Ways your Ministry can use Snapchat

When Snapchat first came out there were some major concerns about their safety and privacy. And, as a father hearing so many of these concerns and issues, I did not want my own children on it at all! However, over time, Snapchat has matured as a social media network and has become a major player in the social media world with their primary audience is 18-24 year olds. Because of its popularity amongst this key demographic, it can be a pretty powerful tool that your Church or Ministry can use.

So while there are some real concerns about whether or not Snapchat will be able to compete with Facebook and others long term, especially with their profitability concerns, there are some real benefits to using Snapchat for your ministry or Church. Here are 3 very specific ways.

Chat with people. This is particularly important with teens and young adults. There are so many ways people communicate other than simple SMS text messages or phone calls these days. With Snapchat you can communicate with videos and text messages in one simple app. Plus, let’s be honest, Snapchat has a “cool” factor about it. Most teens and young adults use it quite regularly to communicate.

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This is an example of what a Context Card looks like on Snapchat

Share about your Ministry or your Church. Recently Snapchat released Context Cards. These cards are a “filter” that Snapchat provides where you swipe to attach to your location to others. That way when you send your snap to friends or put on your Story, they can swipe up where it says, “more” and learn more about the place where you are at. This works great at Church as you can take a snap of something fun or great that is happening at your Church or in your ministry and then attach your Church’s Context Card to the snap. So, the next time you share a live video or picture from your Church, use a Context Card filter so people can swipe up and learn more about your Church. This very well could be the new “Yelp” for the younger generation. The great thing about Context Cards is that they don’t have to come from just your Church’s or Ministry’s Snapchat account. In fact, the more other people attending your event or activity can use Context Cards highlighting your Church the better your reach can be. To learn more about Context Cards and how you can utilize them in your ministry click here.

Promote your Event. A few years ago Snapchat came up with Geofilters that businesses can create and use. Essentially these are regular filters that you can find when you swipe after you take a picture or video. According to Snapchat, “Geofilters are creative overlays that capture where you are or what you’re up to in a Snap!” No matter where you go, there is usually a geofilter that will let you share where you are at. When you create a Geofilter for an event, such as Easter or Christmas, this Geofilter will be an option when they are in at your location for the time period you select. Creating Geofilters are easy and when the people attending your event share a Snap with your Geofilter to their friends, it is a great way to share about the great things happening in your ministry or at Church.

Conclusion

Whether you understand it or not, Snapchat has tremendous reach potential for the younger generations. That is why it is so important to learn what it is and how you can use if for your Church or ministry. Even if it is not “for you” maybe you can find someone on your team to be in charge of it and be able to engage this generation who loves Snapchat. The more you can engage them in this environment, the better the potential it has to help grow your ministry and reach even more people for Christ

What do you think? Do you use Snapchat for your Church or ministry? If so, share how you use it below or on social media using #ymsidekick when you post. 

Want to learn more about how you can be using Snapchat for your ministry? Check out Digital Bootcamp this week as we are talking about it all week long.

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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