A year ago, I had friends saying that Snapchat had no place in the church.
?It?s immature.? ?It?s dangerous.? ?The interface is unintuitive.? Those are phrases I heard on a regular basis from people inside the church who thought it wasn?t worth investing time into Snapchat.
At that point one year ago, Snapchat already had more active users than Twitter, and less than 1% of Snapchat users were using it in inappropriate ways. It was also at this point that 75% of Snapchat users were under the age of 25.
Fast-forward to today, Snapchat has evolved into one of the best online storytelling platforms available to the church, and it?s one of the best ways to engage the millennial generation online. With that said, I hope that if your church hasn?t explored Snapchat yet you might give it a try. I?m not going to sit here and tell you that it?s for everyone. As with all social media platforms, I?m a strong believer that you need to go where your audience is. If that?s Facebook, use Facebook. If that?s Instagram, use Instagram. If that?s Snapchat, try Snapchat.[quote]You need to go where your audience is.[/quote]
However, in order for you to use Snapchat for your church, you must have some ideas for how you?re going to engage people on the platform. That?s why I?m giving you 10 ideas for using Snapchat at your church. And stick around until the end for a few churches you should follow on Snapchat to inspire you.
10 Ideas For Using Snapchat At Your Church
1. Band Rehearsal Behind-the-Scenes
Giving people a behind-the-scenes look at what is happening in your church is a great way to use Snapchat. Snapping video of your band?s rehearsal builds anticipation for the upcoming church service, and it makes people feel like they?re a part of the preparation for a service.
If you aren?t having fun with Snapchat, you?re using it wrong. Make your Snapchat presence engaging for people who are following you by asking trivia questions. You can do multiple-choice questions or fill-in-the-blank. Ask questions about your church. Ask questions about the most recent sermon. And then ask people to snap their answers to you and post about the winner!
3. Q&A with the Pastor
Provide value to people in your church through Snapchat. Ask people to snap their questions to you, and then record video of your pastor answering one or more of those questions. Remember you only have a limited amount of time on video, so it will force you to keep answers concise. But you can also record multiple videos in a row.
4. Prayer Requests
Like any social media platform, you should be using Snapchat to encourage people. Ask people to snap their prayer requests to you, and then record a quick video of your pastor saying a general prayer for all the requests. This will show people that you care about what they?re going through, and you can engage with them in a very personal way.
5. Meetings Behind-the-Scenes
People enjoy the mundane. Getting a behind-the-scenes look at what happens on staff at your church is often interesting to people. So every once in a while, record a quick video of a staff meeting. It may not seem like much, but it?s just another easy way to provide value for someone.
6. Interviews with Congregation
Snapchat is an amazing platform for storytelling. Every idea I?ve given you so far can be part of telling a story, but this may be one of the most interesting ways to do it ? by telling someone?s story in your church. And it doesn?t have to be a talking head either. Sure, you can record a bunch of videos of someone telling their story. Or you can take multiple pictures of someone in different settings along with text overlay to tell their story.
7. Event FOMO
Snap videos and pictures of events happening at your church. This not only serves to give people an inside look, but it also creates a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) for those who aren?t attending. It may just boost your attendance at your next event.
8. A Day in the Life of a Pastor
Another way to tell a story with Snapchat is to give people an inside look at what a day in the life of your pastor looks like. Maybe this is simply allowing one of your pastors to takeover the church?s Snapchat for a day. Your pastor could snap each piece of his or her day ? study, meetings, lunch, study, office snacks, etc. It could be boring, or it could be a creative way to make people feel like they?re part of your pastor?s day.
9. Have Fun
As you?re snapping, don?t forget to have fun with it. Snapchat is probably the most unique social media platform available today, simply due its fun nature. Even the most professional organizations have fun on Snapchat. For example, go follow The White House on Snapchat. Regardless of where you stand politically, you can learn so much from the way The White House uses Snapchat.
10. Use Emojis
Finally, don?t be afraid to use emojis! They may not seem like the most mature or professional way to communicate, but they?re central to the core of the Snapchat platform. People expect to see them being used on Snapchat, so don?t feel like you?re being childish by putting the ?thumbs up? emoji on a snap of your worship service.
A few churches to follow on Snapchat for inspiration: