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    How Social Media Can Help Create a Sense of Belonging and Connection in the Church

    Belonging and Connection: How Social Media Can Help Create a Sense of Belonging and Connection in the Church

    Written by Jeremy Hoekstra, Church Communications Expert (View Jeremy’s Resume)

    We are in an era where screens dominate our daily lives, and it has been suggested that this might be why we are experiencing an epidemic of loneliness.  It feels like we spend more time in front of our screens with social media than we do in actual face-to-face interaction with other people.  But social media is not going anywhere, and, like most things, it is not all bad.  In fact, one could argue that it is a great tool to foster even more human interaction.  The church, being what should be the center and source of human interaction and connection, would be wise to consider how social media can help people find that place of belonging and connection.  Here are three ways that can happen.


    Finding Your People

    Social media can act as the first impression that people get of your church.  It is a way to initiate that first conversation where your church can share who you are, what you value, and the opportunities you provide to connect. As those kinds of things are shared in creative, authentic, and engaging ways, the people online who resonate with that will, in turn, engage with you and take that first step on their end to continue the conversation as they feel like maybe “these are my people.”

    Sharing Your Story

    Social media often gets used to project a false perception of who we are.  Your church, however, can use it to share authentic stories of hope, transformation, struggle, and even grief.  This kind of vulnerability can begin to develop trust and connection between people as they see themselves in the stories of your church. As a result, people will start to feel less alone and more connected to your community.  

    Experiences From Home

    Social media can also provide people with the opportunity to experience what your church is really like. Livestreams and online events have become the norm for churches.  People are experiencing worship gatherings, teaching events, conferences, and small groups in virtual spaces now.  Social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram allow people to participate in these experiences from the safety of their own space.  As people experience these live events through social media, trust and connection is continued to be built and people start to feel a stronger sense of belonging and connection with your church.

    Social media can be a powerful tool to help shape our sense of belonging and connection in the digital age. It gives your church an opportunity to make a first impression and to build trust and connection with people.  What most people don’t realize is every time they pick up their phone or turn on their computer and open social media, they are searching for a place to belong, to connect, and to feel safe. Your church can be that place, and social media can help you take that first step.