One of the biggest struggles women’s ministry leaders faced in this last year was finding creative ways to connect with their women between physical meetings.
Social media became a tool for leaders to use to encourage connection.
While many leaders set up closed Facebook groups for their women’s ministry (see this post if you need help getting started) and others have launched ministry Instagram accounts, it has still been a struggle to get women to respond and connect on a regular basis.
We can feel like we’re throwing spaghetti against the wall. Maybe this will be the post that gets our women talking.
I’ve spent almost 10 years learning how to use social media to cultivate connections and now I’m using those skills in my own church to connect with our women via our Facebook group.
Today I’m sharing some of the things I’ve learned that will help you encourage connection through social media that carries over into real-life relationships.
Before we talk about what to post, we need to think about WHY we post.
Everything we post should:
- Glorify God
- Encourage unity in Christ
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
How we post is as important as what we post.
The biggest mistake leaders make in using social media is that they speak AT their women instead of WITH their women.
More often than not, social media feels like a blowhorn. We make announcement after announcement.
But what women want is for it to be engaging. They want to feel like they are gathered around a table, sipping coffee, and sharing with one another.
We tend to shovel information at women instead of creating conversation.
Here’s the thing – conversations lead to connection.
To create a more conversational and engaging social media presence I recommend:
- 20% of your posts be announcements – event publicity, etc.
- 80% be engagement posts – posts that encourage women to answer or comment
Announcement-type posts are our default, but we often struggle to create engagement posts. I’ve got some ideas to share that I think will help!
Examples of engagement post ideas:
1. General icebreaker questions provide opportunities for women to connect over shared experiences and preferences. Questions related to food almost always get groups talking. What are you having for dinner tonight? What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
2. Spiritual icebreaker questions can subtly encourage women to spend more time in God’s Word and be bolder in sharing their faith. What have you learned recently about the Bible or God? What is one Bible verse that gives you comfort in difficult times?
3. Ask women to respond to a poll. You can use this tool to help with event plans, but you can also use polls as icebreakers. What do you drink first thing in the morning? Water, Coffee, Tea, Juice.
4. Ask women to respond using a GIF or emoji. Show us using only emojis how your time in God’s Word was this morning. Share a GIF that describes your week so far.
5. Share an article from a Christian website and ask your women to comment on it.
6. Host a Scripture reading challenge and ask women to share their reflections each day. Challenge women to read one Psalm a day or one chapter a week of a shorter book of the Bible.
As women respond, you’ll begin to see connections forming. As they share pieces of themselves with one another, relationships will begin to deepen.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked our women to share their favorite ice cream flavor during an unseasonably warm spell. The responses poured in! We discovered chocolate and butter pecan were clear favorites. Women responded to each other in the comments asking where they could purchase unique flavors that piqued their interest. One of our women even suggested we have an ice cream tasting party.
One of the great things about encouraging women to connect online is that it can spill over into in-person interactions.
One women’s ministry leader shared with me that a post asking their group to share their favorite restaurant for lunch turned out better than they ever could have imagined. Not only did women share some great lunch spots, but they began making plans to eat together! I pray you’ll see similar results.
As I’m sure you’ve experienced, social media can be a rather divisive place.
To help our women stay focused on Christ and to encourage unity, there are some things I do not post:
- Anything political, divisive, or sarcastic.
- Quotes from authors, pastors, or speakers that do not align with my church’s beliefs.
To help you get started on creating connections through social media, I’ve created a free resource for you – 50 Ministry-Minded Social Media Questions. To receive the resource, complete the form below. It will be delivered to your email box.
Signing up for this resource will automatically place you on my email list, however, you are welcome to unsubscribe at any time.
Would you like some help creating questions and graphics?
I know how time-consuming it can be to create social media graphics – I’ve done the work for you! I have several Social Media Packs available in the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Shop.
Each Social Media Pack contains a variety of eye-catching graphics in a square format ready to post on Facebook and Instagram without any editing. You are welcome to add your website address or logo on top of the graphics.
You’ll also find several other posts on the Women’s Ministry Toolbox site that will help you use social media to connect with your women:
8 Benefits of a Social Media Coordinator
How to Schedule Social Media Posts
How to Create a Women’s Ministry Social Media Plan
How to Create Social Media Graphics
How to Use Facebook Groups for Women’s Ministry
How to Use Facebook and Instagram to Build Community and Encourage Spiritual Growth Between Women’s Ministry Meetings
How to Use Social Media to Support the Mission of Your Women’s Ministry Program
Social Media Kits for Ministry
Tech Tools for Women’s Ministry
With a bit of extra effort and intention, I believe you’ll find that social media encourages your women to connect in between meetings.