Instagram stories, Snapchat stories, Facebook stories… They’re all pretty similar. They’re a running timeline of content. Videos or pictures string together to tell a story. Simple, right? The question is: How can a church use stories well? Is it just about duplicating what you’re already posting? Or is there some secret to it?
In this tip, we’ll use the term Instagram stories for churches, but the concepts apply to Snapchat and Facebook too.
Before we dive into properly using Instagram stories for your church, let’s talk about what you shouldn’t do. You certainly shouldn’t just post more of the same to your story as you do in your regular posts. If you do that, your church will quickly gain a reputation of content that isn’t worth viewing. Nobody seeks out commercials.
Instead, your church’s Instagram stories should have an entertainment element to them. I’m not necessarily saying they should be funny, though they could be. They don’t need to be dramatic in nature. They just need to give your followers a glimpse into all the good stuff your church has to offer.
Ideas for your church’s Instagram stories:
- Behind the scenes. Give your people a glimpse at what happens behind closed doors. Go into the green room or into rehearsal. A meeting. Setup. Teardown.
- Message or worship. Take short clips of the service. Go to rehearsal or grab your pastor’s notes and anticipate moments that might be special to share with those who missed the service (or those who want to revisit it).
- Kids. Show how much fun the kids have during the service. (Just be sure to get permission from parents to show their kids on your church’s Instagram stories.)
- Devotional thought. Give your church a quick devotional thought during the week.
- Volunteer spotlight. Highlight someone who’s awesome. Maybe ask them a few questions or show what they do in their role. Feel free to use this moment to invite others to get involved in volunteering too.
- Q&A or Updates. Let people ask questions or just let people in on developing news items concerning your church.
- Baptisms. Let people celebrate baptisms by sharing them on your church’s Instagram stories.
Here’s the point. Show people what happens in the life of your church. Share life. That’s what Instagram stories were created for – unfiltered, real life. Resist the urge to be too professional with your church’s Instagram stories.
Bonus time! We actually created a freebie pack that will help you share these moments. They’re basically pre-made images you can upload to your church’s Instagram stories to introduce a new segment you’re wanting to show. Download the JPG files here.
At SundaySocial.tv, we’re committed to helping your church use social media effectively. We want you to get real engagement; that’s what our social media images are all about. Even if you aren’t a subscriber, we want to make this pack available to you. Share this article. Share the freebie. And be awesome. Use stories effectively and share your church’s life with your people.