Setting Up Your Facebook Profile

As a ministry leader your Facebook profile is likely even more important than your church’s Facebook page. This is how your represent yourself personally and how you interact and connect with people. By nature, people are much more engaged and feel connected to a person rather than an organization. Don’t underestimate your Facebook profile and using this platform as a key ministry tool.

Here are 5 tips to optimizing your Facebook profile:

  1. Use a headshot - having multiple people in a picture or full body shot can be confusing and hard to see.  People will most often see your posts in their Newsfeed and if it’s a consistent headshot they immediately connect the post to you personally.  

  2. Fill out your profile information - share job information, favorite movies and music allowing people to know more about your personally and potentially find other areas of connection on a personal level.  

  3. Review your Security Settings - Facebook allows you to show as much or as little as you would like with who you choose.  Review the security settings and set them at a level that you are comfortable with depending on how private or public you desire to be on Facebook.  

  4. Listen A Lot - I would spend a minimum of 75% of time on Facebook reading, reviewing and interacting with other people’s posts through your Newsfeed.  Don’t just use this platform as a megaphone, but more as a place to listen and know what’s going on around you.  

  5. Say Happy Birthday - this might seem like a small thing, but checking in on birthdays and saying Happy Birthday every day goes further than you know. This is one of the best and most engaging features on Facebook and a great excuse to comment on some else’s profile.  If you really want to make their Birthday send them a personalized video message or better yet buy them a Starbucks gift card.  

Getting to Know Facebook Lingo

I continue to meet people that get confused by Facebook Lingo. I’m going to do my best to explain ten of the core terms on the platform to help you understand what these core functions are and what they were created to do.

Profile - this is your personal platform to best represent yourself and what is going on in your life.

Page - this is an organizational platform that must be managed by people through their personal profile.

Group - this is a gathering of people around a common interest with flexible options to connect publicly, privately or in secret.

Status - this is what you post personally or organizationally to let people know what’s going on.  This can be text based, a photo or a video.  

Interactions - this is the core function that makes this a social network. This includes Likes, Comments and Shares.  

News Feed - this is Facebook’s collection of posts by those who you are friends with or pages that you Like based on what Facebook believes you will be most interested in.

Messenger - these are private interactions between you and your friends functioning in a similar way as email.  

Notifications - this is how Facebook lets you know about updates from Groups that you are in or comments from others on your profile posts.  

Checkin-In - allow you to let others know where you are, see who else might also be there and to see updates from others who have recently been in the same place.  

Insights - this is Facebook’s Analytics feature into your page posts so that you can know more about who you are connecting with and what posts are most engaging to that audience.

Are there any other key terms that I’m leaving out? Are there other terms that you have seen on Facebook that you might be confused about?

Understanding the Significance of Facebook

Facebook is now 12 years old. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years since it started and even harder to believe the impact that this website created in a dorm room is having the global impact that it is today. This world is a different place because of it.

I want to take a minute and share some stats to give you an understanding of how significant Facebook has become:

  • 1.55 billion monthly active users globally

  • More than 1 billion daily active users

  • 1.39 billion mobile monthly active users

  • Ages 25-34 make up 27.7% of users

  • More than 300 million photos are uploaded each day

  • The average American spends 40 minutes each day on Facebook

  • 50% of 18-24 year olds say the first thing they do when they wake up is check Facebook

The stats can go on and on. Facebook is no longer the new flashy social network, but it continues to grow globally at an incredibly fast rate and for most ministries or organizations this is and should be the most significant digital platform that you focus on.  

Mark Zuckerberg also recently shared that Facebook has seen video views double in the past year from 4 billion daily video views to now 8 billion daily video views. This trend is unbelievable!

So, what should we take from these stats? Here are my three takeaways:

  1. Facebook is critically important and worth our focused attention and resources.

  2. Facebook has gone mobile and we must think mobile in the content we create.

  3. Video is taking over Facebook and we must be creating videos that engage here.

Throughout this month I will be sharing various thoughts on Facebook along with tips and tricks to help your ministry or organization better maximize the platform. I hope that you see that it’s worth both your time and attention.

3 Questions With Justin Graves

Justin Graves is a talented and experience worship leader and a good friend of mine. He and his wife, Michelle have been leading people in worship over the past 15 years and together they founded the Justin Grave Band.

Here are 3 questions I recently asked Justin:


As you have been traveling around the country for the past 15 years or so leading worship, what have you seen change in churches over the years for good and for bad?

I started leading worship back in the 90's which was the era of big church choirs. Every church had a choir and did a big choir anthem each week. I even directed a youth choir for a few years! No matter how big or small your choir was, there was a lot of time and effort put into making sure the choir's special song was perfect each week.

Over the last 15 years the trend turned from having a big choir to having a big worship team. Every church wanted to have a killer band that rivaled any big name stadium tour. It seemed that it was all about the lights and the show and hoping that somehow would attract new people to the church. Yes, they were doing worship songs, but it felt more like a rock concert where people just come and watch a band sing worship songs instead of participating in worship.  

There are many churches still using the big choir or rock concert format, but recently it seems as though the people going to church are looking for something more authentic, more genuine. They don't care about how cool the band is or even if they are great musicians, they just want someone to lead them in worship. There are churches who have gone to a smaller more intimate group of musicians that make it feel more like you are sitting in someones living room worshiping together than watching a concert.

Don't get me wrong, I think that there is a place for all of these types of worship experiences. I do think that any of them can lead people into worship, but it starts with what the motivation is for the choir/worship team.



If you could share 1 piece of advice with a young worship leader what would it be?

