In this day and age you can’t get too far on the Internet without hearing or reading about networking. Defined, networking basically means connecting with other people and adding them to your personal network.
Usually, networking pertains to those in professional industries who are hoping to gain contacts that will help their career. However, there is also a way to apply this concept to your ministry and social media.
The main focus of networking can be narrowed down to one word- connection. In a way, isn’t ministry all about connection too? Therefore, networking and ministry go hand in hand.
Networking is also simpler than it sounds. All you have to do is reach out. Start conversations with other pastors and ministry leaders. Share notes and experiences, share their work with your followers, and they will likely do the same for you.
How to network on Facebook:
1. Send private messages to other pastors and ministry leaders you admire. Tell them what you like about their work and suggest ways that you could remain in touch or collaborate on ministry projects in the future.
2. Share about other ministries on your Facebook page. Promote your friends and connections with your followers to show your appreciation for the good work that they are doing. Always make sure you tag the Facebook page of whatever ministries you are mentioning.
3. If you are hosting events or initiatives with other ministries in town, share about the event on Facebook. Again, make sure you tag the people and ministries you are talking about.
4. Start a Facebook group for like-minded ministry leaders in order to build community. Anyone in the group can post tips, experiences, or questions.
How to network on Twitter:
1. Retweet the tweets of pastors and ministry leaders often (about once a day).
2. Follow other pastors and ministry leaders that you admire.
3. Tweet at the people you want to connect with. This is different from a Retweet; however, the purpose is so that you can send a personal message to the person you are hoping to connect with.
4. Reply to tweets. Sometimes ministry leaders will pose a question on Twitter that they are expecting their followers to answer. Submit an answer, or simply reply to a Tweet and let them know that you think they are doing a great job.
How to network on Instagram:
1. Again, follow other users you want to connect with.
2. Use relevant hashtags with your photos.
3. Search the hashtags that you use and follow other accounts that also use them.
4. Comment on photos you like by other ministries.
These ideas may sound a little arbitrary, but when it comes to connecting on the Internet, a little goes a long way. Think of it as equal to sending letters or calling people on the phone that you want to connect with. The goal is fellowship.
The idea of “pay it forward” also applies to networking. Be generous and help others out as they navigate the online world alongside of you. Eventually, the goal is to form partnerships with people and ministries that are furthering the kingdom of God. Everyone has the same goal in that regard, and you never know how these small online connections could lead to bigger movements and greater acceleration toward that goal.