How Social Media Can Advance Your Summer Missions

How Social Media Can Advance Your Summer Missions

“Can you coach me on how to increase giving at my church?” That was the first question Florida Pastor Dr. John Cross asked me one afternoon while driving down a back-road Indiana highway. At the time, he was at South Biscayne Church in the Sarasota area. His church was exploding with younger generations. That call led to my being engaged with helping South Biscayne rebound from the impact of The Great Recession. Florida was hit economically worse than many states. How do you increase giving in that kind of climate? With younger generations?

One primary tool we used to help us inform and inspire members, attendees, and guests was to tell exciting stories using social media. In this post, I want to tell you one story of how we used social media to keep members informed and inspired about a life-changing mission trip the church undertook. But let me establish that…

Like it or not, social media is here to stay in its many various formats.

Social media has now become the front porch of America. So, if you want to increase giving this summer, you had better be where your members are, and they are on social media!

Do you doubt that? Consider these facts from:

59% of the world’s population uses social media. The average daily usage is 2 hours and 31 minutes.1.

Let me share a strategy I put together for South Biscayne Church. When I worked for them in 2013, they were preparing for a summer mission trip to Ukraine.

Here is a review of what we did to focus on the story of the mission and to get people to want to give to support that mission.

1.) Pre-Event Tease Out

One month before the mission team left for Ukraine, through all their platforms, we began trumpeting the call to prayer and support for the Ukraine mission. We started a blog site for Dr. Cross, who would then report what was happening in real time.

They started a hashtag for prayer for the Ukraine trip. These posts heightened awareness of the upcoming trip and allowed us to make an “ask” to support the trip. I recommend at least one social media post daily across all your sites to build awareness and support for your summer mission initiative.

2.) Live Reports During the Event

With today’s Internet, you can report back to your members and donors with live feeds or recaps like what you see attached.

Each night after the day’s events, the pastor would blog a few paragraphs as a report of the day’s actions. These posts contained pictures of ministry in action. It showed who they were impacting but also showed members at work in ministry.

This was a few years ago, but now you can easily do this with live reports through many of the current Social Media platforms. Be creative! By posting events as they happen, you make the trip personal for your church and especially for those whose generosity made the trip possible.

3.) Post-Event Report & Thank You

At the time of this trip, Facebook had just allowed short videos to be embedded into a page. I had counseled the church that thanking your donors was a key to gaining the next gift of support. The church taught Ukrainian youth an English as a Second language course. South Biscayne used their cell phones and took videos of Ukrainian students thanking the church for sending a mission team to their country. In short thirty-second videos, they had the students share a short thank you to South Biscayne church.

Showing people WHAT their gift did, and thanking them for that gift, paves the way for the next gift!

4.) Show & Tell

Do you remember that from your grade school days? One way to increase giving is to use the same concept. Show and tell people what you are doing, and they will give you money to support that cause. With people averaging 151 minutes a day on social media, is there a more effective way, for free, to get your story in front of people? Get started today using social media to tell your amazing story of life change this summer!

What impact has that mission trip had on those young people who, ten years later, are fighting for the freedom of their country? Only eternity knows. But lives were impacted, and my guess is that the members at South Biscayne still pray for their brothers and sisters in Ukraine. The bond they feel results from putting a face on a mission trip through social media. Think about what you could do with your smartphone on your next mission trip.


Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *