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Let’s Reach the World Together: A step-by-step process to build community and reach more people online.
Each week, more than 270,000 people attend Life.Church Online from every country and territory on the map. We’ve celebrated over 100,000 people surrendering their lives to Christ at Church Online since we started, and yet we know there are still so many more to reach! And every day, people are attending thousands of other churches doing #churchonline through the Church Online Platform, too.
If you’re reading this, you have a heart to reach the lost and understand that technology gives us the ability to share the Gospel with minimal limitations. You see the potential in using Facebook groups to reach the world.
That’s the reason for this playbook: to partner with you to help people get connected online. You don’t need to be a Facebook expert—you just need a desire to see people follow Christ and be a champion for Church Online in your region of the world.
How Community Happens on Facebook
There are two major ways community is created on Facebook: by interest and by location. For example, you might be involved in groups or like pages around a specific interest, or you might be involved in a local group for your city. We can easily follow this momentum by creating a Facebook group (for a specific location) around Church Online (a common interest).
Your Group's Description
An important aspect of bringing people into community is creating an engaging culture in your group. Below is an example of what we do at Life.Church Online:
At Life.Church, we believe the church isn’t a building—it’s people.
Life.Church Online meets in every country in the world! We’re a community of people just like you meeting each week to chat about what we’re learning and pray together.
When you come to Church Online, you’ll encounter God and people who care about you. Volunteers welcome you to over 70 services each week, where you’ll find vibrant music and culturally-relevant teaching.
You can check it out anytime at http://live.life.church/. Why we have our Facebook group:
Our mission is to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. We know that God created us to live life together in community. Facebook is a great place to meet people and learn more about God.
We believe in starting right where you are. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to have all the right answers. You just need an internet connection!
Guidelines for our Facebook group:
We want this to be a safe place to discuss real issues we’re facing, encourage one another, and share the awesome things God’s doing in our lives. So many of us have home-based businesses that might benefit members of this group, but we all commit to keeping this a solicitation-free zone so we can stay focused on all that God’s doing in our community.
Check out the posts and please comment to add your thoughts, ideas, and stories. We all have something to contribute, which is why we’ve opened up posting to everyone in the group. We can’t wait to get to know you more!
If you have any questions or would like to know more about Church Online, please email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to use the text above as a model for your group’s description. When people join, this is one of
the first things they’ll read, and it sets the vision, goals, and expectations for the group.
Leading With Vision
It’s important to understand our vision for Facebook groups. For example, when we started the main Life.Church Online group, our vision was to help people connect outside of Church Online to share their hopes and challenges of following Christ. The vision for our regional groups is the same—but more specifically, to help people connect with others who attend Church Online in their same region.
Once you understand the vision, it’s time to model it so people can follow your lead.
Here are some practical tips for modeling vision and boosting engagement:
- Tag new members in a post to welcome them into the group.
- Regularly invite people to attend a Church Online service.
- Reinforce our mission and core values by sharing them often.
- Host weekly (or more often) Facebook Live videos.
- Create a weekly content schedule.
Tips for Facebook Live Videos
Facebook Live videos are a great way to connect with your group, show authenticity, and increase engagement. Here are some tips on hosting an excellent video:
- Have your topic, thoughts, and questions prepared in advance.
- For an easy template, use our weekly Talk It Over guide www.life.church/talkitover
- Determine how long you want the video to be—preferably between 5 and 25 minutes.
- Host the video in a room with good lighting and minimal background noise.
- Look into the camera while you’re talking, not at your screen.
- Speak with excitement and ask questions to encourage participation.
- For more tips, check out this from HubSpot blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebook-live-guide.
Creating a Weekly Content Schedule
When posts in your group follow a consistent format, people know what to expect. Here’s an example of a weekly content schedule you can follow:
- Monday: “Community Update” video to share what’s happening at Church Online or in your group this week.
- Tuesday: Engaging question to spark discussion.
- Wednesday: Facebook Live video about the message.
- Thursday: Facebook Live video to pray over prayer requests.
- Friday: New member welcome post encouraging them to introduce themselves.
- Saturday: Fun discussion question around the message topic.
- Sunday: A post to push to the message.
Bonus tip: you don’t have to do this all yourself! Invite some of your most engaged group members to help with tasks like posting content, approving posts, and adding new members.
Engagement Numbers to Watch
As a general rule of thumb, as your group grows, so should your engagement. To keep a good pulse on your group’s health, you can check your Facebook Group Insights. Facebook provides tools to track growth and engagement data. Here are some numbers you can monitor weekly.
- Engagement: Shows how active the group is, as well as a breakdown of the type of interaction in the group.
- Growth: Shows a visual timeline of growth in the group.
- Popular days and times: Shows when your members are most active.
- Member details: Gives insights on who your most active members are, what their age and gender is, and where they live.
Hosting Local Meet-ups
As you build relationships in your group, members may express interest in meeting up in person. This is a great opportunity to host a local meet-up! Remember to include all the details in an event invite and promote it inside the group. If your goal is to meet up regularly to watch Church Online together, we recommend finding a consistent time and location.
Ready to Change the World?
Thanks for reading this playbook to gain a better understanding of how we can leverage Facebook Groups to reach more people for Christ! If you’re ready to start a Facebook group for your local area, use this guide to begin.
We believe there will one day be Facebook groups representing every community in the world—groups filled with people sharing their joys, their struggles, and how they’re growing closer to God through Church Online. We hope you’ll leverage online ministry to help make that happen!
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