Do church leaders bristle when someone mentions the word “trend?” Perhaps there’s a fear that if churches tap into trends that they will pander more to the culture instead of influencing it for Christ. But have you ever considered how some trends, specifically digital media ones that aren’t sinful or wrong in any way, may actually be beneficial to your ministry? Let’s look at 5 examples of trends churches can implement to reach their faith communities better.
Using visual marketing tools like videos, pictures, and “carousel” style image/text slideshows is a highly effective way to communicate information, inspiration, and truth digitally. There are countless free and paid programs available online that can help you create engaging visual marketing to use on your website, TV screens at church, or social media pages.
Social media isn’t just a trend; it’s an essential tool church needs to learn how to reach its members. Regardless of what platform you use—Facebook, Instagram, YouTube—social media provides various ways to connect with your church body and meet their needs. With social media, you can Livestream your sermon, share books your pastor recommends, send out an invite to an event—the list goes on!
Social media can get a bad rap, but it can be a powerful asset to your church ministry when used appropriately. If you want to learn more about how your church can use social media effectively, this video outlines some specific social media trends your church might find helpful.
While radio broadcasts are still relevant, more and more churches are starting up podcasts, basically like radio programs you can listen to whenever you want. Some churches have a general church podcast, while others narrow their focus and have a women’s ministry podcast or a college group podcast. Podcasts provide church leaders with an additional platform to teach, equip, and disciple their church family. And they’re valuable because they allow church leaders to expound on what is already being preached from the pulpit and taught in Sunday school/community groups.
If your mission is to reach your city with the gospel and love them well, you must consider how you’re “marketing” your church. If someone searched “churches near me” on Google and your church popped up in the results, would it be easy or difficult to navigate your website and find the information they need? Does your website load quickly? Are the graphics fresh or archaic? Do you have current and high-quality (but optimized) images on your site? You may not place a lot of value on your website, but your visitors might. Your website may be someone’s first introduction to your church, so optimizing it and making it the best it can be is essential.
Relatability is hardly a trend. Jesus was relatable in His ministry several thousand years ago! But times have changed a bit since Jesus’ day, and as churches, it can be difficult to keep up with the rapidly shifting trends of 2021. Sometimes it’s discouraging trying to make your voice heard in such a loud, busy world. But making your content down-to-earth and relatable is an easy place to start.
No two churches are the same. Your church is unique and has a distinct personality and mission, so your digital content doesn’t have to be impersonal or generic. You can infuse your digital content with real people, real stories, real work that God is doing in your members’ lives. For example, you could post pictures and prayer requests from your church’s mission trips. Or do a “meet the team” series that highlights various staff and leadership on the screens in your building or on your church’s blog.
Keep your media efforts in line with your mission and be personal, helpful, and relatable. Social media is filled with self (loving, promoting, and serving oneself), so churches have an incredible opportunity to stand out by focusing on Christ and others vs. always posting about themselves.