Churches on TikTok need to find the balance between reaching deep and reaching wide.
If you’re a church that cares about connecting with people age 25 or younger, you’re going to have to contend with TikTok, because it’s now a core part of the young-person culture. On a platform like TikTok, it’s about finding the balance between reaching deep and reaching wide—and churches on TikTok need to do both.
Here are four videos to try. When used together, they can provide the opportunity to reach people far from God with the hope of Jesus.
1. Trending Sounds
More than any other social platform, TikTok thrives on comedy, and that comedy is facilitated through running jokes that everyone on TikTok is familiar with. It’s very similar to a meme where a format remains the same, but everyone puts their own spin on it. With TikTok, it is the trending sound that gets reused over and over again. And if your church wants to thrive on the platform, you will likely need to participate in this culture.
Trending sounds on TikTok are like all trends—they come and go. So, you need to be active on TikTok, catching up on the flavors of the week and understanding what is trending. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out Grayson Bearden on TikTok (@Grayson.Bearden). He’s a youth pastor using trending sounds on TikTok in his videos and reaching a large audience. (You can find a short interview with Bearden at OutreachMagazine.com/Grayson-Bearden.)
2. The Duet
With the duet, you essentially create a video reacting to another person’s already published video. A great example is a video published by ACF Church (ACFAK.org) in Eagle River, Alaska. They took a viral TikTok video of a family emotionally reacting to an off-screen event and then did a duet, pairing it with their own video in which they are inviting the family to church. So when you watch it, the two videos play simultaneously side by side, and it looks as if this family is weeping in joy at their personal church invitation to ACF Church (@ACFAK).
These videos are similar to the type of teaching content you would publish on YouTube or a podcast, but it is adjusted to work for the TikTok format. Life.Church (Life.Church), based in Edmond, Oklahoma, has found a formula that works on TikTok. They take the sermons shared at their campuses and repurpose them for TikTok.
The best way to see success with a teaching video is to identify a universal pain point that your clip addresses and then use that as the text headline on the video itself. For example, Life.Church (@LifeChurch) posted a video with the headline “How to Eliminate Negative Thoughts.” The video is of Levi Lusko guest preaching at Life.Church, offering a Christ-centered solution to that universal problem. And this works, because as people swipe through their TikTok feed and they land on a video like this, the first thing they’ll read is the catchy headline. And regardless of their personal beliefs, they may stop and watch through the video because that’s something that’s applicable to all of us.
These videos don’t need to piggyback on what’s popular this month on TikTok—they just need to be funny. An example: Pastor Craig Groeschel from Life.Church posted a video on his daughter’s TikTok account of him doing a funny dance alongside her in their kitchen. If Craig Groeschel, pastor of one of the largest churches in the world, can have this much fun on TikTok and not take himself too seriously, there’s really no excuse for the rest of us. The driving force behind TikTok right now is comedy and having fun.
First published on ProChurchTools.com. Used by permission.