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5 Types of Facebook Groups Your Church Can Start Today

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Tune in today to hear Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng discuss the 5 types of Facebook groups your church can start today. Facebook groups are a great way to get and stay connected!
This episode is brought to you by Ramsey+, a money plan for real life. You can start a free trial of the Ramsey+ system over at daveramsey.com/ccwebinar

Transcript:

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Church Communications Podcast. We want to help you become a church communication’s expert. We understand it can be a challenging and ever-changing role because we’ve worked in the church too. Which is why we built a community with over 25,000 church leaders that are ready to support and cheer you on. Your hosts for the show are Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng, who want to help equip you to reach more of your congregation and community. This is the place where we’ll talk shop with fellow practitioners and professionals about what’s working, what’s not, and what’s next. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Kenny Jahng:

Hey friends, it’s hard to get people to be generous when they’re drowning in their own money problems, right? Well, giving everyone in your church or your organization the tools they need to budget, save and take control of their money is easier than ever from our friends at Ramsey+. It’s called financial peace university and they’ve included so much more at this point. To learn more about the new most flexible, efficient, and cost-effective way to bring Ramsey+ to your people, our friends over there have put together a webinar that explains every single thing and actually shows you the benefits beyond just the traditional FPU course that you might be familiar with. All you have to do is go over to daveramsey.com/ccwebinar. That’s, daveramsey.com/ccwebinar and sign up today.

Katie Allred:

Hi friends, welcome to the Church Communications Podcast. I know that you’ve missed us. But I’m really excited because today we’re talking about … and I know that I said this last time, this is one of my favorite subjects, but this really is one of my favorite subjects. If you know me, you know about my love of Facebook groups. And today, Kenny, we’re talking about five types of Facebook groups your church can start right now.

Kenny Jahng:

Yeah. This is going to be one of those, I think, winners in the podcast season, because it’s so hyper practical and I love it. So I’m looking forward to hearing, in advance, some people that take our advice, start to get some success and report back to us. But basically, okay, so for the first of the five, I’ll suggest one, and that is basically, start a prayer group. It’s really easy, no matter what size of your church. Basically, prayer requests are … it’s like the hallmark of any church, any group. So just start a group where any member view … it could be a private group that any member group can actually just submit and post a request inside the group or a praise report.

Kenny Jahng:

I don’t think people post reports of prayers being answered enough. But basically, this type of thing, this type of activity, if you encourage them and get people to use it in routine basis, serves three purposes basically. I think it builds your community, I think you’re going to find testimonies that people will share with their friends and invite to church, and then just edification for the general body of the church. So yeah, prayer groups is a Facebook group that you should consider for your actual community.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. And make sure you set some restrictions on posts, like set up some rules, some guidelines about what people can share and what they can’t share. What’s inappropriate to share in a group on average. Even in our group, we honestly decline 50% of the posts that we get in our group. So just set up some guidelines about what people can expect to get, just because a lot of times it could be inappropriate and a lot of times it’s not really relevant to the church. Another group that you can start is a small group. We’ve been talking about small groups, we talked about small groups last week and how you can get past the point of just the first meeting. But getting past the point of just the first meeting, you can use Facebook to connect with people throughout the week.

Katie Allred:

And so I have found that Facebook groups … we actually created one when we went through the Ramsey curriculum together, we created a Facebook group and our leader was sharing articles that he had bookmarked from Dave Ramsey about questions that we had and we asked questions about stuff. And we also celebrated, hey, I paid off $10,000 in debt today, or hey, I sold all the stuff in my house and now I’m about to be debt free, whatever. And so anyways, what I love about it is, it just really is a great way to start a small group and to live out your life together throughout the week through this Facebook group. No one really likes text threads or email chains, honestly. And so-

Kenny Jahng:

I don’t. I can tell you, I don’t, Katie.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. But you still want to be a part of it. You still want to be connected. I actually was a part of another small group called Community Table when I lived in Nashville and we originally were in an email chain and it was the worst. 75 people in an email chain. And finally I was like, we should start a Facebook group. Anyways, the Facebook group exploded from our 75 people to 700 people. This is a small group, right? It kind of became a church. Everybody wanted to be a part of it. So putting your small groups into specific Facebook groups, you can watch them take off. And so what I love too is that Facebook has these really special tools for groups like this that are educational, like learning unit.

Katie Allred:

So there’s a way to create social learning units inside of Facebook. You can just Google that, social learning units Facebook groups, and you can find so much information. But basically, you can create your own learning management system inside of the small group. You don’t to go and buy some special software to get your people videos and training and keep it in an organized way. You can do it on Facebook, which is pretty cool.

Kenny Jahng:

Absolutely. A third type of group that I think more and more churches really should be considering is an extension of the church online. So an online campus group. On average, 80% of the church attendees actually live within a five mile radius. Like 90% live within a 10 mile radius. So your capacity to grow is within a limited radius of your church. But when you introduce social media to your marketing strategy, all of a sudden your audience no longer has these bounds, these boundaries. And at some point or another, most churches make that decision to basically just start live stream from the churches. We’ve seen this explosion during this last several months of 2020. And so that means people want to get engaged. They want higher engagements and you need a place to reach your audience across the world in different ways. So once you’ve set scene, incredible success in this area is Elevation Church. A group called the Elevation Church eFam, and they opened up a Facebook group. And right now I think they have over 47,000 members I think, Katie.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. And growing. I’m sure it has exploded since we last got that.

