Facebook has been a great communication tool for us at St. George’s. It’s allowed us to get information to lots of people quickly and simply, share and connect regularly throughout the week and touch the lives of many people, even all over the world. But as Facebook grows and changes there are some new challenges we face and there’s a way in which each of us can be a huge help in our ministry on facebook.
The Situation: Sharing is a Must
So first a little about Facebook. The way Facebook works at the moment is that for pages like our St. George’s page very few people will see our posts–including people like you who follow our page– unless either we pay Facebook to show them, or people like you share them.
Liking or reacting to a post is kind and much appreciated but doesn’t help in this respect. Only sharing our posts makes them more visible to others. So, it is becoming a real priority for us to encourage everyone who’s able and willing to share our posts.
Sharing does three great things:
- Other Followers See It – It increases the chances of others following the St. George’s page seeing the post.
- You See More Posts – It increases your chance of seeing whatever we post next, because it conclusively proves to Facebook that you’re interested in what we’re posting.
- Other People See It – It increases the chance of someone who doesn’t yet follow St. George’s seeing and be blessed by the post. (A single share can mean hundreds more views of a post.)
The Obstacle: Weirdness
So, this brings us to that awkward discussion. Sometimes sharing posts from your church can seem a bit daunting, because nobody wants to be that annoying newsfeed hog or labelled a “fanatical wing-nut” by their non-Christian friends. We get it. And thankfully there is an alternative.
I’m guessing most of us on Facebook have faced this dilemma: You want to share that post. Some of your friends could really benefit. But other friends might be weirded out by it. This may be an especially common scenario for Christians. Some posts, quotes or articles are great but meant for those who already have faith in Jesus. Those who don’t would have trouble understanding. That’s okay. But what can you do? Just not share it? Well that would be a shame. And thankfully there is another option.
A Solution: Friend Lists
Facebook has a feature they call Friend Lists. This allows you to make lists of certain friends that have something in common. Then whenever you’re sharing a post or image or status update you can choose to share it with all your friends or just a certain segment of them. You can have lists of your fb friends who are interested in rugby, knitting, comic books, cooking, etc. and share posts that only they will see.
And in this case you could make a list of your fb friends who are Christians or interested in Jesus. Then when there are posts more oriented towards building up and enriching established Christian faith you can finally be freed up to click share and not be concerned with how it may confuse or upset others.
Sometimes the Spirit is going to want us to be bold on social media about our faith in Jesus. But sometimes content is intended for those who are already in the family, not for those who haven’t even been introduced yet. Either way we need your help. Without folks like you and me sharing our posts we simply can’t reach many people. If at all possible please consider hitting that share button and let’s build up and encourage one another and share the good news of life in Christ far and wide.
How to Create a Friend List on Facebook
The setup process for creating a new Friend List is pretty simple. Here’s a quick step by step tutorial about it:
Once you’ve created a list, whenever you post or share something you have the freedom to select that group of friends as your audience.
Simply click what Facebook calls the “Audience Selector” (usually labelled “Friends” at first) and select the name of your newly created Friend List (it may be under “More…” or “See all…“).
Here’s a quick tutorial about selecting your audience:
Be bold and be wise in your witness on social media. And be an active part of our church ministry online! Thanks so much, family