Wow! Only one?! I would encourage young worship leaders not to over think things. Don't worry about creating a good 'show.' Focus your time on making sure that the songs you sing are not just fun, popular and cool, but that they connect with the theme or message each week and have a cohesive flow.

Just be real and authentic. Your congregation wants to know you as a person, they probably don't even care how good of a musician you are. You don't have to impress them, just be yourself. Be exactly who God created you to be!


Recently, you picked up and moved your family across the country to Los Angeles, can you share a little bit about why you made the move and what your prayers are in taking such a great risk?

Michelle and I have a 9 year old daughter, Gabi, who is now a working actor and through a crazy, God filled series of events, we spent some time in LA this past spring to get our feet wet to see what an 'acting carer' is all about. After some great response, Gabi signed with a manager and agent and we felt God calling our family to relocate to LA for at least the next year.

After being born and raised in Texas and having our ministry based there for the last 15 years, this is very new and unfamiliar territory! We are used to being on the road full time, traveling to different churches and leading worship across the country and now we will be more stationary in LA so that we can be available for auditions and bookings for Gabi's new career. We are excited about this new opportunity for our family, but have no idea what to expect!

You are right, this is a BIG risk! There is no guarantee in the entertainment business and to uproot our ministry and pull ourselves off the road is quite scary. By doing this we have decreased our ministry's income because we are not on the road leading worship on a regular basis and are now relying solely on the support from donors. We are also currently changing our ministry model to start providing free, high quality video worship sets and worship leader training for churches that have little to no budget for these types of resources.

I have been making some great ministry connections in the LA area and have had the opportunity to lead worship at several churches and we are hoping to grow our ministry on the West coast. This is a crazy step of faith and we know that God will provide as He always has, but it doesn't make it any less overwhelming. I have also started working at Starbucks again to help make ends meet and have made some great connections there as well!

Our prayer is that God will open doors, provide resources, give clear direction and that He would help us trust Him even when it gets tough. I also pray that Gabi will continue to enjoy her career and that God would use her to be His light!

For more information about the Justin Grave Band check out their website. You can also follow Justin on Twitter for other great worship leading insights!


Why Bring A Secret Shopper Into Your Church by Greg Atkinson

Greg Atkinson is a pastor, author, speaker, consultant and the Founder of Worship Impressions, a secret shopper service for churches. Greg has started businesses including the worship resource website WorshipHouse Media, a social media marketing company, and his own consulting firm. As a consultant, Greg has worked with some of the largest and fastest-growing churches across the United States. Greg is the author of Church Leadership Essentials and Strange Leadership: 40 Ways to Lead an Innovative Organization. 

Below is a guest post from my good friend Greg. Check it out!


A lot of people have heard or read that I'm regularly doing secret shopper or mystery worshiper visits to churches around the country. The question has been raised (and it's a valid one): Do you need a secret shopper?

As someone who takes the mission to reach the lost and unfilled seriously, I think it's a wise investment. It takes about a month for you to lose your new eyes, new ears and new nose. Things that you may have become used to or accepted, a secret shopper can spot on their initial visit.

I once had a great Secret Shopper visit with a local church plant in the DFW area. I then had great meeting afterwards where I shared constructive and encouraging feedback with their senior pastor. I was reminded of how even young church plants can quickly lose their new eyes and start to miss things that are obvious to a newcomer.

The pastor emailed me saying that they've worked on several of the items I listed and are excited about their future. Now, many years later, my secret shopper process has evolved. The last church I worked with was Menlo Church in California, pastored by John Ortberg. I evaluated all 5 of their campuses and went over a 22 page report with their senior leadership team. 

In one month, I'll do another secret shopper visit at a mega-church in Dallas, TX. I've already begun my pre-assessment, as I take a thorough look at the church's website and online presence. This is a church that is seemingly doing well and has a large congregation in a metroplex, but they want to improve and tweak things and I applaud them for that.

I came across some good words on Mike Holmes' blog that I'd like to share with you. He mentioned that a secret shopper or mystery worshipper can do a few things:

1.               Assess areas of strength and weakness

2.               See what visitors see

3.               Give objective appraisal

He also shares the story of his experiment as a secret shopper, which is convicting and inspiring. He goes on to share signs you need a secret shopper or mystery worshipper:

1.               Visitors who don't return

2.               Decreased attendance

3.               Lack of influence in the surrounding community

I would add an eye for excellence and an attempt to be better at hospitality. It's always healthy to look at your Sunday morning experience through the eyes of a newcomer and especially the eyes of a lost person. You may get only one chance to make a positive impression on them.

We all know a guest makes up their mind whether or not they will return in the first 10 minutes.

Read that again!

When you bring a guest to church, you instantly become sensitive to your surroundings – the people, the seats, the ushers, the greeters, the kids check-in, the sermon, the music, etc. You want everything to be perfect for your visiting friend, especially if they are not a Believer. A mystery worshiper can spot these crucial areas out for you, before your lost friend does. It's an investment, but I think a wise one.

Nelson Searcy (in his book "Fusion") says that if a first-time guest turns into a second-time guest, they are 80% more likely to get plugged into your church and eventually commit their life to Christ. That's huge and that's what I do. I help churches remove unnecessary barriers and bad impressions and turn first-time guests into second-time guests. 

I once read an article in the Wall Street Journal on secret shoppers. As the article states: “Department stores hire mystery shoppers. Restaurant chains bring in undercover diners to rate their food and service.” Isn't what we do on Sundays as church leaders more important than department stores and restaurants? Seriously, isn't it???

If you'd like to pick my brain or ask what's involved in a secret shopper visit, contact me. If you'd like to read through endorsements of my ministry, check out the Worship Impressions website.

Keep pressing on and know that what you do matters!


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