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The time has come and gone when Facebook was something for a church to consider. Facebook is now a must! Of all the social platforms, I promise the majority of your community and congregation is on Facebook. After all, did you know Facebook is the third largest nation? It trails only China and India in population.

Facebook is definitely your greatest tool for communicating with your church. If you’re in the midst of a building project, Facebook will be one of your most efficient tools for communicating progress on the project.

There's no need to be afraid of jumping in. Setup is easy. Simply follow these five steps, and you’ll be up and running in no time. (Please note: This post assumes you have an existing Facebook account for yourself already. If you don’t, simply follow the easy set-up steps on Facebook.com, and then proceed with the following five steps to set up a Facebook page for your church.)

1. Choose Your Classification.

Start here to create your church's page. Once there, choose your page type from the following six classifications: (1) Local Business or Place; (2) Artist, Band or Public Figure; (3) Company, Organization or Institution; (4) Entertainment; (5) Brand or Product; or (6) Cause or Community. Then, select Church/Religious Organization from the dropdown menu and enter your church's name. On the following page, you'll be prompted to login to your Facebook account.

2. Complete Your Basic Info.

Here, you'll complete tabs 1, 2 and 3, and skip tab 4. First, fill in your "About" information. This information should be two to three sentences and capture your church's mission. Enter your website next and select a custom URL. If available, try to select a URL similar to your other social networks. (For example, Parkview Christian Academy uses PCAFalcons on their Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube accounts.) Second, upload your profile picture. This picture will coincide with all your comments and posts and should ideally be your logo. The size you'll need to upload is 180 pixels x 180 pixels. Third, bookmark your page for easy future navigation.

3. Use Your Admin Panel.

Now, look for "Edit Page" in the upper right corner. Click it, and you'll be able to fill in all your remaining information, such as address, e-mail, favorite books and shows, phone, etc. The more information, the better. Think of Facebook like a dating profile. People want info; don’t deprive them of it.

4. Plug in Your Content.

We almost forgot your cover photo. The exact dimensions of this photo are 851 pixels x 315 pixels (see the image below). Be sure to select a creative horizontal image with broad appeal. Facebook also allows custom tabs. As the above image shows, you're able to customize four of them. Think about what you want in these four slots, whether it's events, groups, photos of your church construction project, etc.

OK, time to plug in your content. You'll want a good slew of content before inviting people to "like" your page. You don't want people showing up to an empty page. It's kind of like showing up to an empty party—awkward! Examples of content include:

1. Bible verses
2. Construction project photos (your church will appreciate knowing how your building renovation or new construction is progressing)
3. Community happenings (showcasing these will endear your community to you
4. Daily devotions
5. Event details
6. Member and staff profiles and testimonies
7. Photo album for adult ministries
8. Photo album for children ministries
9. Photo album for youth ministries

5. Invite and monitor.

Start inviting people to like your page and monitor their engagement. The upper right of your admin panel shows the private messages users are sending, whereas the upper left and center show the posts users are commenting on and liking. Be sure to respond to these comments, likes and messages so people know you care about them. Don't be silent as your page is a reflection of Christ.

Ding, ding, ding! You're all set. Happy days on Facebook, and go build a large and strong community for the Kingdom! 

How long has your church had a Facebook page? To what extent does your congregation engage with the content on it? Share your comments below.

I’ve always loved impacting and transforming the landscapes of life. So, I acquired a degree in civil engineering and jumped into the world of land development. With these skill sets, God provided an opportunity to come alongside my local congregation and guide the development of parking and recreational facilities. This opportunity ignited a light bulb which is the ability to blend the skills of my mind with the passions of my heart. Through grace the Lord connected me to the Aspen Group where this blending is carried out daily. I’m so blessed!

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Beth Garvin

commented on Feb 25, 2014

Our church has had a Facebook page in November of 2009. We have found that we receive more 'hits' when we include a picture or do a story about a person, or people. Also, when you hit the little ' v ' icon in the upper right hand corner of your post, you can highlight posts, which makes the photo much larger. A larger photo attracts more 'hits'. We also do not tag photos or allow people to tag others. This is for security purposes. It is getting to the point where we are going to have to start requiring media releases of people if their faces are shown. Sad fact but one to consider.

Keith B

commented on Feb 25, 2014

Agreed. It was one of the first things I did when I came to my church. I used to be a web developer by trade, but due to the area we are in, a web page just isn't worth doing at this point. But FB page is quick and easy. And most people are on FB. If nothing else, it provides a good way to make announcements to anyone following the church's page.

Alexander Drysdale Lay Preacher Uca Australia

commented on Feb 26, 2014

I don't have a Facebook account and do not intend getting one. Maybe it is safe but I am not convinced and why do we have to have a doctorate in Facebook construction and use to spruik the Good News. If indeed we do spruik the Good News and not just how good we are and how many programs we run and how we cater to the world and what we think they want when it is what they need that should be paramount and tat is The Good News.

Norman Tate

commented on Feb 27, 2014

We speak of facebook as if it is the only and the best way to reach others. However here is a question that no one has been able to answer for me. If someone in your church makes certain comments about another person whether church member or not; and that person decides to sue, if the church sponsored the web site, is it not legally responsible?

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