What's in this session?
- #1: Directed spiritual reflection (2:19)
- #2: Q&A Podcast (4:38)
- #3: Patreon (6:15)
- #4: Document the journey (7:22)
- #5: Facebook Ads (9:13)
Show notes and resources
- That Christian Vlogger
- The Unveiled Wife on Facebook
- Rebecca Mills on Instagram
- Pro Church Tools
- Pro Church Tools on Facebook
- Pro Church Tools on YouTube
- Brady Shearer on Instagram
- Brady Shearer on Twitter
- Alex Mills on Instagram
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Alex Mills: Well, hey there, and welcome to Pro Church Daily, the show where in ten minutes or less, you’ll get your daily dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus while we navigate the biggest communication shift we’ve seen in the last 500 years. I’m your host, Alex Mills, and I’m joined as always by the boss man. It’s Brady Shear. And today we’re talking about five groundbreaking ways that the church can seize the 167.
Brady Shear: Hashtag seize the 167, Alex.
Alex Mills: What does that even mean?
Brady Shear: Every single thing that we do as a company, Pro Church Tools, Story Tape, Nucleus, can be summed up with this singular hashtag, three words, seize the 167. There are 168 hours in any given week, and the average church service, like the one we went to the last weekend at United Methodist Church in San Diego, it’s about an hour long, which leaves you 167 hours beyond that singular church service hour where you can reach people and fulfill your church’s mission statement, that being helping people to love God, love others, and make disciples. We’re living through, as you say at the beginning of every single episode, the single biggest communication shift in the last 500 years, the biggest since the printing press. We communicate in wildly different ways. Ten years ago, these are the following platforms that didn’t exist: the iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Netflix in its current form, Uber, Air B&B, Spotify. Pretty much every single thing that I do in life did not exist ten years ago. We are living through a crazy communication shift.
Instead of clamoring for people to come to your church every single week, “Come to us! Come to us!” We now have the opportunity, nay, the luxury and privilege to go to them which generations past, leaders, churches, centuries past, did not have the opportunity to do. We should not take that lightly. We should fully embrace it and fully take advantage of something that churches, leaders just never had in the past. How can we do this? We wanna talk about five groundbreaking innovative ways that we think that churches can take advantage of this in ways that aren’t just rebroadcasting what you’re already doing on Sunday. Not just taking your content and using Facebook to promote your events and services as they come to us. No, that’s not what it’s for. We’re talking about native ways of taking your church’s mission statement, love God, love people, make disciples, and accomplishing that through mobile device and technology.
The first way, I’ve written this down as directed spiritual reflection. And the way that I imagined this happening, I was inspired by a Facebook account called the Unveiled Wife. Not a church, but a Christian-based Facebook account with more than a million likes. They actually took some Story Tape footage, and what they did was they created a countdown video. The footage they used was of a woman praying, and they put this 60-second countdown on top, and the caption of the Facebook post simply read, “Take 60 seconds, stop for a moment, and pray for your spouse.” And when I saw this, I was blown away, because this is a way, a native way, of using a social platform to get someone who’s scrolling through their feed to just pause for a moment, stop for a moment, and work on the things that you’re trying to accomplish as a church, helping people to love God, love others, and make disciples. You have prayer events at church. You have prayer moments in the service. You have prayer nights, prayer groups. You can accomplish that same thing through Facebook.
I’m waiting to be prompted in this way. I’m scrolling through my feed, I’m busy, I see a 60-second countdown, stop the scroll, I’m intrigued, and the caption reads, “Take 60 seconds and just sit in silence and reflect on all that God has given you. Take 60 seconds and just read through the Scripture verse in this video and meditate on what it means for your life.” Now you’re encouraging me to live more like Jesus, to reflect on the Word, to pray for others using native environments like Facebook instead of promoting your prayer group or prayer night. You’re making it happen right now and there.
Alex Mills: I love this one so much. I remember when you first showed it to us in a Monday meeting, I think it was. I’ve gone back to it multiple times to that post just to look through the engagement. The engagement on that post is incredible. So many views. And it hits on so many different levels. It’s a video post, so you’re already maximizing your organic reach. Facebook is gonna boost that for free basically. And like you said, it’s something different. It’s not something. It’s not just another photo of one of your friends’ kids. It’s gonna stop the scroll, and then it inspires you to put into practice probably what you learned on Sunday. It doesn’t point back to past Sunday and say, “How great was church?” Or point ahead to the next Sunday saying, “Church is gonna be so great this coming week.” But it’s taking these things that we’re talking about in church and saying, “Here’s an opportunity to live this out.” I love this so, so much.
Brady Shear: Number two on this list is a Q&A podcast. Every single person has so many questions about church, about faith. We’re talking about existential matters here that determine eternity. There’s a lot of questions that come along with this. And a lot of times in church during messages, there are questions left over. There are lingering things that maybe you’re afraid to ask. Having a Q&A podcast that you do every single week, every single day, ten minutes or less, maybe similar to Pro Church Daily, where you answer the hard-hitting questions from the pastor’s perspective. These are questions that every single question of every age has in your church, and they want them answered. There’s a lot of time for teaching and preaching. Sometimes we’re just curious. What does the Bible really mean about this? What do I need to know about the Bible? What about this? What about that? What about evil? What about the big questions? What about the current cultural and things that we’re facing in our 2018 life? Post a podcast, great way to answer those.
