Social media can be a fantastic way to create awareness about your ministry as a missionary. You're following God’s call on your life, picking up and moving to another area of the world to serve and minister to people in need of the gospel. It’s exciting stuff!
And though it’s true that social media can be a great way to engage partnership and sometimes raise funding, it takes a ton of work and a good bit of skill. And, truth be told, most missionaries don’t have that kind of time to invest in learning the complexities of social channels.
We recommend a few principles for social media be used by missionaries - mainly to create awareness of your ministry, communicate impact, and build relationships.
1- Create Awareness
When you choose to utilize social media as a missionary, you are jumping into an enormous pool of information along with everyone else. You’re hoping beyond all hope that people will choose to read your information because they love you and love your mission. So, provide information through social media that your audience truly wants to hear. What has God been doing in your place of ministry? What has happened in the last few days that has changed since your last update? How have your financial partnerships allowed that impact to happen?
Be aware that people love pictures so be sure to include photos of those you are ministering to, those that are impacted by your ministry, and even photos of yourself with those people. Pictures are worth a thousand words and harnessing that communication power for your audience will allow a connecting glimpse into the impact of your vision and ministry, showing evidence of impact by your partners.
2- Communicate Impact
Your partners in ministry are just that -- your partners! Social media allows you the opportunity to develop personal relationships that never could have happened without our current technology. These people who have chosen to join your ministry team want to know how you are impacting the world together, as partners in ministry. Utilizing social media as the ultimate tool to communicate how God is causing a change in this world through your shared ministry could be an incredibly inspirational and challenging way to use it for the glory of God.
3- Build Relationships
Know your social media goals well enough to know who is going to be reading the information you are creating. Is it your mom and other family? Is it your financial partners? Those could be two very different groups of people that may be interested in hearing very different updates from you. It’s important to understand who will be reading this information, and to write it specifically for them. Don’t use inside family jokes in a post that includes your financial partners; it’s isolating. Do include true break-through moments that happen and include them as often as possible.
It is priority number one to determine how the people interacting with you want to receive communication and to use that channel. Maybe you don’t use or like Instagram, but 95% of your financial partners post four times a day? Then you need to sign up for an Instagram account. Be willing to learn, through engaged relationships, how your ministry partners and financial partners enjoy receiving updates and communication from you. If you don’t know, then simply ask them.
Using social media to keep your financial partners updated and involved in your shared ministry could be a great thing, so long as you navigate carefully.
Jodie Coher, Communication Specialist
With a passion for discipleship, it’s a true joy for my skills to be a small part of sending others to the mission field. Besides writing, I also enjoy interacting on social media and spending time with my small family in Missouri.