I sniffed at Facebook for a long time. My account there lay dormant. Then I read a marketing article that Facebook was the social network to invest one’s efforts in for best effect.

So off I went to face the dragon, to tame it and submit it to use for the gospel and our ministry.

My objectives on Facebook are two-fold and, admittedly, at times, difficult to reconcile, but so be it, considering our present situation: gain friends to support our ministry, and influence people toward deciding and living for Christ.

Here are 10 principles I’ve adhered to, albeit intuitively, as I work Facebook.

  1. Do no games. Aside from not wanting to get into these time-wasters, I figured they did not contribute to interaction and communication of the message.
  2. Add friends. Sounds obvious, but I hadn’t been on the watch for friends of friends. Now I try to check everyone out. First, I wanted to target men, since one of my ministry goals locally is to work with the men and leave the ladies to the sisters. But then I remembered that women read the most books and, thinking of my lonely poetry efforts, the most poetry. So now I’m indiscriminate in gender. But I do look for some connection to the church.
  3. Work groups and pages. Our ministry efforts are diverse, so we have several types of groups and pages. Richard Mansel works the Forthright Magazine group. I use the Forthright Press group as the main outlet for news about books, BrotherhoodNews.com and The Fellowship Room, among other things. We have groups for “Thirst for God,” “Church of Christ in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil,” “UPLift Poetry and Positive Thoughts” and “Church of Christ Authors.” The new page “Jesus Lord and Savior” is coming along nicely.
  4. Interact with people. Facebook is not for announcements but dialogue. We do the announcements, but the interaction, commenting on people’s status updates, adding tidbits of our life and pieces of wisdom are all essential. The key is getting to know people and letting them getting to know you.
  5. Set goals. I wanted to reach 600 friends by the end of February. I made it to around 620. This up from the mid-400s when I started. Now I’m reaching for 750 by the end of March and 1000 by the time I go to the U.S. in May. I could work more on goals for groups and pages.
  6. Integrate Twitter and Facebook. This was already done. When I post to Twitter, it goes automatically to Facebook. This was originally my way of killing two birds with one stone (is that an outdated phrase, or what?), when I seldom showed my face on Facebook. It needs further thought.
  7. Participate in others’ groups and pages. So I’m on church groups, sermon ideas groups, ministry groups, among others. Many groups have little or no activity, so one can really stand out here.
  8. Be positive. Facebook isn’t the best place for big discussions and arguments. Most of the friends there aren’t personal acquaintances, so it’s best to avoid heated topics.
  9. Be consistent. “Here today, gone tomorrow” doesn’t lend itself to developing online relationships and gaining trust.
  10. Try a little humor. I have to work at this one. My sense of humor, say my friends (I don’t want to hear what my enemies have to say!), is dry. That may be a kind way of saying I have none. But a light-hearted approach is honey for the bees. When the status update about your celebrity look-alike made the rounds, I posted … Mr. Bean. That was fun.

The main reason I’m working Facebook and making new friends there is to use it for the gospel and for sake of service to God.

Glory to God on Facebook, too!

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7 thoughts on “My 10 principles for working Facebook for the gospel

  1. Great comments, Randall– and a great strategy– we must let our light shine for Jesus. We must use the available technology for HIM. Sadly though some in the church just want to use these avenues with the wrong attitude, notice I did not say that they were wrong in their beliefs and practices.

  2. And here all the time I thought you were just there to see what I was doing…ha.
    Just kidding of course. There are, among those listed as my friends (over 800) some denom preacher types and I remember seeing there messages the first few times and thinking, what a great way to get your thoughts out. I’m really a supporter of getting the message out. I’ve told you before that I’m a frustrated missionary and I mean it. So, what you are doing on FB is really head and shoulders (and you thought two birds with one stone was old) above the old mail outs and pamphlets of days gone by.

    Good luck with this and I’ll keep my eye on your posts a bit closer from now on. I expect you to also leave my MW stuff to me, I wouldn’t want to see you get hurt!

    Love you man, In HIM

    Mike

  3. Hey there Brother, I am here to check out your Great Works for the Lord. You guys never cease to amaze me. I come from a very small Congregation, with 3rd Generation of Elders. I lived in the State of Ohio before moving back after 15 years in NC. The Henderson Church on Dorsey AV is where I started on the formal education. I can still hear the voice of Brother Marvin Hesson (2nd generation Elder)
    leading the singing, and Waiting upon the Table on Sunday. He quoted Paul alot, and he would start by, (upon the first day of the week we are compelled to meet and Break Bread) when I first started going with my best friend of today, I was 6yrs old, and I thought he was going to break the Bread, and passing it around and people would pinch off a peice, and then a glass with red looking wine was passed around, and everyone took a drink out of the same glass. I had 3 school friends then, and both their Mommies and Daddies did that. Later I found out what it was all about. Part truth, but seen through the eyes of a real tiny child. We were a One Cup, One Room Church back then in the 50’s–late 40’s. I fell into the flock with my friends out of a strong willed background Church. I have been a Lost Sheep that kept getting caught up in the Good Shepard’s crook at the end of his Walking Stick. Once he claims you for his own, watch out Satan, it’s time for anothernkick in the head until you nlearn to leave my sheep alone. I have went to botto, of a lake, 2 head on Car wrecks, worked as an electricians helper for 10 months in factory, by accident when power was suppose to be off, I cut 1 wire into 440–went off like a shot gun, and everone who heard it thought I was dead. I saw the impossible because it burned a chip in my wire cutters and arched over. I saw the spark and ended up flat on my back laughing like crazy. Saved lives of all in the future who was working on tearing out old lines. Failure in past of blueprintinng of new lines when installed. Rule after was to find the source of power and cut off there. Now it’s not over. I bled out on Coumadin, been on life support 4 times and Intensive care + times. Now am I a cat? No I belong to Christ.

    GOOD NEWS. I’m setting up your own Brazial Church of Christ Photo Album so you can show pictures of your Good Works. It’s your’s run it anyway you want. Post and upload videos til you get tired, and let someone do the same. It’s open for all to come in and see’

    God Bless you and all you come in contact with. You have been Poked and Had!!!!!!!!

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