“They met every day in the Temple courts,” Acts 2:42 says, and I wonder what our churches would call us if we suggested going to church every single day?
Fanatics? Nuts? Weirdos?
But what if you could make the sermon last all week long? Wouldn’t it be great if we could cut it up into small, digestible parts, and send it out all week long to your people? It would be like going to church every day without all the logistical gymnastics it takes to physically show up anywhere (even if you could right now).
With the communication tools available to us today through social media, email and other digital avenues, we can. And it’s not expensive or terribly difficult, but it does take some intentionality.
I’m going to give you some ideas on how to do this and ask you to schedule some time with your communications volunteer or staff member and work out how you can make it happen together. Here we go!
The YouVersion app has a really great graphic available to download for almost every Scripture, and they are always updating them. Whatever your passages are for your the sermon, see if you can grab these graphics, or make your own, and post them throughout the week.
Ask questions when you post like “What does this verse mean to you?” and “What do you not like about this passage?” Basically, if you ask an I Am Second question, you’ll get a pretty great discussion going. (What do we learn about God or Man in this passage? What do you like or not like about this passage? What needs to change in your life because of this passage?)
If you will prepare your notes ahead of time, it really helps make these graphics in time. When you send those notes ahead of time to your communications person, they are able to post graphics in a more timely manner, when the content of those graphics are fresh on the minds of your people and feel more relevant.
It’s pretty simple low-hanging fruit to pull out the quippy things pastors say on Sunday and turn them into graphics. Reminding people of what was said Sunday helps them put it into practice on Monday.
That’s why we have the phrase “Monday see, Monday do.” (That’s the phrase, right?)
The next level of sermon quotes is video clips. If you record your services, you can pull out a 1-minute clip from the sermon to post to social media.
Remember to ask a question when you post video clips so that you’re fostering discussion, not just consumerism. What do you want them to do with the clip?
You may also want to invest in captions for your video so your followers can watch it with the sound off. Facebook and YouTube both have tools for creating captions on videos you upload natively. Kapwing is also a good free tool to create captions.
Sorry, I mean “illusion.”
Going live on Facebook (or Periscope or Instagram, or whatever) and recapping your message from the weekend is a really great way to connect with people at home. Try to stay under 3 minutes if you can, and try to think about what’s going on in their schedule at the time.
Are they sitting down to dinner? Putting little kids to bed? Are they at work? At lunch? When will they most likely be able to watch and interact with you?
This is a great opportunity to throw in the things you didn’t have time for, go a little deeper, or offer stories and illustrations that you didn’t use in your sermon to reinforce your points. It’s also a great opportunity for reminders for application during the week.
Take a few lines from one of the songs you sang in worship this week that were really powerful and create a song lyrics graphic. Using a photo of your worship team, place text in either the left or right third of the image (or wherever there is room).
Video clips of the band knocking a song out of the park work for this same thing too. You may also want to put Scripture in the caption that reinforces the lyrics. Sometimes song lyrics can be vague and open to interpretation and divisive comments, so putting a Scriptural anchor in the caption helps.
If you can’t find a Scriptural anchor, maybe you shouldn’t be playing that song?
Using Facebook’s Status update graphic features or a free app like Canva to, create a simple graphic that asks a question to your audience. These questions can range from silly to serious, but they all need to have one thing in common: they need to be something your audience wants to talk about, not just what YOU want to talk about.
Ask about foods they like, movies they’ve seen, sure, but this is where you can start great conversations about your messages too, you just have to be a little more strategic. Here’s what I mean…
Say you talked about fear this last weekend. So your question could be, “What makes you feel calm and courageous when you’re nervous?” or “What verses do you read when you’re feeling anxious about something?”
You’re still talking about your sermon, but it’s more of a conversation than a lecture. That’s what they want on social media anyway: conversation.
From your sermons, you could probably fire off 3-5 quick questions to small group leaders that are related pretty easily via email. It would also be easy to take one of those per day after your sermon and post it on social media to get more conversation going.
Even if they don’t comment, they may see it, and who knows what kind of effect it could have on their spiritual growth.
Not everything worth doing on social media (or in ministry) is measurable.
If you’re looking for more social media ideas that start conversations and engage your people, get my free PDF called 88 Ideas for Church Social Media Posts at sethmuse.com.
Seth Muse has been in ministry for over 20 years, recently serving as Communications Director at a thriving church in North Dallas. He is also the host of The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast, blogs at sethmuse.com, and has his Masters of Arts in Media and Communications from Dallas Theological Seminary. Seth specializes in helping church communicators use social media and content marketing to find common ground with their audience to empower them for spiritual growth.