Our church is growing rapidly because we figured out how to leverage social media to reach people.

As soon as people learn about how our church more than doubled in size in less than 12 months – largely through the use of social media – they immediately want to talk about the content we create and use. What they fail to understand is that content is just one piece of the puzzle. 

It is true that if your content is terrible, social media does more harm for your ministry than it does good. 

It is also true that even if you have high quality, professional content the results from your social media efforts will be extremely limited if you aren’t thinking about some other really important aspects of leveraging social media to reach people. 

The five areas below are absolutely essential to think through with your team before you ever do anything with social media as a ministry or church.

5 Social Media Tips That Will Actually Grow Your Church

The Strategy

Content is great, but strategy is greater. If you really want to reach your community through social media you have to think about and develop a strategy. Ask yourself (or your team) these two basic questions:

  1. What are we trying to say?
  2. How are we trying to say it? 

Clear and simple answers to those questions will help you develop and fuel your online social media strategy.

The Filter

Once your strategy is developed you will need to filter everything you do on social media through that strategy. No more pot luck dinner announcements. No more clutter. If it doesn’t fit with what you are trying to say and who you are trying to say it to, don’t post it. Spend some time deleting old content that doesn’t fit the strategy you developed. Filter all future content through your strategy.

The Focus

Social media really works well when you have a razor sharp focus on your target audience. Clearly define the audience you are trying to reach.

  • Who are they?
  • What are their fears or frustrations?
  • What are their dreams or desires? 
  • What obstacles are they facing? 

Use your focus on, and understanding of, your audience to drive your content creation.  

The Content

There is no excuse to put poor content on the internet. We started leveraging social media with zero budget allotted for marketing and using free tools. When you put out poor content you turn people off to your message. Images should be modern and attractive without a lot of clutter.  Videos should be clear and steady.

Find someone in your church who is in to photography. Ask them to take pictures for you. Get free stock photos at places like Pexels and Unsplash. Use free editing software apps like Canva. There are a ton of tools available for you to up your content game. Get on Google and start searching. Problem solve to improve the quality of your content.

The Health

If your church is unhealthy; if it does not have a healthy culture; if it has leadership problems; if it isn’t focused on loving and reaching the unchurched, please don’t use social media to try to grow your church. Be honest and courageous enough to take a good hard look at the health of your church. Take a good hard look at your health as a leader.  

Don’t make excuses, just work on the health and culture of the church. If you use social media effectively and people show up to an unwelcoming, unhealthy church you actually cause more harm than good. Your church won’t grow. You will create another barrier between people and Jesus, making it harder for all of us to win influence and have a voice with lost people. 

Please get healthy before you ever think about using social media to reach people. Please!

Hope you found this helpful.

Praying for you.

Your voice matters. 

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Josh Ott is lead pastor at Grace Free Church in Cressona, PA. He is also a speaker, coach and creator of the The Speaking Course for Pastors, Speakers and Church Leaders.


  1. Pastor Greg on April 19, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    I thought I read your church doubled by using social media. Can you give me an idea of how much it grew. From 10 to 20 or 100 to 200 weekly attendance.

    • Josh Ott on April 24, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      Hey Pastor Geg, thanks for asking. From 135 average attendance to 400+ and still growing. (The growth happened over the course of 2 years and 3 months.)

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