Pinterest is like a virtual bulletin board or pinboard where you can share things that you are passionate about and love. Members of Pinterest will pin things that they like and things of interest to their account so they can return to them easily. It’s a great place to pick up ideas and learn from others. Pictures, quotes, recipe ideas, activities, crafts, do-it-yourself projects, and more are shared. Basically, Pinterest wants to connect people based on similar interests or organizations.
You can add something to your Pinterest and post it for others to see. Others can follow you to see what you like and what you post, and they can share your posts with others on their page. That’s how things grow and spread. Kind of like doubling a number each time: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64. You get the idea. It’s like how the Church multiplied in the Book of Acts, except that was the miraculous work of God working through human vessels to spread the Gospel.
A Few Definitions for You
Here are some basics and definitions to help us understand Pinterest a little better:
- Pin: It’s the image (or video) that you post. It’s like a virtual version of you taking a pushpin and attaching something to a bulletin board. Once you pin something, it always links back to its original source or webpage.
- Board: This is where your pins go. You can create and name multiple boards to organize your pins by interest.
- Repin: Once you’ve pinned something to your board, other people can look at it. If they like it, they can repin it to their own board to share with their followers. Just hover over the pin to get this option.
Millions of new pins are made per week. Pinners post and repost all the time. Businesses have taken advantage of this platform to display product, introduce new product or ideas, create brand awareness, and build communities.
Pinterest for Your Church
But how can churches really utilize this platform? Let’s look at some ways that churches can take advantage of this tool.
In many places, we tend to communicate with words. But on Pinterest, we communicate mainly through pictures, and pictures are powerful communication tools. We can connect with people through pictures in a way that is distinctly different.
Below are a few ideas on how to use Pinterest for your church. Remember: it’s all about images, so utilize someone that has an eye for taking photos and makes it their ministry if possible.
- Pin images of your church members. Your members can be in the church or in the community. Pin pictures of different parts of your church so people get a good idea of the decor or interesting areas of the church (e.g., a fellowship area where members are smiling while enjoying some coffee together). If faces are seen, you will want to get their approval and/or permission prior to pinning. The church is really your people, although many still connect it with the building. A few building pictures may be fine, but if you have people in them that’s a bonus.
- Pin images of your worship services. Allow people to see what a worship service may be like. Try to take candid shots of those worshiping so that it is natural. Although some pictures can be posed, these type of pictures are best when they are seen more as natural and heartfelt. Don’t forget the pastor or other staff. Include as many as you can with smiles. Captions or titles can be put on the pictures.
- Pin images of events or ministries of the church. These are all about people connecting in groups. Pin images of events like VBS, a summer church picnic, fall/spring retreat, men’s ministry, women’s ministry, crafting or quilting groups, youth ministry, youth summer camp, youth gathering, fall harvest festival, a parade float that the church sponsored, small-group Bible study, people praying, etc. Create and name a board for each event and then pin the pictures of that event into the board that you just created.
- Crafts: Do you have someone who is excellent with making creative crafts for your children’s ministry or church? Would they mind sharing their creativity online with pictures and how-tos? Take some photos and show kids or adults making them and how it was used. You may see your followers jump and it being repinned many times over.
- Pin beautiful images (scenic, nature, places) with appropriate or meaningful Scripture passages on them. Quotes are one of the most repinned items on Pinterest!
- Pin images that promote your current sermon series. Pin images of books that support or reinforce what is being taught in your sermon series.
- Pin images of books that are considered a must-read or helpful to those wishing to grow in their spiritual journey.
Things to Do and Things to Remember
- Don’t forget to include all your church information in your profile. Include your location, contact info, and a logo if you have one.
- Keep your search privacy turned on in order for the search engines to pick you up and others to discover you.
- Make sure to choose a category for each board you create. Selecting an appropriate category for your boards will make your content searchable.
- Make sure to add a pin description to each pin or link source to your pins. Use key words or phrases that people would search for and relative hashtags to maximize your description.
- When appropriate, link back to your website or blog to drive traffic there for visitors to learn more if interested.
- Pinterest makes it easy to find friends by connecting your Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, or Yahoo accounts.
- Send pins to those who may be friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter.
- You can limit the amount of notifications you receive in your account settings.
- Use unique hashtags for your pins regarding specific events in your church. Imagine just putting #youthcamp on your pin. When someone searches for it, your pin may be buried in that type of search. Try to make it unique to your church and the event. You can use multiple hashtags in a pin to drive more traffic to your pins. You might use #youthcamp as one hashtag but also include #YCrossingCamp17 to be very specific and to distinguish it so all the pictures from your camp can be found easily on Pinterest using the hashtag of #YCrossingCamp17.
- When creating a new pin, include a hyperlink associated with your pin to drive traffic to a particular website or blog.
What to Pin
The most successful pins on Pinterest usually combine a great image with content to solve a problem or offer something that is desirable or appeal to an interest, hobby, or activity. Jesus has much more to offer each of us than any hobby or interest; however, God uses many different ways to get our attention and redirect our paths. Our web presence and Internet footprint may be a small part for someone in their spiritual journey, but it may be the next step that leads them to the real Prince of Peace, even through a tool such as Pinterest.
Don’t be overwhelmed. Start and grow things slowly. Make an announcement at church and see who is already involved on Pinterest. Would there be enough interest to form a ministry team to help?
Below are a couple examples of pins that could be found on Pinterest. You’ll find thousands of really interesting things there.
Example of a Quote
Example of a decorating idea for Easter or any time. The bags have words on them of things that Jesus has defeated or conquered.
Can you think of some other ways to use Pinterest for your ministry? Share in the comments below!
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