Is Two-Way Messaging Needed for Effective Church Engagement?
Consistent communication with your people is critical for staying connected and sharing regular updates about your church’s services, events, and programs. However, relying only on one mass communication platform to communicate won’t allow for long-term, sustainable engagement. Bottom line: two-way engagement is necessary for reaching more people while building personal and long-lasting relationships with your people while reaching
A study from Harvard University revealed that humans talk about themselves 30-40% of the time. In fact, talking about oneself involves neural and cognitive mechanisms identified with reward. So when you’re posting a status update on a social platform like Twitter or Facebook, you’re actually increasing your oxytocin level as much as 13% (this spike often comes with lowered stress levels, feeling safe, trust, and more_. Pew Research found that Facebook users are 43% more likely to feel trustworthy of others. There is a correlation between giving and receiving communication and building trust.
In a society where people are over-informed, you can really stand out by engaging back with someone. Imagine if a person reaches out to the church or ministry and immediately gets a relevant response. Or, instead of just receiving information, they respond with a personal story or a prayer request.
Regularly capture prayer requests
People have things going on in their lives that they want prayer for. Create a system that makes it easy to gather these requests and invite people to continue to update you on their lives. Let them know when they’ve been prayed for and send them a note of encouragement. This helps people to have a low-barrier, first step of engagement.
Ask people to share their stories
Since there’s a direct link between people sharing information about themselves and trust-building, asking your people to share what God is doing in their lives through storytelling can be one of the most effective forms of engagement. Ask your congregants to share their stories with you by sending them in written or video form.
Use social media as an engagement tool people on social media
Don’t just use your social media platforms as a megaphone to communicate information. Instead, think of your church’s social media pages as engagement platforms to encourage two-way communication. Have an Instagram account? Post often while also leaving comments on the photos that your people post. Use Facebook Live to grow your online visitors with a sermon series. Although this will take some time and effort, using social media is one of the best ways to communicate and connect with your people.