A New Year is coming, and that means change. I see ministry leaders throwing up their hands in frustration and exhaustion everywhere.
Social media algorithms and rules are constantly changing. But we don’t have to drink the cup of chaos to stay active online. Instead, we can take a deep breath—metaphorically and physically— resetting our expectations and strategies.
Remembering these 10 things will help you stay sane in the craziness of online ministry.
1. Remember Your Why: Change is inevitable. Now, the world isn’t just dealing with upheaval in social media and AI (Artificial Intelligence). When we remember WHO called us to ministry and WHY God has us here, it’s easier to endure the other changes.
2. Let Go of Expectations: When we begin serving online, we often get things mixed up. We start focusing on the part of the equation that belongs to God and ignoring the importance of our part. What are the two parts? My part is obedience—write the post, share the prayer, and film the video.
My obedience is doing the things God has called me to do. God’s part is the result—the number of people who see what my obedience has crafted. I get frustrated when I focus on the outcome.
3. Don’t Forget to Diversify: With all that’s going on in the digital universe, we can see the wisdom of not putting all our social media eggs in one basket. Many may not know that it includes finding a base of operations from which to work. This means we all need a regular place—that we own—to be found by those we serve. That can be a website, landing page, or group site.
4. Continue to Build Your Email List: We may not always have access to everyone through social media. Because of that, we’ve got to become even more proactive about building our email list.
5. Serve Those Who Are Loyal: Your number one fans are those who have given you permission to contact them through email. These people deserve your best.
Don’t become so focused on growing that you forget to return the loyalty of these generous friends and fans.
6. Experiment and/or Expand Your Use of Video: We need to be more open about trying new things and ways to connect. One consistency we’ve seen online is the fact that video continues to dominate.
7. Focus on One: We serve ONE God. He calls us ONE at a time. He sends people for us to minister to ONE on ONE. God is a God of relationship. This is an example we must follow as well. We shouldn’t despise small numbers, because ONE is enough.
8. Supply Answers: Think about your minister’s questions and use your online presence to provide them with answers or the places to find those answers.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Share: Remember Matthew 9:37–38; then he told his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
We don’t have competition, we have fellow laborers.
10. Pray First: This one is paramount. Pray before your fingers hit the keyboard—whether it’s a mobile keyboard, a computer keyboard, or a dictated keyboard. By taking your message to God first, we can relax into His plan and allow His peace to flow through us.