Anniversaries matter. They serve as a reminder of milestones in our lives. From birthdays to wedding anniversaries, we celebrate stages in our life. Your church needs to celebrate faith journey milestones with your members. This is easier than it sounds, especially with digital tools and social media.
Digital tools can help us in a multitude of ways. They can help us remember an anniversary, as well as generate the content to thank them. Plus unlike a card in the mail, there is no postage cost. We can then make it easy for members to share these celebrations with circles of friends on social media. All these will show that you are a church that cares about its members.
What to Celebrate
No matter your practice in baptism, you can celebrate it. If they were baptized as a baby, those records should be available somewhere in their home church. Narrowing down this should be easier if they were baptized as an adult. Regardless of when this happened, celebrate this declaration of faith. To make it easier when creating graphics, repurpose content used in secular birthdays.
No matter your denomination, there is a moment when you declare a church your home. If you are a denominational church, you can probably celebrate their confirmation day. Other churches may have a class with a sort of “graduation” when they declare membership. Whatever your ceremony for membership, remind them of their decision. Thank them for being a part of your church.
Your church runs because of the people you employ. If you are a young church, that list may be small. Yet, larger churches need to recognize everyone from your pastor to your maintenance staff. Remind your church of their important role, and applaud their efforts.
Do not neglect your ministry volunteers. Do you have someone serving as a Sunday school teacher? Then celebrate when they first served. Thank them for the impact they are having in the church.
How to Celebrate
There are plenty of services that send electronic cards via Email. They may be a bit antiquated, but they provide a way to share your thanks in private. Plus you know it is going to just that one person. Remember that some members may want to celebrate with less fanfare and publicity.
There are numerous image services that help you layer text over photographs. If you send it via social media, they have the opportunity to share it. Just be careful to send it to them in a private way. They may not want to share their faith with all their circles of friends. You want to let them celebrate on their own terms.
For those celebrating their first year, or more of a milestone anniversary; a story may be in order. Let them tell the world about how your church has helped them in their faith journey. How have you been a way to help them get closer to Christ, grow in faith, and bless those around them. You can record the audio or video. With their permission, you can share on social media or during a service. For a private touch, keep it for next years so they can better remember their journey.
Many churches send out a weekly or monthly newsletter. Feature a small section that showcases your various anniversaries. A lot of volunteers do not serve because they want recognition. This is a nice way to quietly celebrate with your congregation.
Add a Survey
I ask that you do not actually celebrate with only a survey. But remember that anniversaries may be a great time to ask them to complete a one. Ask them how they have served and have been served in the past year. You can integrate or attach a survey to many of these previous options.
There are anniversaries every day at your church. Do not let them go by unnoticed. Rejoice and remember the sacrifices that have been made. Set reminders on a digital calendar to help remind you of those dates. Then create a piece of content to send. This could be a great way to allow them to share this with their friends. So make that content easily shareable on social media. Yet it should initially be private. Many members may not want friends and family to know they are a Christian. Request information if possible to get valuable feedback from your members. Find ways to improve your church as well as celebrate anniversaries with your congregation.
This article was inspired by the Social Media Church podcast Episode 146 with Alan V. George.
Photo courtesy of BugDog