CNLP 136: Steve Fogg on Building an Online and Social Media Ministry For Your Church From Scratch

How do you build an online and social ministry for your church…from scratch?

Steve Fogg spills the secrets on how to do it whether you’re a large or small church, and tells us how he built one that reaches thousands of online attenders every week.

Steve has also given podcast listeners a free resource: 3 Essential Ingredients to Starting and Launching Your Church Online. Make sure you check it out!

Welcome to Episode 136 of the podcast.

Steve Fogg on the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast

Guest Links: Steve Fogg

Steve’s website

Steve on Twitter

Steve on Instagram

Life.Church Church Online Platform

Steve’s Free Training Resource: 3 Essential Ingredients to Starting and Launching Your Church Online

Links Mentioned

ReThink Leadership Atlanta, Georgia; April 26 – 28, 2017

The Canadian Church Leaders Conference Barrie, ON; June 8th – 10th

Belay Solutions *Sign up by the end of May for a live conference call with Carey 

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Engage, don’t announce.

When your church or organization has a Facebook page or other social media platform, it seems easy and logical to use it as a digital bulletin. However, Steve tells us that if you just use your social media to announce and not engage, you’re losing out on opportunities to have meaningful conversations with people. How do you engage with your audience? Create content that your audience wants to share.

2. Be flexible. 

One thing we can always count on with social media is that it’s always changing. And if the platform itself isn’t changing, the way people consume content and interact on it is. This is why flexibility is key. Setting a social media strategy and then putting it in autopilot for five years just isn’t effective.

Look at your Facebook insights or Twitter analytics and see what kind of content your audience is reacting to and engaging with. Notice what times of the day they are most active. Find what other types of content they’re sharing. Then, adjust your strategy to fit their patterns and maximize impact.

3. Prioritize connection. 

Most churches have a Facebook page—but not all churches see it as a ministry opportunity. The truth is, there’s a whole world out there and the opportunities for connection are endless. Never be surprised at who you reach, where they are and how they found you. Embrace them on your social media platform, invite them to your website to learn more, point them towards other helpful content. Prioritizing connection on your social media platforms could mean one more person in heaven.

Quotes from This Episode

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Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Justin Dean

So what are you not doing online that you should be doing? What are you doing that you may want to stop? And where is online church heading in the future? Justin Dean joins Carey for a far-reaching conversation about the future church in the online world.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 137.


  1. Nate Gustafson on April 26, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    I was so fired up after your podcast to get our church FB post past the algorithm (whatever that is) that I shared a church post on my personal feed that only had five views by saying that FB was holding our post hostage and we needed it rescued by Likes and Shares. Thanks for the practical strategy and the key word “free” you shared throughout the podcast. We’re a church of 20-25 in attendance on a Saturday night without any sign of life pointing to our existence in terms of a sign on the church building or any sort of print advertising that I’m wondering about the effectiveness of online advertising. What’s the true story with ads on FB? Do they work in gaining any traction or attention? (FB- GNBFEnglewood; Twitter- @gnbf_englewood; @nategus76)

  2. Grant Adams on April 25, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I was on this episode via IG Live when it was being recorded! Inception moment :O … This was really thought provoking, though. I really appreciated this dialogue. I’m trying to look into a way we can stream our services through FB live. Where is the tutorial for the “OBS” software that Steve mentioned? I’d love to look into it.

  3. […] On last week’s episode, Steve Fogg told us to never be surprised at who and how you reach people online. For Mars Hill Church, they were getting tons of people tuning in each week… but they didn’t want their online church to just be a replacement for attending a local church. Instead of delivering a straight-forward online church experience, they customized it to fit with their church’s mission and passion. […]

  4. Brent Dumler on April 18, 2017 at 8:22 am

    This is so good! Steve causes churches/ministries to really wrestle with some good questions around SM platforms, posting times, real human engagement, and who the actual audience is that we are trying to connect with. And as usual, Carey does a great job driving the discussion toward the average church leader and practical application. Still the #1 leadership podcast available!

    • Steve Fogg on April 19, 2017 at 5:51 am

      Great feedback Brent! Being real and human is where engagement is at. People want to connect with a person, not a bot! 🙂

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