Facebook is offering a new online resource hub for churches struggling to find connectiveness amid coronavirus social distancing requirements.
Faith on Facebook Resource Hub offers five steps churches can take today to build an authentic faith community on the social media platform, including how-tos on using Facebook Groups and Facebook Fundraisers.
“We saw an opportunity to help people who care about their faith connect to communities of faith that may not necessarily require them to go to a building,” said Nona Jones, head of Facebook’s Faith-Based Partnership.
Jones, who is premiering a Facebook Live talk show on Thursday called, “Undefeated with Nona Jones,” was invited to build Facebook’s global faith-based partnerships strategy almost three years ago.
“We started working with churches and communities of faith all around the world to first deeply understand how do you build community offline that makes people actually get in their car and go to a building and spend hours,” Jones said via video.
They wanted to know why that was so meaningful to people.
“Then, how do we replicate that on our platform? We’re literally creating the opportunity to connect with people you normally wouldn’t meet or interact with,” Jones said.
According to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, there are more than 100,000 faith-based groups on Facebook and that number continues to grow.
“I think what we see is the power of technology to bring us together,” said Sandberg.
Facebook’s five-step list begins with keeping yourself and your church safe and informed by following the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) on Facebook. Other steps include how to:
While most churches have a Facebook page, the social media platform recommends using the lesser used Facebook Groups as the place to build relationships. In Groups, Facebook offers access to tools to help church members “learn together, pray together and connect on a deeper level.”
Other suggestions include using the Join Group button as a digital invitation on Facebook Live and the Donate button, which allows viewers to give monetary with a few taps. Facebook also has Learning Units to create sequential, modular learning within a church Facebook Group.
For these and other resources, such as the downloadable Faith on Facebook Toolkit, go to https://www.facebook.com/community/faith/.