4 Things Churches Need to Stop Posting on Social Media

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This article was originally published for Church Juice on February 4, 2019. You can view the original article here.

Church Juice provides congregations with free resources, articles, and opportunities for training and consulting on church communications. Church Juice is a ministry of Back to God Ministries International, the media mission of the CRCNA.

There are plenty of blog posts out there about what churches and Christians should be posting on their social media. There’s no shortage of ideas for what to add online.

It’s gotten to the point where we feel like we have to post everything. Every thought. Every observation. Every opinion.

If FOMO is the fear of missing out on what other people are doing, then FOBI is the fear of being ignored. In other words, we subconsciously want other people to know that we’re doing stuff.

But we need to be more conscious of what we should refrain from posting. Not just because posting everything adds to content overload. But also because what we post to social media impacts how people see us. What we share can have real consequences.

So here are a few things you and your church should stop publishing online.

1. Stuff No One Cares About

This should be obvious. But judging by the large amount of stuff online that no one cares about, this isn’t obvious enough. So I’ll say it again. Don’t post stuff no one cares about.

This isn’t just the Instagram photos of your breakfast. It’s also the church events for seniors—if they’re not online, they probably won’t see it there.

Know who your audience is. Know what they care about. And post that stuff. Don’t just share things that add value to your church. Share things that add value to others.

2. Crossposts

You’ve probably seen these posts before. A tweet that’s just a link from Instagram. Or a Facebook post that cuts off in the middle, only to link you back to Twitter. This is called cross-posting and it’s annoying.

It’s tempting for churches to cross post because it’s easy—just link the two accounts together and let them auto-post. It’s tempting for churches because most don’t have many people to manage their social accounts manually. It’s just much easier to set it on auto-pilot.

But they’re just not effective because they expose the lack of effort. They aren’t effective because they ignore the differences in social media platforms.

3. Political Opinions

No matter where you land on the political spectrum, it’s just not a good idea to post political opinions on social media. It wasn’t a good idea anytime, but it’s especially dangerous in this current political climate.

People aren’t looking to the church for political commentary. Even if we do need some wisdom on who to vote for, that advice shouldn’t come online—it needs to come in person, with someone you already trust and have a relationship with.

Adding more voices into the chaotic political atmosphere doesn’t help anyone—it only serves to corrode your church’s influence. What we need to do instead is provide a positive message. That’s something sorely lacking on social media. Real wisdom stands out from the chaos.

4. Empty Prayers

As tragedies and disasters have become more visible online, it’s become popular to post #PrayForFillinTheBlank. These type of posts seem to come more often. And each one has less impact than the last one.

But we should stop these kind of posts. Not because the sentiment isn’t nice. But because it starts to feel meaningless. We’ve started to convince ourselves that posting to social media actually does something. We pat ourselves on the back and don’t do anything to fix the problem.

Here’s what we should do instead. Actually pray for those tragedies. Figure out what you can do to help. Share online what action steps people can take to help. Then post pictures of those people actually helping.

What should your church stop posting on social media?

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Community Builder

"People aren't looking to the church for political commentary."

A great Amen to that!  And yet, the CRC does it, as well as political lobbying, in spades.  And it has and will have the divis effect suggested by this article.

Community Builder

I have found that, when determining what to post, two effective filters are (1) does this contribute toward building community or projecting a community that others will want to be part of, and (2) does this facilitate outreach by providing our members with something they can use to invite non-members to attend or participate in.

"People aren’t looking to the church for political commentary".

Interesting thought.  The Jews that wanted to kill Jesus went to Pilate, a political leader.

Christian's responsibility is to connect with political leaders. How to do that in a responsible manner is important. Perhaps social media should not be used for anything important.