Often confused with Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups are described by our friends at Facebook as a “place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion.” They even mention that Facebook Groups are perfect for church groups! So, while it is important for your church to have its own Facebook Page, Groups serve a much more specific purpose — connection for a smaller group around a specific cause.
So how can your church leverage Facebook Groups to help your people interact more intentionally? Let’s dig into a few ways:
Create a space for community.
The online world is tricky. In 2019, there are so many social media platforms pulling us in different directions. In order to get buy-in, you have to stand out. Facebook Groups provide the perfect opportunity for just that. Rather than empty scrolling that often leads to disappointment and comparison games, Groups give you a chance to create a genuine community. You can create them to be somewhat exclusive so that members have to be approved to join, which also adds to a feeling of safety. You can intentionally engage people and build a sense of community in a way that you can’t do anywhere else online.
Create opportunities for conversation.
Unlike Facebook Pages, which are designed more for a flow of information shared in your feed, Groups are geared towards chatter and engagement. Whether that’s asking for input on a specific current issue or posing questions to discuss after a weekly service, you have a great place for conversation-starters. The exclusive nature of Groups also lends itself well to this, as you can closely monitor who is a part of your Group and what they are saying in a way that is more challenging with your Page.
Create a desire for more.
Whatever direction you decide to take your Facebook Page, your goal should always be intentional community and conversation that leads to member interaction — and if you do this well, people will want more. They will want to take what was built inside of an online platform and move it to the next level. Church attendance? Possibly. A phone call with a new friend in a time of need? That would be incredible. New friends to have over for Thanksgiving dinners, birthdays, and show up in times of crises? Boom. You’ve done it. You’ve created a safe space for a genuine connection that has inevitably brought about a desire for more. And you’ve utilized a powerful online platform to bring people together around the name of Jesus to do life together.
There’s never going to be a perfect formula for this process. You’ll have to make some mistakes in order to get it right. And you’ll need to be patient. Community, conversation, and the desire for more take time. There’s no way around that. But while you wait, you’ve got a great tool at your disposal that allows you to dig into some depth, in a space where people might talk to each other in ways they wouldn’t in any other place.