Filling the church communication gap… with Facebook

When a worship service is canceled due to weather, or an urgent prayer request crops up in the middle of the week, or an unexpected service opportunity arrives, how does your church communicate this to the congregation?

My own church has used all of the usual methods that your church probably has. There’s the church bulletin (which is only published once a week); phone calls (which get unwieldy when there are hundreds of people in the congregation); email (which not everybody checks regularly); the church website (which people forget to visit).

Some combination of those tools is usually enough to communicate news or needs to the specific people in the congregation who most “need to know.” But none of these methods reliably reach every member of the congregation in a timely manner. And their inefficiency encourages the church to only make use of them for especially urgent news.

But lately I’ve noticed an interesting trend in my church: more and more of the congregation is popping up on Facebook, and they’re using it to share the sort of information that would normally get summarized in a once-a-week print church bulletin. Every day throughout the week, I see prayer requests (major and minor), updates on hospitalized church members, and the occasional request for help. And I see relatively “mundane” things that add greatly to church life but which wouldn’t show up in the church bulletin: people thanking God for a particularly beautiful sunset, offering a quick word of public encouragement to somebody else, or sharing photos of that help me feel closer to their lives.

Facebook is an imperfect tool at best, and like other communication tools, it will never reach 100% of my congregation. But in its way, it’s increasing my everyday awareness of my church community in a way that the traditional communication methods don’t.

How about you? Does your church community make use of Facebook or other online networking tools to share news and needs? Does Facebook bring something new to church communication, or is it just a passing trend that won’t affect your community?

3 Responses to “Filling the church communication gap… with Facebook”

  • Jessica says:

    We do the e-mail thing at our church,a few phone calls, and a printed version of the memo for prayer requests. But, facebook has become a useful tool for many of us. Not only do we get to know each other in different ways, but especially for modeling behavior – this is such a great opportunity as many of our younger people communicate via electronic communications more readily.

  • Joyce Dy says:

    The church I went to was against any type of social media (shhh, they don’t know I blog). However, I do see the use of Facebook in church since everyone and their grandma has an account (seriously). It is a useful way to communicate church events and such.

    I closed my Facebook account because I found it too distracting for me clicking away on pictures. I do miss the community in FB, but realize those who really want to know about me will do it the old fashioned way… call or read my updates. As such, those who are serious about the church events will call, read, and be involved…

  • Peggy says:

    yes we have a facebook acct with the church. it’s awesome. good idea.