I know, Fall arrived sooner than you were ready and there were Rally Day and God’s Work our Hands Day, and a new Bible Study starting up and plans for the Fall Supper and Bazaar.  And last year you thought you’d do something really elaborate for Social Media Sunday, but here it is coming up this Sunday.

That’s okay!  We are Lutherans. We run on grace!

You don’t have to do anything special to prepare to participate.  When you get to church, check into whatever social media you participate in and let folks know you are at church.

If you are a church leader, invite folks to check in and let their friends know where they are.  If you are not a leader, how about when the pastor asks at the beginning of the service “Are there any other announcements?”, you pop up and say “Yes!  It’s Social Media Sunday and I’d like to encourage everyone to check in and post something about our church on social media.”

(Pastor would probably appreciate it if you let them know ahead a time you’d like to do that, but if your church a place where impromptu announcements are the norm, go for it!)

Social Media is mostly about telling our stories.

Your faith and your faith community is a big part of your story.  Evangelism can be an intimidating word, but really all it is is sharing the story of Jesus and how Jesus’s story intersects with your story.   Social Media Sunday is all about sharing your faith story.


Here are some things you can post.  And you can do this in church, or if you aren’t comfortable, do it when you get home from church

  • Just let people know you are at your congregation to worship
  • A photo of the decorated altar
  • A picture from the hymnbook of the hymn you are singing. If you are really brave, video a few seconds of everyone singing the hymn!
  • A few lines from the scripture reading for the day
  • A quote from the sermon
  • A selfie with your best church friend
  • A selfie with your pastor
  • How you feel after you’ve worshiped
  • A picture of that great goodie that is served at Coffee Hour


You get the idea.  It’s really easy.  Use the hashtag #SMS16 on whatever you post.  Then, check out that hashtag and see how many church people across the US and Canada are participating.  You will be amazed!

Now, for something a little more advanced:

The Northeastern Iowa Synod is supporting seven Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGMs) in Hungary and we have three young people from our synod serving as YAGMs around the world.  Social Media can connect us with anyone around the world.  You can show your support of our YAGMS on Sunday in this way:

Go to the Young Adults in Global Mission – ELCA Facebook page, and post this message:

Greetings to (Name of one YAGM) from (Name of your congregation) in the Northeastern Iowa Synod!

For our Hungary YAGMs you can also go to:

YAGM Central Europe

For Morghen & Susan– go to Madagascar YAGM


If you are on Twitter tweet this message:

Greetings to (Name of YAGM) from (name of congregation – use your congregation twitter handle if you have one), @NEIowaSynodELCA  #SMS16  @ELCAYAGM 


(Be sure to use @ELCAYAGM so they can share the message)


Use THIS BULLETIN INSERT on Sunday with all the names of our YAGMs.

It’s that simple!

You will show our YAGMs how many congregations are holding them in prayer and will provide an example to others in the church of how they can support their YAGMs.

If you haven’t prepared for Social Media Sunday, that’s okay, you can still participate.  I’m looking forwarding to seeing YOU and YOUR church on #SMS16!


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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.


Digital Ministry


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