Nathan W. Bingham
Connecting in a Hyper-Connected World

5 Reasons To Tell Your Facebook Friends Where You Go To Church

I'm At Church
When Facebook first launched “Places” I was enthusiastic about the idea of “checking-in” to locations, including church, and blogged 3 Ways Facebook Places Could Assist You Being “Salt & Light”.

That original post is still worth reading, however, it focused on the potential outcome of using Facebook Places. With Facebook’s recent changes to location tagging, I want to once again encourage you to “check-in” to church — essentially add your church’s location to an update — but this time offer reasons based around the functionality of the service.

1. It’s Flexible

Facebook’s recent changes have made tagging your location even easier. You can now tag any update (inc. photos) with a location, and it can be done directly from a desktop, not just from a smartphone.

More significantly, you don’t need to be at a location to tag it. This means if you don’t want to use Facebook on Sunday, or Sunday morning is simply too hectic, you can now post about going to church the day before, or having been at a church the day after, and still tag its location.

2. It’s Private

Facebook’s recent changes have also made it more private. You can easily specify who see’s (and who doesn’t see) any update. Today this functionality rolled out to iPhone users too. So, if you have people you really don’t want to know when you’re not home, why not create a “Location Safe” list of friends. Add everyone to that list who you trust and only share your location based updates with them.

However, I still wonder why you’d ordinarily be friends with someone on Facebook who you suspect will rob you if they think you’re not home.

3. It’s Easy & Far Reaching

Most of the non-Christians you know (or could know if you reached out to them) are already on Facebook. Family members, friends, co-workers, etc. This weekly update is a non-intrusive way to reach across all your spheres of influence and remind them you’re a Christian and that you go to church.

If you’ve made the decision to be on Facebook, the real question you should be asking is why you’re not already “checking-in” to church.

4. It’s Informative

When you tag your church in an update, you’re supplying your friends with lots of information about your church that you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to communicate in a normal, natural, every day conversation. If they click your church’s name they’ll be able to see a map, it’s physical address, phone number, website, etc.

If none of that information has been added to your church’s Facebook page, you can add it, or let someone in your church know so it can get done.

5. It’s Honest

One of the biggest caricatures surrounding social media is that people simply use it to share what they had for breakfast. That caricature isn’t entirely true, but if we’re willing to share about the mundane and ordinary, then why not share about what should be the highlight(s) of the Christian’s week?

*Okay, #5 isn’t really about functionality, but it is about how people use social media.

That’s five reasons I’ve come up with while considering this over coffee today.

So now over to you…

Do you currently check-in or tag your church on Facebook? Why / why not?
If you haven’t in the past, will you start now?

Leave a comment, discuss it on Facebook, send me a tweet on Twitter, or connect via Google+.

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