Marketers know something the church should know.  People love a good story. People will always be drawn to a story that gives meaning to their lives.

As the church, we have that story.

We have THE Story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Congregations have a story of how they are a community of people who have been gathered.

Here are five tips to help you use social media to tell your story.

1. Have a plan.

Don’t use social media as an afterthought.  Develop a strategy for everything you want to share. Ask these questions:

  • What is our Story?
  • Who is our Audience?
  • What do we want them to know about us?
  • What are the tools which will best tell that story?

2. Remember, this is SOCIAL media.

Go beyond announcing your events.  Think in terms of telling a story with photos of people.

For example: “VBS is next week.  We need donations of Kool-Aid,” is NOT a story.

“Children playing at VBS get thirsty.  Can you donate some Kool aid?” is a story.


Good example of telling a story when asking for donations from Nazareth in Cedar Falls

3. Stories involve people.

Tell us about the people at your church.  Tell us about the lady who makes Kool-Aid for VBS. Photos of people are always better than fancy graphics.

People are more interested in your story than your graphics.

4. Think of how your social media posts look to non-members.

Don’t use insider language.  (Like-“We will meet at the usual time and place”).   Give non-members a feel for what life is like at your church.

5. Don’t forget THE Story.

We do what we do because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  Not every post has to be about Jesus but you do need to talk about Jesus sometimes.  Even when you don’t, always have it in the back of your mind “How does your post reflect the Gospel?”



More tips:

  • Don’t use insider “Churchy” language.
  • Use fewer words.
  • Share more photos.
  • Share videos.
  • Photos and videos don’t have to be polished.  You do have to spell the words correctly however.


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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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