Every now and then I have a conversation with a member or attender of the church that essentially is saying, ‘I wish I could do more.’ Often people feel their contributions are hindered by some circumstance which prevents them from spending time or money benefiting the church. Responding to this need, let me give you a list of 10 ways you can do more for your church on a very limited budget of time and absolutely no money.
Boost your church on social media. Most specifically, like your church’s Facebook page. The more likes the page has the more credibility a prospect will feel when they check out the church on Facebook. Similarly, talk about your church on Facebook, and tag it when you do by using the name of the church’s Facebook page.
Rate your church positively on Facebook. Again you give your church credibility by doing this. Online ratings are getting more important every day.
Every time you attend any event at the church, do a Facebook check in. Not only do you give the church more credibility, but check in’s also help with the extremely important Facebook algorithms which shape what pages show up when people search for churches. The likes, tags, and ratings mentioned above will also help.
Find your church on Google maps and rate the church there as well. Google’s algorithms are even more important than Facebook’s. You can also help by searching for your church on Google and linking to their site from Google. Never go straight to your church’s web page, but search for it on Google and then follow that link to the church website.
Join Yelp and comparable sites that rate local businesses. Then rate your church positively on these sites.
Not just when you are at church, but also when you are at church. A smiling congregation is obviously preferred over one that has any other facial expression.
Sing during the congregational singing. Learn to sing with gusto and allow yourself to enjoy it. Nothing expresses the sincerity of a church’s worship more than the enthusiasm of its singing.
Speak to people whom you do not yet know. Some of these will be members you just haven’t met yet. Others will be prospects who will be relieved that someone at the church noticed them and acknowledged them.
Be respectful and clean up after yourself. Wipe down the sinks after you use them. Don’t leave bulletins and fliers on the pew. Put your empty coffee cups in the trash. Do all these things because a messy church can never leave a positive impression, but also do these things because not doing them shows that you don’t care about the church.
Attend more events at church. The more people that are at an event, the more likely visitors will perceive it positively. If you are only involved in Sunday worship, perhaps add a Bible study, or a monthly fellowship. As people attend events the church is better able to offer them.
It is not a coincidence that the first five suggestions have to do with technology and more than half of those involve Facebook. It is quite understandable that people look for a church via technology, most specifically social media.
It is also not a coincidence that the last five suggestions are all about how your individual behavior affects others. Colossians 4:5 (NASB) says “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.”
I have been off my normal schedule lately because I am spending most of my time in my wife’s hospital room. Although I do end up with more time to write during her recovery, I also have less focus. The only writing I have gotten done on schedule is updating Facebook so family and friends will know how she is doing.
I bring this up now because while considering what I might post for Theology Thursday I began to realize how Facebook is like bad theology. You see Facebook makes decisions about who to show what post to. This decision is made on both how much Facebook contact you have with the person and how popular the post is.
The end result is not all of our friends have been getting every post. Instead Facebook starts off by sending it only to a select few people. Then when those friends like it or put a comment the post becomes more popular and therefore Facebook decides it’s popular and therefore shows it to more people. These also comment and the cycle continues.
The end result is some people are getting updates from back on the surgery date now. Others are getting comments about setbacks and have never seen updates about the progress made.
The reason I say this trait of Facebook is like bad theology is because most bad theology stems from picking and choosing what doctrinal ideas we like. These get preached on and repeated. Unfortunately this leaves a great deal of our doctrine untaught and unnoticed. Good doctrine fits with its other parts like a well-built machine. Bad doctrine is fit together piecemeal, and leaves large blind spots where our understanding of God is incomplete.
Most people have blind spots in their doctrine. But the problem is easily alleviated by reviewing a systematic theology. This term is used to describe an attempt at discussing every aspect of doctrine and how different ideas dove tail together on a good belief system.
Today at 5:00 pm (Pacific Time) will be the conclusion of a book giveaway on my facebook page. If you want a chance to win, go to www.facebook.com/AuthorCharlesWShort/ and follow the instructions before the event closes.
I will be giving away a free copy of my book, The Storeroom of the Heart.
Want it? All you have to do to be entered in the drawing is share the Book Giveaway status from August 28, and like my Facebook Author Page. (Previous likes count, if you already like the site just share this status.)
I will draw one name from those shares, who are also likes on my page, and as will ship it anywhere in the US. (Or elsewhere in the world if shipping cost is less than $10.) This is the first free give away I have done so like it, share it, and get your friends involved.
Remember to qualify you have to like the page – not the post and share the specific post – others posts or sharing the page doesn’t count.
The giveaway will end on September 18 at 8:00 am. At that time I will collect the names and draw a winner. It will be announced here one week from today. Good luck.
On my facebook page today I am beginning a book give away. Go to the site, follow the directions and you will be entered into the drawing. But be careful to read the instructions, to be entered you will need to like the author page and share the book give away status.