How to Develop a Social Media Strategy That Enhances Your Ministry 


What are the benefits social media can bring to your ministry? Scott Holthaus highlights ways churches can build and boost their social media strategies to maximize the benefits of your church’s social media presence.  

Building social media within ministries can feel daunting, foreign, and complicated—especially at first. It can feel like we’re putting in a lot of effort for very little return or engagement. It can also feel rather overwhelming to post consistently, all while hearing words like “algorithm” and feeling like we are required to meet specific metrics to achieve digital success. However, it is important we understand the benefits social media can bring to our ministries. When we begin to see the value and blessing from this important sect in ministry, we can develop a deepened appreciation, learning interest and true investment in this element of ministry growth. In one of our most recent podcasts, we had the opportunity to chat with social media expert Jacob Shipley, who offered us a wealth of knowledge regarding how ministries can best build and boost their social media strategies while maintaining a heart of worship that is people focused. Here is what we learned:   

Shift perspective.   

Social media is much more than a digital bulletin board; it is a way to reach others in the online world that may not be reached otherwise—with immediacy, interactive engagement and opportunities for message spreading in capacities that have never been available before.    

When we shift from viewing social media as a tool to promote the ministry and start viewing it as an “arm” of the ministry, our perspective is transformed, our content options expanded, and our audiences widened. Social media is not just a way to promote what the ministry is doing, but it’s also an avenue of reaching people in a way that is relevant, direct, and engaging. When we begin to use social media in this way, it is not only a promotional tool, but an actual piece of ministry itself.   

Identify your purpose.   

In keeping with the shift in perspective about the usefulness of social media in ministry, it is crucial that churches determine the purpose of their ministry and the role social media plays in alignment with that purpose. When we pause to identify the ‘why,’ the ‘how’ becomes a lot easier.    

Learning about algorithms begins with understanding they are tools designed to present relevant content to the most amount of people as possible with the intention of forming ongoing engagement within the platform. Rather than becoming consumed with the ‘right’ metrics, let’s pause to consider that the reason that numbers matter is because people matter. Ultimately, we want social media engagement because we want to know when, how, and why people are benefiting from the content we’re providing them.    

Remaining patient and consistent is such an important key. Sometimes the growth we want takes longer than we expect—especially when we are growing social media in an organic way.    

Repurpose content.  

One of the best ways churches can convey the point of their mission is by repurposing the content they already have. Not only does this serve as a way to simplify the process, but it also ensures that the ministry’s mission is consistent.    

Repurposing content is simple; it’s taking a recorded sermon we already have and packaging it in a way that best suits the algorithm for the platform on which we’re to post. For example, finding the primary message point within the sermon, turning it into a vertical 30-second video, running it through an AI-powered video editor (such as Descript), and posting it as a limited shortform video segment (such as Instagram Reels).  

As a general rule, one of the most effective things we can do to help with repurposing content is to invest in whatever feature a platform is launching. When platforms launch a new feature, they are extremely invested in that add-on’s success. Consequently, they will prioritize content creators and accounts that use that feature. A willingness to test these themes out in the process of repurposing content is one of the best ways we can grow our following, engagement, and digital ministry.   

Social media is an important element in ministry that has the power to impact others beyond our church grounds. When ministry leadership teams give attention to their social media platforms consistently and effectively, all while keeping themselves grounded in their mission, they are allowing themselves to optimally generate quality content for those with access to their digital ministries.    

First published in MinistryTech 2023. Used by permission of Outreach magazine. All rights reserved. 

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About Author

Scott Holthaus has spent the last 17 years in ministry overseeing worship, creative, and communications in a variety of contexts from church plants to mega-churches. He now creates content at Ministry Brands (including co-hosting the Church Leadership Lab podcast) and helps church leaders embrace tech to grow healthy churches.

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Discovering God’s Future for Your Church

Discovering God’s Future for Your Church is a turn-key tool kit to help your congregation discern and implement God’s vision for its future. The resource guides your church in discovering clues to your vision in your history and culture, your current congregational strengths and weaknesses, and the needs of your surrounding community. The tool kit features videos, leader’s guides, discussion exercises, planning tools, handouts, diagrams, worksheets, and more. Learn more and watch an introductory video now.