are disciple making strategies and organizational change. My FB page connects me with all sorts of people. When I find something interesting in what I’m reading, I put up some quotes on my wall, and it appears magically everywhere. Those who find it interesting comment, those who don’t just ignore it.

    3. FB provides a connection between all sorts of people who reflect the complexity of my interests. I find it very interesting to be a link between such diverse kinds of people.

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