To build online community you need people to be online and I would say there are plenty. According to the website, Statista, over 290 million people, in the United States are on the internet. In addition, statistics have shown that 60% of Americans reported feel lonely and the percentage of Americans that don’t have someone to confide in has tripled in the last 20 years. That said…. the majority of world wants and craves community. Unfortunately, the last couple of months have taught us that meeting in a building isn’t guaranteed. It is time for the church to venture outside the “typical” standards of gathering. That is where building an online community comes in.
As Billy Graham once said “I am amazed at the wonders of technology and am grateful for the ways in which we are able to use it to share the Gospel around the world.” I would say we all agree!
SALT leader, Luke McElroy, had the opportunity to chat with Church Communications expert, Katie Allred about ways that people can build online community. One of the best ways is through the Facebook Groups platform. This conversation covers the following topics as it relates to Facebook groups:
- Find a Niche
- Decide on the Visibility of the Group
- Create a name that is searchable and SEO-friendly
- Have Rules – people need rules
- Be Intentional on Group Engagement
- Have a Launch Plan
- Build a Good Moderator Team (jump to 40:48)
Bottom line, we are in a new age of technology and it is important that our churches meet the people where they are and Facebook Groups are a great start.