Developing Websites & Social Media for Ministry
By Chad Landman
Follow Chad on Twitter (@chadlandman) and follow his personal website & blog at http://www.chadl.co/
The following are Chad's notes from a lecture he gave at the Faulkner University Youth & Family Summit.
Faulkner Y&FS // 201503.03
Never Forget Your Message
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
We can never get so wrapped up in the tools, the tech, the design, and the graphics that we forget the whole purpose of what we're doing - and that's to testify the Good News, to teach the Gospel. If you're spending more time in design and graphics than in Bible Study, that's wrong.
You can have the coolest ministry on the block with the best graphics and coolest Twitter account, but if you don't put God and His Word first then you have nothing.
Identify Your Focus
- What are your people using?
- What do you need to focus on?
- Using new tools can be problematic - people don't want to use new things
- Come to where your people are
My Social Media strategy
- Facebook - communicate with parents first (largest demographic is 35-45)
- Twitter - with photos tied to Instagram
- Instagram - custom graphics with info (noticable uptick!)
- Remind - used by teachers, easy to communicate with groups (kids already know about this)
- YouTube - create your own channel if you haven't already (kids LOVE this)
- Email - for parents only (using Mailchimp)
- Text messaging - parents first
- Side note: Remind + Day One = Daily Devotional - text delivered right to their phones
Graphics Layout & Upload
- Square - 2000 X 2000 / 72 dpi / export to PNG or JPG
- Put all info ON pic, not in the caption
- Use Photoshop - or Gimp (Windows) and Pixelmator (Mac)
- Save PNG in Dropbox
- Navigate to that same photo on Dropbox app for phone
- ⇾ Save to Camera Roll
- Upload to Instagram
Works well on Facebook as well as in your bulletin!
The best social media strategy IMO is one that:
- Doesn't bother (1-2 messages + posts a week at most)
- Has effective and clear graphics
- Is seen everywhere they are (5-7 places to include bulletin and announcements)
Let's face it, most church websites are horrible.
10 years ago I was hand-coding websites manually with HTML & CSS. With a service called Squarespace, that's now a piece of cake.
The best part is that they do all the backend stuff for you. Mobile site design, typography, image compression - all that stuff is done for you and you can have a great looking website built in literally just hours.
- Wordpress is great, but still just built for blogs - and is a pain to set up
- Joomla and Droopal are ok - not intuitive and complex to master
- Other BYOW sites like Wix I haven't tried, and there's no reason to
- Squarespace has it all - with top-notch support