#1. Create Your Guidelines
No Facebook Group is successful without rules. It’s the hard truth. We live or die by our rules.
Thoughts to guide you as you think through your group guidelines:
- What’s your mission statement? How does that affect the culture of your Facebook group?
- Will you allow other people to post or only admins and moderators (staff)? If you do allow others to post, do you want to approve of every post or do you trust your group to follow your guidelines?
Here are some ideas about what rules you may want to include in your group:
- You must explicitly state that SPAM of any kind is not warranted or allowed.
- People love to use Facebook Groups to ask for suggestions on service providers or products. You should consider if you want businesses (members of your church) to answer these posts or if you only want suggestions from others (non-business owners)—or if you want people to ask for suggestions at all. If you don’t want people to use your church’s Facebook group as a personal sounding board, you have to state that up front.
- Commonly addressed things in most Facebook groups are: Offensive language, hateful comments, links to sexually explicit material, spam, attacks on specific groups, commercial solicitations.
No matter what your guidelines are, respect your audience. They are coming there for news on the church and to be involved in making a difference with their church—so be picky on what gets posted and what doesn’t.
#2. Create weekly topics.
Create weekly discussions that never go out of style.
- Monday: What can we be praying for you this week?
- Wednesday: What are you most looking forward to this weekend?
- Friday: Give a list of what they can look forward to on Sunday
#3. Use Facebook Live for Discipling
Have your pastor use Facebook Live to address and extend the sermon throughout the week.
I recommend scheduling these every week using an event on your group to generate hype, but also not limiting yourself to these. Some of the best content comes spur at the moment.
Facebook Live Ideas:
- Extend Your Sermon
- Preview Next Week’s Sermon
- Guided Prayer
- Share a Member’s Story
- Interview a Guest
- Recommend a Resource
And if you’re scared of getting started, in your church’s group start reading the bible. You don’t have to break it down, just get started reading.
#4. Use Your Group for Internal Marketing, Your Page for External Marketing
Your group is the perfect place to post that event on a focus study, but your page might not be. You have a limited amount of organic reach with your church’s page, but your reach with your group is much higher. Your group is also probably set to “closed” meaning that it’s easier to keep a handle on who is seeing what.
#5. Offer exclusive church content on the group
Once you start announcing major church events, activities, etc. on your group—it will grow organically! People don’t want to be left out. If you have a major announcement, why not share it in the group? Schedule a time. It’s just like scheduling them for an event at the church, but they’re in the comfort of their own home. You may even get more attendance!
Give your congregation free stuff! Use it as a way to be generous and thank them for being there.
#6. Think about what your congregation gets from the group
- A sense of community
- A way to meet their needs
- A place to start conversations
Facebook Groups are an easy and great way to gather your people for discipleship. What ways are you using Facebook? Let us know in the group!