Kenny Jahng:

Yeah. And honestly, it’s thankfully for the fact that Facebook has a platform and that they have this group functionality. So if you live stream-

Katie Allred:

Oh yeah, I’ll try that 118,000.

Kenny Jahng:

Oh wow.

Katie Allred:

118,000.

Kenny Jahng:

That’s amazing. And so if you live stream, if you have church online, I think you really need to start considering creating an online community space for all those people to talk together. Because that live chat during Sunday is not enough, people want to connect and get engaged. They want to talk together, they want to learn together and they want to do live together. And so this is something that I really, really push a lot of you that have online campuses online services now, try it with a Facebook group.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Another group that you can create or groups, some groups that you can create, and what is really cool, you can actually connect groups to pages. And why I bring that up is because so many churches have so many pages. Back in like what? 2012, when we didn’t know what we were doing, 2013, when pages had just become a thing, groups were still out there but nobody was using groups. They thought that every single entity, every single vertical or ministry of a church had to have its own page. And so every ministry created a page and what we created was a mess, a wild web of craziness that did not make any sense. And I know that I came from a mega church situation where we had 90 pages. Probably in 2016, we had 90 pages. And who can create enough content to feed 90 pages?

Katie Allred:

And across those pages, we probably had like 10,000 followers, but they were so disengaged because they didn’t know what to follow, where to follow. They didn’t really care, they were very confused. Like, wait, do I get my information from this page or that page? And so what we found would work better is actually to create groups and delete all those pages or merge them. You can sometimes merge them into the church’s main page and then create mini groups that are connected to the one church page. So you can connect a group to a page. And so we created groups specifically for these people because they’re more engaging. A page you have to pay to play. So it may be at most 16% organic reach on a Facebook page post, but in a group post, I dare say, you probably get 60 to 70 to 80% of people actually seeing your posts in a group.

Katie Allred:

And so we created groups for preschool, we created groups for the choir, we created groups for dads, we created groups for moms, we create groups for everybody. It was so much easier because they were actually connected. A group is really about connecting people rather than just billboarding them with information that they won’t see tomorrow or may not see at all because of, again, pay to play as a page. And so we created all these different groups and honestly, there was so much better engagement than ever in that ministry and it was really just awesome.

Kenny Jahng:

Love it, love it. Last one’s a creative one. I think we’re going to see more and more of this. And that’s a group from micro-influencers. In our culture right now, social media influencers are a big thing, YouTubers are a big thing. You’ve got literally millions of people making their living now full-time on YouTube, things like that. Instagram influencers, et cetera. There are basically tons of things that you can do there. There’s obviously, influencers also pose many ethical, practical, and other marketing questions, but I think you can learn some of the best part, extract it into a strategy of what we like to call brand ambassadors for your church. For the sole purpose of just basically recruiting church members who have great influence in their own spheres, influence in whether it be business or other social circles that they’re in.

Kenny Jahng:

And there are people in your church that really want to help promote the brand of the church. And I think we’ve seen some success from different examples. What’s great about it is typically, it doesn’t cost anything. There’s nothing that you need to invest in, other than some really good intentionality. And you can promote your church this way, having more people. Because look, the feed … what is it called? Facebook Zero pages, content, they’re not being shared by Facebook. But if you have more and more people from your church sharing content, talking about it, et cetera, and pointing back to your church, it’s going to be probably just as good as buying services from a $10,000 professional influencer or something like that. So that I think is something we’re going to see a lot more of as we go forward and it’s going to mature.

Kenny Jahng:

It’s definitely going to evolve, but it’s something to pay attention to and maybe even think about if your church is large enough to get going. Katie, that’s great. We’ve got five excellent ideas to put in front of people. I’d love to see … And there’s more ideas, obviously. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below, what other types of Facebook groups have you started? What are you thinking about today? We’d love to hear that type of feedback because we’re going to learn from each other, just like we do in our group. And Katie just wants you to just, it’s kind of like a shameless plug for our community and our group. If you’re not part of it … Katie, why don’t you just explain to people how they get inside of our own group and close out the show for us.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. If you want to learn more about groups, come join our group and we’ll tell you about it. So you can go to churchcommunications.com/group, or you can go to Facebook itself and just search for Church Communications, you’ll find us, we’re on there. And usually we’re the first, if not, in there somewhere. We can’t wait to see you in there.

Kenny Jahng:

That’s a great invitation, Katie, but I’m going to also invite everyone to join us next week right here, same time, same place, for the Church Communications Podcast. The next episode, we are actually going to go through some really good tips on how to actually host your small groups online. You don’t want to miss it. We check out here next week.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Church Communications Podcast with Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng. If you liked our show today and want to learn more, you can join our Facebook group with over 25,000 church leaders. Simply search for Church Communications on Facebook. And if you liked today’s episode, please consider subscribing and leaving us a review. It’s the most impactful way you can help us reach more church leaders and equip them to become better communicators for the church. And finally, don’t forget to check out our website @churchcommunications.com. Thanks for listening.

 

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