Alex Mills: I have to give a shout out on this one to one of our Pro Church Nation members, Adam Dio. He’s asked some questions on Ask Brady, so you’ve probably seen him there. He’s pastor of a church called New Hope, I believe, and I follow New Hope on Facebook just because Adam’s been around and we chat and stuff. I follow his church and once a week, I think they might do it on Wednesdays. Once a week, him and another pastor from the church go live on Facebook and it’s Ask the Pastors. So they’ve got ten minutes, they go live, so again, they’re gonna get that free organic reach. People are probably gonna get push notifications. “Hey, your church is live right now.” And they say, “Hey, here are your pastors. We’re live. Ask us anything. We’ve got Bibles in hand and we’re ready to chat about it with you.” So they do a really good job of this.
Brady Shear: I love that. Number three, leveraging Patreon. One of the things that we’re seeing more and more with the church world is giving is down, attendance is down, and churches are beginning to have to reimagine how to get different revenue streams. More pastors are going bi-vocational. Our church is finding ways with our new facility and building, how to bring in revenue aside from tithes and offerings. One way that churches can leverage this, and I have not seen thus far, surely there are pastors and churches that are doing it, but it’s not [inaudible 00:06:41] is a platform called Patreon, patreon.com. It’s used heavily by podcasters like us, for instance, by creatives, by musicians, where basically you can give a small amount of money to an artist on a recurring basis. So there are three podcasts that I support. I give them five dollars each month because I know that they’re independent and I love what they do, and I want them to be able to continue to do it. I get a little bit of extra access, they give away an extra podcast here and there, something like that. And by doing that, I support them and they get to keep doing what they love. Pastors could use this. Use the Q&A show, for instance. Have a Patreon. People can donate just five bucks a month just to support the show, brings it a little extra money for the church.
Alex Mills: Yeah, I love that.
Brady Shear: Number four. Document the journey on Instagram and Facebook. This I say specifically directly to the senior leadership, to the lead pastors. I, as a young person, I, as an any-aged person I imagine, want to know more about your life, how you’re actually living out your faith. I hear you every single week on Sunday morning, Sunday evening from church. I know what you believe. But I wanna see it in action. How are you taking steps to improve your marriage? How are you taking steps to improve your own personal health and finances and parenting and diet and nutrition? I wanna know, what are you struggling with? Because I know that I’m struggling with stuff. I know that I’m trying to figure this out. And I know what your advice is, but I also want to know what you’re actually doing in your life. There are platforms like YouTube, Instagram stories, where you can document the behind-the-scenes and show this. We’re real, it’s show over tell. So much more powerful to do this, and native platforms are giving us the tech to do it for free and reach a wide audience, again, for free.
Alex Mills: Yeah, and I’m finding that people are connecting with Instagram stories or Facebook stories as well in a really unique way. We talked about this, you and I were away this past weekend with our wives. We got away for the weekend, and my wife was posting more Instagram stories than she normally does, taking pictures of palm trees or whatever. At the end of our trip somebody from our church DM’d her and said, “Hey, thanks so much for posting these stories. I feel like I was a part of your vacation. I feel like I was there. I feel like I know what you were doing.” That’s so cool. That’s the opportunity we have every single day. It’s free. It doesn’t take any time to take your phone out of your pocket and capture what’s going on in your life. It’s a mini-blog that you don’t have to edit. You just get to post at the touch of a button and you can invite everyone who follows you online into the mundane of your life, into the exciting of your life, and it’s an opportunity that’s unique to this time right now.
Brady Shear: The fifth and final groundbreaking way that you as a church leader can seize the 167 is through Facebook ads. Facebook ads are still the singular best platform to reach people. Yes, the algorithm has shifted and it costs money, but that’s just a fact of life. Did you ever go into a newspaper to get advertisement there and get upset when they said it cost money? No. Did you ever get upset when you’re going to print out mailers and they’re like, “It cost money and postage for us to deliver this, and it cost money to print it.” You’d be like, “Of course it costs money.” Facebook’s the same way, except it’s drastically better when it comes to it’s under-priced, it has huge attention, and the creative can be adjusted whenever you want. You can access people from ten mile radius within your church. It is the most powerful advertising platform int he history of humankind. You can promote content, you can promote events, you can promote your services using a platform unlike any other, and this episode number 86 of Pro Church Daily. We’re gonna talk in episode 87 tomorrow.
The next step is so we’re gonna do a huge deep dive into a real pair of case studies about Facebook ads, so if you’re wondering, “How can we use Facebook ads? What does it mean?” We’re gonna talk about doing it in a way that isn’t just about promoting your services. You can do that. It’s not just about promoting your events. You can do that. We think there’s a better way. We’re gonna talk about that in tomorrow’s episode of Pro Church Daily. That’ll do it for toady. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you tomorrow.