By Mark MacDonald
Social media is a great way to maintain contact with your congregation during the summer. It’s also a great way to get the attention of anyone seeking a church to attend when they’re on vacation.
Here are some social media tips for the summer:
- Embrace seasonal content. Be mindful of creating content that aligns with the spirit of summer. Share tips for family activities and highlight ministry events that are relevant to the season. Be sure that your posts are understanding to what your families are doing. Engage by showing fun summer images.
- Leverage user-generated content. Encourage your followers to share summer experiences with your church by using hashtags or creating contests. User-generated content adds authenticity to your social media presence and helps build a sense of community. It can also provide you with a variety of content to share while increasing engagement and reach.
- Be responsive and interactive. Summer is a time when people are often more active on social media, so make sure to be responsive to comments, messages, and mentions. Engage with your social media audience by asking questions, running polls or hosting live Q&A sessions too. Use features like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live or Twitter Spaces to foster real-time interaction and keep them engaged. Maybe a pastor can give a short devotional video that coordinates with the sermon series.
- Optimize for mobile. With people being on the go and using their smartphones more during summer, ensure that your social media content is optimized for mobile viewing. Keep posts concise and easy to read, use eye-catching visuals that are mobile-friendly, and don’t use small fonts. Ensure that your web pages are mobile-responsive for a seamless user experience. Don’t say it all in your post — instead, refer them to your web content if they choose to want more information.
- Provide video-on-the-go content. Sure, you’d like everyone to return on the weekend to attend service on Sundays. But consider what the next best option is: perhaps watch the sermon online? Social media content is the best way to remind them to listen or watch. Post a short (less than a minute) edited video from the service that leads into a critical main point. Then provide a link to the rest of the service. Ensure that the short video gives them a reminder of what they’re missing so they’ll return after the summer is done.EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark MacDonald is a communication pastor, speaker, consultant and author.
Letters to the Editor
The June 29 Rashional Thoughts editorial is one that many people need to read and take to heart. It seems too easy to demonize those with whom we don’t agree 100%.
“Those old Bama fans (or) Auburn fans,” “Those old Catholics/Presbyterians/Methodists/whoever” aren’t our enemies.
Let’s face it. Practically anybody we can think of just wants to live their lives the best they can. But it’s too easy to use differences as an excuse to push people away. How are we supposed to witness that way?
Christ taught us to treat others with courtesy, dignity and respect and let an opening for conversation develop.
How easily we forget.
I hope people did not read the June 29 Rashional Thoughts hurriedly. It is filled with philosophical bents, psycho-social inroads and biblical twists which should twist the minds and hearts when engaged in the noted endeavors.
Morris Murray Jr.
You’re never too far gone. We have until our last breath, and one touch from God can change everything instantly. That’s the hope I give every parent today. Be sure and remember that no problem is bigger than God and that God can bring your prodigal home and heal your family.
Laura L. Lawson Craft
Author, “The Parent’s Battle Plan: Warfare Strategies to Win Back Your Prodigal”
Today, we invest more time and effort training volunteers for parking lot ministry than challenging church members to launch out on their own to reach the lost.
Media consultant, writer
There’s no neutral sphere of influence. We’re being influenced by the forces of sinful society, or we’re being influenced by the Word of God.
Sometimes we get so close to the religious work that our hearts can be far from the heart of Jesus, and we don’t mourn what Jesus mourns.
Seeing the Father in each of us
In 1954, I became a freshman at Howard College (now Samford University). That’s where I met my roommate, Danny Burke from Andalusia. We became friends and shared a common bond in Christ.
Our biggest difference was, Danny wanted to ace every college test, while I merely wanted to pass.
Danny became a minister and educator, but his life was cut short. He met the Lord at an early age. I never stopped cherishing the days we spent together.
About a decade ago, I discovered Danny had a son, Kelly Burke from Tallahassee, Florida, and soon got to meet Kelly and his lovely wife Nancy.
As Kelly walked toward us that day, I recognized traits of his father, most notably he walked like his father. I saw the father in the son.
Kelly is a retired police captain and has served as a minister and first responders chaplain.
The first time I saw Kelly, I saw the son and then I saw the father stand up in him.
Walking like Him
I saw the father at that first meeting, as we cried and rejoiced. The father was present as he spoke at church and served in troubled areas.
It reminded me how our heavenly Father stands up in the Son and, as God’s children, we also can walk like the Father.
We are planning another reunion with Kelly soon, but if we don’t make it there’ll be a “glad reunion day” and Danny will be there, too. Until that day, let the world see the Father stand up in all of us.
When you go back and trace your spiritual markers it’s amazing how God guides you exactly where He wants you to be.
There are so many pieces in the puzzle of life but God fits them all together and the outcome is a beautiful picture.
Pastor Sammy Taylor
Mountain View Baptist Church
Phil Campbell, Ala.
If you are lacking clarity and confidence, go back to the Source. Connection is crucial.
Five reasons why those serving in ministry must have a daily devotional time with God:
- If your well is dry you have no living water to give. Before you can minister to others, you have to care for your own soul.
- In spiritual battles you have one weapon, and you must master it (Eph. 6:17).
- Without spiritual growth you are susceptible to moral failure. Your times with God are key to maintaining moral purity.
- You will not be able to discern God’s will for your life and ministry without meeting with Him regularly.
- You cannot preach, what you do not practice. The most hypocritical thing you can do is to train people through God’s Word while you neglect it.
The Station Church, Bessemer
As children of God, we represent Him wherever He has us. What should be our response in times when living out our calling is risky?
It’s true that a certain resignation is required if we would be faithful stewards at our post, like Queen Esther’s resolve, “If I perish, I perish.” But wisdom is profitable to direct. The prophet Nathan, for instance, did not go charging in, brandishing King David’s sin. I doubt, though, that that would have been prophet Elijah’s approach.
Today, we walk in the authority that Jesus gave us, to use His name. We can change situations just by calling His name. We have been given weapons for this warfare that we have been called to. And these weapons work. What is our excuse?
What should be our response? Heaven is counting on us. May we not fail.
Do you ever wonder if God can provide? God created water, fruits, vegetables and even meat before He created the first person who would need those things to survive.
Before the foundation of the world, God sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem us from the curse of the law.
Pastor Andy Frazier
The Cooperative Program is one of the most unique funding programs ever devised. Others are shocked and envious in how we fund missions, seminaries, church planting and more.
Southern Baptists can be divided on so many things, but CP should be an easy one that unites.
Pike Road, Ala.