What we want for Christmas…and it won’t cost you any money!

IMG_0209-2There’s something that each and every one of our Facebook friends and blog followers can give to our team at Key Ministry that we can guarantee we’ll like…and it’s not the new MacBook Pro with retina display that we’re hoping for from Santa!

We have big, hairy audacious plans for 2014…including the return of Inclusion Fusion as a monthly symposium, lots of online training training opportunities, and a platform for connecting families of kids with disabilities to churches in their home regions through online worship services. And you can be a HUGE help!

The online software package that we’re purchasing to support our internet-based ministry initiatives fully integrates with Facebook. You’ll be able to log in to Inclusion Fusion events, ministry trainings, and online worship services and church activities through your Facebook account, chat in real time with other conference attendees and worshipers, and invite friends to join events in real time without leaving the training or worship service.

Here’s where you come in…for our ministry initiatives to be impactful, we need to be able to get the word out to as many church staff, volunteers and family members as possible through Facebook. The more “likes” we receive for our Facebook page, the greater our ability will be to recruit new churches to ministry trainings, and the easier (and more economical) it will be to connect families with churches equipped to help them worship in the physical presence of other Christ followers. Allow me to share a brief lesson in how Facebook’s business model works, and how your help will be invaluable.

When you “like” our Key Ministry page, a number of factors determine whether you see our status updates…the links and resources that we post to our page. You’ll typically “see” only a small percentage of the content your friends and organizations you like post in any given day. Facebook prioritizes what you see by using a complex algorithm that emphasizes “popular” posts…items that generates lots of comments or “likes”, and items that are frequently shared by users, or clicked on by individual users. For example, in the month of November, a typical follower of our site “saw” our content in their Facebook feed approximately 7% of the time “organically”. Organizations have to buy advertising through Facebook if they want to guarantee a high percentage of followers receive their content.

Here’s why “likes” from ministry leaders, volunteers and families impacted by disability are so important to us…we can save lots of money through very precisely targeting our advertising dollars to audiences most likely to benefit.

For example, let’s say a church in suburban Cleveland starts using our online platform to make available online worship to teens who don’t attend church due to an anxiety disorder or difficulties with social communication. The more Facebook fans we have in Cleveland zip codes, the easier it is for us to effectively target families of kids who might acclimate with youth leaders and peers through online worship to the point where they could begin attending church “live and in-person” where the worship service is taking place.

The more we grow our audience, the easier it is to attract speakers/trainers to volunteer their time and talent for events like Inclusion Fusion, the more likely it is that our staff and volunteers will be offered speaking and teaching opportunities where we can help churches reach out to families impacted by disabilities and the more desirable we become to potential sponsors so that we can continue to offer our training events free of charge to pastors, church staff, volunteers and families.

Facebook FansCan you help us? At this point in our ministry development, Facebook fans may be a more valuable gift to us than cash contributions. Experts debate the value of Facebook fans, but recent estimates report a single fan may be worth up to $174 to a retailer. We can’t put a price on the value of inviting a family of a child with mental illness, trauma or a developmental disability to connect with their larger family in Christ through the ministry of a local church, but every “like” helps us expand the impact of Key Ministry for the Kingdom! Through our Online Appeal, our friends with limited financial resources can make a large contribution through inviting pastors, church leaders and friends facing similar challenges related to disability to “like” our ministry.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to invite your friends on Facebook to “like” Key Ministry…you may want to print this post first if you’re not familiar with the nuances of Facebook.

Go to our Key Ministry page on Facebook

KM Screenshot 2

InviteJust below the heading in the right hand column, you’ll see a box indicating how many of your friends also “like” Key Ministry and a box that says “Invite Your Friends to Like This” (demonstrated in the image at right)

See allJust above the blue invite box, you’ll see in blue type a link…”See All” (pictured at right)…click on that link.

Search all FriendsA list will appear on the screen of all your Facebook friends. You can then page down through your list of friends and click the “Invite” button next to the name of friends who might be interested in Key Ministry’s mission or resources. Editor’s note…I’ve already invited most of my friends…that’s why a number of these names are marked “invited” in the picture. Hit the blue “Close” button on the bottom right when you’ve completed the task.

Facebook likesYou can also “like” Key Ministry by sharing this blog with friends and suggesting they click the blue “Like” button  in the Key Ministry widget in the right sidebar of the blog page (see right):

Finally, if it’s easier for you to contribute financially than through sharing our Facebook page with others, you can help us by sponsoring the advertising that allows us to disseminate our content and resources to a much larger audience. You can sponsor advertising for a blog post or ministry resource. A gift of $10 allows more than 2,000 additional people to receive notice of a specific ministry resource or event, and results in nearly thirteen additional people “liking” our page. A gift of $50 allows us to disseminate resources to over 10,000 people and generates an additional 64 “likes” for our page.

To make a charitable donation to Key Ministry, click this link and you’ll be taken to a page on our website where you can make a secure contribution using with your credit card or your PayPal account.

Our goal from our Online Appeal is to reach 5,000 Facebook fans by the end of December…and our goal next year is to double our Facebook fan base every six months.

Thanks so much for your contributions of time, talent, treasure and your ongoing prayers on behalf of our mission at Key Ministry.

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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