9 Creative Ways Your Church Can Use Instagram Stories This Week
By: Holly Tate September 8, 2016
If you haven’t noticed, your Instagram feed has changed in two ways recently.
First, your Instagram feed is no longer in a timeline.
Instagram changed its algorithm to show you what they believe to be the most relevant content rather than show you your friends’ pictures in order of when they were posted. Facebook did this exact change years ago. You used to see all of your friends’ posts in sequential order, but now Facebook’s algorithm shows you what they think you want to see.
Second, you now have "Instagram Stories."
If you’ve wondered what those circles around people’s faces are at the top of your Instagram home screen, now you know. Instagram Stories is Instagram’s response to Snapchat. It allows users to post videos and pictures in real-time and have them visible for 24 hours.
So what does this mean for your church?
Instagram Stories gives your church a fun and free way to share stories of life change and further engage your community.
There has been more change in the last 10 years than in the 100 years before that. Technology is changing the world faster than ever.
Here are 9 creative ways to use Instagram Stories this week:
1. Video Teaser Of The Upcoming Worship Service
If your church attendance has been sporadic in the last couple years, you’re not alone. Across America, churches are experiencing sporadic attendance patterns. Use Instagram Stories to share a sneak peek of this week’s upcoming service and invite your community to join you.
2. Recap Of The Weekend Services
Similar to a video teaser, do a video recap of the weekend’s service in a 60 second video. Inspire your community that wasn’t able to be there this week with the message recap from Sunday.
3. Highlight A Volunteer Of The Week
4. Invitation To A Ministry Event
Have an event coming up this week and want to spread the word? Post an Instagram Story invitation with a video or picture. Add text to make the date and time really easy to see.
5. Show Your Church In The Community
Is your staff out in the community this week? Post an Instagram Story of your church serving the community. This is a great way to show non church members how your church loves serving its community.
6. Behind-The-Scenes Video
Is the choir or worship team practicing for Sunday’s service? Show a behind-the-scenes video. People love feeling like they got a sneak peek or a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at the church each week.
7. Introduce Church Staff Members
If you have multiple full-time church staff members, use Instagram Stories to highlight your church staff members and share fun facts about them. This will help your church community feel like they are getting to know your church staff better, especially if you have a large church staff. It's also a great way to introduce a new church staff member.
8. Share Trivia Of Your Church’s History
I visited a church a couple months ago that was founded in the 1700s. It was amazing to see the original chapel and walk through the church cemetery where soldiers from the Revolutionary War were buried.
Share your church history with your community. They might not know the story behind parts of your church building or the history that brought the church to where it is today. Instagram Stories is a great way to share the rich heritage of your church.
9. Share Announcements
One of the greatest challenges I hear from church leaders is, “How do we keep our church community updated on what’s going on throughout the week?” Instagram Stories is a great way to do just that. Share a daily announcement that you want your church community to know about.
These are just a few ways to use a fun new technology to connect your church with your community. The best part? It’s free. It just takes a little time and a little creative thinking.
Is your church using Instagram Stories? Share your ideas in the comments below.