At the end of Matthew, as Jesus was preparing to ascend to heaven, He gave His followers one last command: “Go therefore and make disciples.” Although these words were spoken almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus was commanding everyone, across all time, to go. In the modern era, we now have avenues to spread the Word of God through technology that were never before thought possible—avenues like social media’s most recent favorite app, TikTok.
TikTok, a social media platform used to create, share, and discover short videos, was cited as the most downloaded app in 2021. Churches both large and small have been creating their own accounts to utilize TikTok in spreading the Word of God across the world. This app has become so popular that the type of content produced on the platform has been mimicked or adopted by other main-stream sites such as Facebook and Instagram via the “reels” feature.
To take advantage of this new avenue to create content for your church on TikTok, you should start by understanding what other churches have created on the platform first. Here are five examples of content creation other churches have utilized, and how you can replicate it.
Record Your Sermon for Interesting Quotes
One of the most common uses for short videos within a church setting is by using a clip from that week’s sermon along with a short caption. Through a few simple editing steps—cutting the video down to an appropriate length, creating a caption, and adding a simple text box on the video itself—sermon posts can easily garner a few thousand views. That’s the Gospel straight to what TikTok calls the “For You Page” (FYP) of thousands of individuals.
These sermon quotes don’t need to be specific to your congregation. Rather, they should be impactful for a wide range of people while still ensuring God’s message of Salvation is understood clearly. Creating these short videos are a great way to reach the greater TikTok population and introduce them to your pastor.
Play Clips from Sunday’s Hymns
Another easy way for people to hear the Word is by recording a hymn or portion of a hymn and publishing that on your account. Be careful of certain copyrights when choosing which hymns to use, but anything with public domain will be safe. Using this gives viewers an opportunity to listen to a song they may have never heard before. Songs or audio clips are very important and sought after on TikTok, so this format works perfect for the platform.
Consider recording your choir singing that week, or putting the hymn music alongside the hymn text so that viewers can read or sing along. A simple phone recording and your organist, pianist, or even one congregation member singing is all you need.
Let God’s Word Shine
Posting Bible verses is close to effortless on the app and, again, is geared toward reaching a broad audience on TikTok. The FYP algorithm tends to favor videos with text to read, as it increases the amount of plays the video gets as the audio loops while people are reading. These posts can be created by choosing one of the verses read in church that Sunday or by using a verse that’s pertinent to what is going on culturally. Often these posts reach a wider range of people, making it a good way to spread Good News while introducing these viewers to the weekly lectionary readings or your newest sermon series.
Since Bible verses also tend to sit outside of denominational divides, this is also a great way to reach out and share Lutheran theology with those beyond your church who might not have a denominational affiliation.
Show Off Your Members and Events
The “Picture Montage” post is catered more toward those who are already attending your church rather than toward outreach. These are perfect to make after an event or to show off the happy faces of your staff and congregants. It can also be a great way for those already interested in your church to see your community before ever stepping through your doors.
While a montage may take longer than the other ideas to create, it is a fun way to show off what your church does and is an opportunity for your members to be part of your content.
Give a New Point of View
One final type of post is a way to show the congregation what is going on when they are not around. Whether that is before your service on Sunday or throughout the week, they'll be interested to see the effort that goes in to worship.
These videos can be as easy as going to the choir rehearsal and showing their weekly practice, or recording from behind the soundboard to show what the person sitting there sees during worship. This makes for great content to showcase a different view for those in your congregation who might not otherwise know what's going on at church during the week.
Creating content on any platform may seem daunting, but most of the time it is a lot easier than you might think. Any of these post styles can be easily recorded and posted from your smartphone. These ideas are also for those who are just beginning to learn TikTok, and as you grow in your knowledge, you can branch out and try new things. The Great Commission has been commanded to all of us, and we are in an age where we have new and exciting ways to carry it out.
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