Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Many of us have Facebook accounts.  But the question is – How are we using them?  Most of us are using them in a wonderful casual way to stay connected to our family and friends.  That’s great!  That is one of the key reasons we have a Facebook account.

However, once you have a FB account, you can easily set-up a Group!  Yes, there are three types of Facebook Groups:

  • Public (Open): everyone can see the Group, find it in a search and make posts
  • Closed: everyone can see the Group, but only members can see (and make) posts
  • Secret: only members can see the Group, see and make posts

Any of the group styles will work!  It is your choice!  Let’s say you will use the “secret” group option.  To learn more about this type of group, read the Social Media Examiner Post about How to Use Secret Facebook Groups to Enhance Your Business  you’ll notice that a business group may utilize this type of function. As you read this post, allow your imagination to consider how a FB group could be used in your ministry setting with families this Advent season.

To begin the conversation, I’m going to suggest how I would engage families in a weekly reflection on the Sunday Advent Scripture readings using a FB Closed group.  I would:

  • Create a FB group and remember to describe your group and choose and image/photo that will represent the group. (Note – Let’s assume that our parish program registration forms asks for Cell Phone number, email address, FB information, and Twitter handle. )
Description of Faith Parents group.

Group Description

  • Two weeks before the First Week of Advent, using the family email addresses, I would send a “brief” email inviting the families of the children that are in my class to participate with all of us during the Advent Season by taking a few moments out of their busy schedules to read and reflect on the Sunday Scripture readings.  Tell them that there will be a link to the Sunday Readings for them each week.  When they are ready, they can share their comment or question on our special group FB wall. Or, send a flyer home to the parents via your students and include an announcement in your parish bulletin about the group.
  • One day after the email is sent, send a “tweet” and “text message” to invite your parents to read the  email message from you.
  • One Week Before Advent begins: Invite each family to the FB group.
  • Post the Sunday Scripture Readings for the 1st Sunday in Advent, using the link from the USCCB Readings website.
Advent FB Reading

Facebook Closed Group

To get the conversation going, you may have encouraged several of your parents to post their reflection early in the week.  Make sure you check the posts at least once daily and comment back.  Remember, this is a place for a simple online conversation and sharing about what these Scriptures mean to you.

  • At the end of the Advent Season, thank  your parents for their participation in the Advent Scripture sharing.  You may want to use a Zoomerang survey to get feedback about their experience with this online faith sharing activity.
  • I hope that this article has sparked a possibility or two in your imagination.  More importantly, I trust that you will share your story about how you are going to use (or thinking of using) a FB group in your ministry with families, or youth groups (13 and older), or RCIA ministry.  Looking forward to hearing from you!  Join in the conversation!

Remember to click on the “like” button if you like this post.  Or, forward this link to other catechists who would be interested in hosting an Advent online Scripture Reflection group with parents, young adults, and anyone who is interested in sharing online.

Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

Comments on: "Using Facebook During Advent" (10)

  1. Excellent how to and timeline . . . .sometimes you have to be ‘directive’ with us DFFs

  2. I’m delighted that you find this helpful! There is so much we can do with the Facebook tool. Would love to hear from others how they are being creative with this tool – especially during the Advent season!

  3. May I also suggest some resources free to users at The Sharing the Word, Sunday Soundbite and Saint of the Day features are excellent. The site will also feature a rotation of video reflections throughout the Season.

  4. Sian Owen said:

    Thanks this is really informative and gives me a great way of explaining the difference between various facebook groups

  5. Sister, The Face Book Group platform is the vehicle I have used for my SITM 2011 Capstone Project and I could use some pointers to know what I can and cannot embed on face book group page, Animoto, Wordle, etc. Also The Group was established by invitation after a sign-up sheet was circulated in our small group, Divine Mercy Prayer Group.

    Face Book is a social networking platform that was most familiar to the population in our Divine Mercy Prayer Group and was the easiest to get accounts set up for everyone. It is growing in use and helpful in keeping members in touch.

  6. Hi Glennell, I’m not surprised that FB was the most familiar social networking tools with your Divine Mercy Prayer Group. Let’s set-up a time to chat via GTM so that I can answer your questions about the pointers that you need. You have my email. Just give me several dates and times.

  7. Hi, Sister! Just found your blog and I really like it! I’m sharing some of it on my blog Thanks for sharing such great ideas!


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