USING SOCIAL MEDIA DURING COVID-19 The question of whether social media is effective for churches was never in question. The question has arisen during this time, “How do we use social media most effectively in a time when we can’t be together in one place?” For Cross Church, we were typically using our social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to advertise, encourage, and capture the attention of seekers. When we were forced to cancel events and close the doors of the buildings we shifted to a model of communicating hope, and engaging, and guiding our people through the rough waters which we are currently living. In a way, 04 we stripped down our normal stream and built it back up with laser focused intentionality. We realized quickly that if the world was going digital, our messages had to be worthy of the time for someone to settle on us. Also, we wanted to give the people in our church a firm sense of connectedness with the ministers, ministries, and mission. The important thing for us to remember is the mission of the church will continue and we will communicate it effectively. Here are some guidelines we have followed to help us during this time. 1. Say what needs to be said, but only say it when needed. Don’t flood your communication streams with unnecessary noise. This is the loudest megaphone right now, make sure it’s worthy of attention. 2. Keep the mission of the church high. 3. Point to your online experience as much as anything. Make sure they know where and when to join online. Make sure you don’t confuse what is the most important — Sunday service online. 4. Brag on what people are doing to help during this time. Remember, the church is the people not the building, so highlight that! If you are doing a food drive make sure it’s celebrated with pictures, video, text. 5. Cross post with other ministries to your main accounts. If the Kids Ministry, Student Ministry, etc., are doing fun things during this time, highlight the ministry by sharing to your main accounts. 6. Take short videos from pastors and post encouragement. Your people need to know you care and not just see verse memes. The opportunity to be personal, transparent, and engaging is high during this time. 7. Be intentional, be thoughtful, be effective in how you communicate during this time 8. Be who you are in social media as you are in person. Let people know your culture digitally so when you return there are no surprises.

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