What's in this session?

  • Episode 108 review (0:21)
  • Kieran's DM (1:05)
  • The results (2:54)
  • Tool #1: PicMonkey (4:01)
  • Tool #2: WordSwag (4:46)
  • Tool #3: Photoshop / Illustrator (6:00)

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

Brady: Well, hey there and welcome to Pro Church Daily. The show where in 10 minutes or less, you’re going to 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 joined to my right, your left, it’s Alex Mills and today we’re talking about the Instagram slider prayer request technique. Alex, take it away.

Alex: Brady on episode 108 of Pro Church Daily, we talked about how to use Instagram stories to engage spiritual practice. So I talked about something that I’ve been doing on my personal account and with church, is I will create free wallpapers just by cropping one of my photos. At your church if you don’t have a library of photos, you can use photos from Unsplash. Just crop a photo, a 16 by nine or sorry, nine by 16, Instagram story orientation. And I’ve been putting a quote from Sunday’s service or something that happened on our Sunday service and then releasing those wallpapers on Monday for people to download. And kind of encourage them to keep that special point from the sermon or that prayer, that scripture verse on their phone throughout the week and we had great engagement with it online. People loved that idea and I got a DM from a youth pastor in Queensland, Australia.

Brady: Let’s go.

Alex: Yeah, named Kieran, and he took this idea and he took it a step further and I love what he did. So I’m going to read this DM to you guys and if you’re listening to this episode of Pro Church Daily, you might wanna jump over to prochurchdaily.com so you can watch this episode, ’cause we’re going to put up a screenshot of this tactic that Kieran used ’cause it … I’ll do my best to explain it. But you do really want to see it because you’re going to wanna use it for yourself. So this is what Kieran. Reached out to me and said, “Hey Alex. After episode 108, I began thinking of ways to use social tools to encourage next steps, pastoral care, et cetera. I created an Instagram story using the new slider feature and I asked this question, “How was your weekend?” I then drew four lines along the slider with texts that read pretty bad, could you pray for me, average, pretty fun and youth was my highlight.

So I’m going to try my best to describe this to you. So what Kieran did, he’s a youth pastor and from his youth account, he posted this Instagram story with the new slider feature, which is a ton of fun.

Brady: The emoji slider feature on Instagram.

Alex: Exactly, yeah. And so along that slider, along the line, he drew four vertical lines and-

Brady: Using the … like just the hand drawing-

Alex: Just the pen tool. Yeah.

Brady: Right. Okay.

Alex: And then he wrote texts at the very left side of the slider and he asked the question, “How is your weekend?” On the left side he wrote, “Pretty bad actually. Could you pray for me?” And then next up was, “It was all right.” Next up was, “It was pretty good.” And then the last one was, “Of course youth was my highlight.”

Brady: So you’d take the slider and if you slide it all the way … if you fill this ladder all the way-

Alex: Yeah.

Brady: You’re saying my week was great, like a 100% of 100.

Alex: Yeah.

Brady: But then if you kept it at like 5%  or like 10% area, you’d be saying, “Hey, can you pray for me?”

Alex: Exactly.

Brady: Basically, the farther you slide it, the better you’re responding.

Alex: Exactly.

Brady: Okay.

Alex: And so he said the response from this was incredible and he actually shared with me some DMs, some conversations that happened after in response to this story. He said, “The result was multiple DMs that range from casual conversation about youth, about whatever, all the way to youths asking for specific prayer.” So these are kids interacting with this fun slider feature, but answering by saying, “Actually my weekend wasn’t so great. Could you pray for me?” And then Kieran has the opportunity to respond and say, “Yeah. Like tell me what’s going on. What happened this weekend? How can I pray for you?” And so I want to give our listeners of Pro Church Daily a couple tools-

Brady: Okay.

Alex: To be able to put this into action in your own youth ministry. It doesn’t just have to be youth ministry, your own church page, a pastor’s, your personal Instagram, to leverage this new feature probably outside of the bounds of what it was originally designed for. Like this is so innovative. This is one of those ideas I wish I came up with, but shout out to Kieran for coming up with this. But yeah, just some tools that will help you get … move along and get some good imagery up there, some good texts, and get started with using the slider feature to engage these conversations.

Brady: Let’s do it.

Alex: So tool number one I want to talk about is a free tool called PicMonkey. Now this is an app you can get on the Apple app store or the Android app store and it’s lots of fun, you can add … So you can do basic photo editing in it, you can add text, some pretty cool text options. So in … Kieran … It looked like Kieran created this graphic himself. He did a great job of it, but you can do it on your phone using PicMonkey, you can add your text there, how was your weekend or whatever question you wanna ask. And then there’s also some fun stickers similar to the stickers that Instagram stories have. Of course, I would suggest using some of those as well, but PicMonkey has their own collection of stickers that you can add just to kinda … especially for youth, to kind of spice it up and some more design elements. So that’s tool number one, PicMonkey and that is free.

Tool number two is another app called Word Swag. You can find this again on the Apple app store or the Android app store. It is not free, it’s $4.99, but this one I think is worth the money. It’s a very powerful text generator. So if you don’t know anything about graphic design or font pairing or anything, you just type your text in and choose a style and Word Swag is gonna generate a really nice graphic post for you to ask that question. And then you just save that photo, bring it into Instagram, drop a slider on there and your good to go.

Brady: Right. So with Word Swag, you open up the app and you just type in the words like, “How lit was your weekend?”

Alex: Exactly.

Brady: Question mark.

Alex: Yeah.

Brady: And it’ll take those words and it’ll create this beautiful typographic-

Alex: Yeah.

Brady: Collage of different fonts and it makes you look like a genius.

Alex: Oh, yeah.

Brady: And then you can actually like randomize to … like, “Oh, I don’t love this one. Like let me try another one.”

Alex: Exactly.

Brady: And you can find one that really fits you, you save it. All you did was literally text in some words, type in some words and it created this beautiful typographic image, save and you’re good to go.

Alex: So for most of us, if we don’t have graphic design experience or maybe we just don’t have the time to jump into our next tool, which is Photoshop and Illustrator to create a graphic, for the $4.99-

Brady: Yeah.

Alex: I think this is going to be worth it for you.

Brady: . I’ve literally been using Word Swag for seven years.

Alex: Yeah. So tool number three is not free. Some of your churches may have a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. I’m talking about Photoshop and I’m talking about illustrator. These are software programs that I use every day and this is how I create my graphics just because I have the tools available to me. So if it’s in your budget or if your church already has a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud, Photoshop and Illustrator are the kings of this game for creating graphics. Maybe it’s a little over the top for this tactic, but it seems like Kieran may have used Illustrator or something to create his graphic. It looks so nice. And you can find Kieran at @youngzeal, that’s his youth page, and I’d recommend giving them a follow. They do some really cool graphic stuff and you can see this Instagram story tactic in use with that slider feature. And yeah, this is just exciting to me. I had some really great conversation with Kieran. And yeah, just … Kieran, great job being so innovative with this new feature and like I said, kind of … it seems like he kind of broke the box open and is using this feature in a way that it was not intended for by Instagram but it’s working so, so well.

I actually tried this on my Instagram account just after got Kieran’s DM, like I have to try this and I had like almost 40% engagement-

Brady: Wow.

Alex: With that post, with that slider, which is much higher than most other stories I’m posting. So people love to engage with that slider and this is a great way to do it.

Brady: For me, the biggest takeaway for this is Instagram stories and the engagement there for me, and it sounds for many others is unrivaled compared to all other social platforms right now. So for instance, my personal @bradyshearer Instagram, is about 11,000 followers and we average about 200 likes per post, whereas with Instagram stories, like the story today had 2,100 views.

Alex: Right.

Brady: And that’s up from like 1,100 views at the beginning of this year. So like two X growth, even though my follower growth has not been two X-

Alex: Right.

Brady: Because engagement on Instagram stories is wild and there are so many powerful tools within there. This tool for instance, that emoji slider, it was released like three weeks ago.

Alex: Yeah.

Brady: It didn’t even exist and when these new tools come out, like just experiment with them, try them. And what’s amazing about Instagram stories, it is so great for actual engagement. Not just you broadcasting to your audience and saying, “Here’s a quote from our most recent message.” It’s like, “How are you doing?”

Alex: Yeah.

Brady: “What’s up with your life? How can we interact?” And it’s amazing for that back and forth engagement and we’re seeing more and more of that on social. It’s not just this broadcasting tool saying, “Hey, here’s what I have to say to the world.” It’s, “Here’s what I have to say. What do you think? And let’s engage.”

Alex: Exactly.

Brady: And that’ll do it for this episode of Pro Church Daily. We’ll see you next time.



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