Facebook Pages: One Church Page or Many Ministry Pages?

Facebook Pages: One Church Page or Many Ministry Pages?

March 2, 2015 by

If you’re involved in church communication, I can almost guarantee that within the last month one of these things has happened to you:

  • Someone asked if they can create their own Facebook page for a ministry.
  • Someone didn’t even ask and you found out they created a Facebook page for their ministry.

In my humble opinion, you haven’t arrived as a church communicator unless you’ve caught a random rogue social media page lingering around the interwebs.

Two Facebook Strategies

We all know that Facebook and social media can be an excellent way to promote, engage and encourage your audience. But just as we approach any ministry decision with strategy and intentionality, we should do the same with social media.

There are two types of strategies you can use for Facebook pages:

  1. Centralized strategy with one page that focuses on church-wide content, sharing ministry content on the centralized page.
  2. Scattered strategy with a main church page, but also allows multiple ministries to create their own pages.

It’s very possible to use both of these strategies successfully. I’ve personally used both strategies and have found the centralized strategy to consistently produce better results.

Why Multiple Pages Is A Bad Idea

A centralized page gives your audience one place to connect and be exposed to all that your church has to offer.

Here’s why my answer is almost always no to creating multiple Facebook pages for each ministry in the church:

  • Difficult to promote: A centralized page gives you one URL to promote for engaging your church on Facebook. Instead of diluting efforts by promoting multiple pages, pour your energy into one Facebook page.
  • Big responsibility to maintain: Is there someone who can daily commit to posting valuable content, monitor the page for comments, and represent your church and brand well?
  • Hard for the audience to keep up with: A centralized page gives your audience one place to connect with you and be exposed to all that your church has to offer.
  • Limits potential reach: As an example, our West Ridge Church Facebook page has almost 10,000 likes. When we share a status update about a ministry, the audience exposed to content that is larger than it would be if we had a separate page for each ministry that may only have a small fraction of that.
  • Not a consistent need: How often do you need to engage your audience with new information? If it’s not more than three to four times per week, then you’re better off communicating that information on a centralized page.

How To Avoid Rogue Facebook Pages

So what do you do when a ministry has content they’d like to share, but you tell them they can’t create their own page? Give them a channel to communicate through your centralized page.

I’ve done this through allowing any ministry to submit posts on our communication request page. If you need help with a system for communication requests, check this post out.

This social media request allows a ministry to post their suggested content and a requested post time. It’s then automatically sent to our social media team to edit and add to the queue.

This has been very successful for us. It allows us to have a consistent voice and strategy for how we engage people on social media and frees up our ministries to focus on building their ministry instead of spending a bunch of time managing social media.

Any Exceptions?

I fully understand that every church DNA and culture is different and different strategies work better in some places than others.

Here are some questions we use to filter these decisions as a Creative Arts team on allowing a ministry to have their own page:

  • Do they legitimately have a need to post more than three to four times per week?
  • Is this a niche audience where there content would be very specific and targeted?
  • Do they have healthy and sustainable teams and systems to manage the page daily?
  • Will they stay accountable to our communications team on maintaining our social media strategy?
  • Will they follow our standards for monitoring and response of any engagement happening on the page within 12 hours?

I do think there is often a place for separate pages for big ministries like kids and students. Having a unique culture and narrow age audience can allow you to get more targeted and strategic with that specific age group. They may also have needs that expand beyond one to two posts that could be used on a church-wide page.

A Successful Social Media Strategy

Use your platform to create conversations, encourage your audience and engage them into the life of your church.

Here is my encouragement to church communicators, which ever strategy you choose to implement.

Lead Strong

The stakes are too high to not take your social media platform seriously. It takes strong, consistent leadership with a vision for how you can use it for ministry. 

Manage Bandwidth

As church communicators, we will constantly deal with the tension of having too much to promote and not enough time or bandwidth to promote with.

If you feel overwhelmed with how much your church has going on, then so will your audience. Everything that happens at the church isn’t of equal importance. Focus on the things that impact the most people and be a good steward of the limited bandwidth you have to promote.

Be Social

You won’t build a following on social media by blitzing people with promotion. Promotion is only a part of what we do through social media.

Use your platform to create conversations, encourage your audience and engage them into the life of your church. Build the social media account that you would want to follow yourself.


Post By:

Phil Bowdle

Phil Bowdle got his start in church as a pastor's kid making faces at his dad while he preached. Today Phil is the creative arts pastor at West Ridge Church in Atlanta and author of Rethink Communication: A Playbook to Clarify and Communicate Everything in Your Church.
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5 Responses to “Facebook Pages: One Church Page or Many Ministry Pages?”

  • Ryan
    March 2, 2015

    I would add to this article by saying that many churches would benefit from only the church having a page and ministries having individual groups. This can be further divided into the up front group for the ministry and another group where the volunteers interact with themselves and leaders.

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  • Andy Wittwer
    March 3, 2015

    Phil – I love the purpose statement you have for your social media: Use your platform to create conversations, encourage your audience and engage them into the life of your church. I think I’ll adopt it!

    It’s funny how we use words to cast things in good lights or bad; when I consider whether I want to be centralized or scattered, centralized feels like the only reasonable option.

    Me – I’d frame it as closed or open, preferring (of course!) to be open. Multiple pages gives our audience many places to connect and frees our main page to be focused on the Big Ideas.

    One could argue it waters down your overall communication; I’d agree, except that Facebook is opt-in, and it’s spent more time and money evaluating who wants to see what and how often than I have.

    If our main page is good, people stay. If our sub page is good, people stay. If people find solely men’s page content more engaging, let them be engaged there. If a sub-page is more successful in connecting with person X – that’s a win for our church.

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  • GP Hintz
    March 3, 2015

    What about exposure? I have heard that a very low percentage of people who “like” your official church page actually see any of your posts. This causes a greater need for the “church” or “organization” to pay in order to get their posts seen by others. On the other hand, I have heard that when you launch a “group” instead of a “page”, 100% of the people in your group get to see that post in their newsfeed. Do you have any insight with that? Has this changed since going public? Thanks for your thoughts! GP

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  • Evalyn Donley
    July 8, 2015

    Charged with updating our church website, I find myself in a quandary. Since there are already a couple of church Facebook pages (one for general communication and another for children’s worship) and another coming (for students), how should I display the Facebook icons on the website? Show the central FB page on the home page and the individual ministry FB pages on the pages that describe that ministry? Make three different-colored icons for the home page? Suggest we all meet on one FB page and then go our separate group ways?

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  • enrique
    February 15, 2016

    I have a question, our church has a service in spanish and our communication director wants to merge the two FB pages, and just post in one and do not translate, just let post be either english or spanish. this does not makes sense to me? any suggestions?

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