Facebook Ads for Churches

It’s very hard to get noticed in a noisy world, so if your church isn’t doing some form of advertising, chances are you’re not growing. I know what you’re thinking, advertising is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be thanks to Facebook.


Facebook ads are quickly becoming the best way to advertise your church. It’s cost effective, and it’s extremely easy to use. You can do it in just six steps.

Step One

Before you’re able to take advantage of Facebook ads, your church needs to have a Facebook page. Keep in mind that a personal profile will not work, so if you set your church up this way in the beginning, you’re going to need to transition it into a page. Trust me, we learned the hard way.

Step Two

Once you have your page, you should see a button in the top right hand corner of your page that says “Promote.” Click on the drop down menu, and select “Go to Ads Manager.” Here you can see any previous ads you’ve set up, adjust your account settings, input your billing information, etc. At this point you need to click on the button that says “Create Ad.”

Step Three

Now it will ask you to choose your objective. What are you trying to accomplish through your ad? For me, I’m usually trying to push people to our church website where they can get more information about an event or series beginning soon. If you plan on doing the same, after you click “Send People to Your Website,” Facebook will ask you to type in the web address that you want to send them to. You can also create a Facebook pixel at this point, which I never do. For this example we’re trying to get people to our website, but you can also use your ad to get more likes to your page or accomplish various other objectives.

Step Four

After you’ve typed in the address you want to send them to, you’ll need to click on “Set Audience and Budget.” This is where it gets fun. At this point you can type in the location of your church, and set it to target those close to you. It can be within one mile or a million miles. You choose. As you choose you’ll notice it will update the potential reach of your ad. You can then narrow down your audience by age, gender, demographics, and more. As you get more specific, your potential reach will decrease. This is a good thing because you’re targeting those who are most likely to visit your church.

Now, we can move on to budget. Mass mailers can cost thousands of dollars, and most are thrown away as soon as they are received. The great thing about Facebook ads is you set the budget, and people see them multiple times a day. Here you’ll choose whether you want to have a daily budget or a lifetime budget for your ad. I always choose lifetime because you have more control over it. Type in the total amount of money you’re comfortable spending over the campaign and move on to schedule. It’s here that you set the start and end date of your ad. You will notice as you adjust your budget up and down, your estimated daily reach increases or decreases.

Leave Optimization for Ad Delivery as “Link Clicks to your Website.”

Next, choose your bid amount. You can let Facebook do this for you, but I don’t recommend it. If you want to make sure your ad is seen over any others, you need to choose “manual,” and type in the largest amount you’re willing to pay for a click to your website. I recommend $5. This doesn’t mean you’re paying $5 for every click. You’re just willing to pay that much. Chances are you’re going to end up paying somewhere between one and two dollars per click.

Leave when you get charged to “Link Click,” then move on to Ad Scheduling. Here you can schedule the times that your ad runs. I know most of my audience is sleeping between midnight and 6am, so I’m not going to run ads during that time.

Leave delivery type to “Standard,” give your ad set a name, and we’re ready to move on to “Choose Ad Creative.”

Step Five

Choose the format of your ad, whether you want to use a single image/video or multiple images in the ad. I’ve always chosen single.

Now you’re ready to upload your image. Your image should be something that’s going to grab people’s attention. It may be a picture of your worship service, the logo for your next series, or a picture of kids in your children’s ministry.

Here’s the only thing, your image can’t have more than 20% of text within it. Facebook is real adamant about this, and if you try it, they will not approve your ad. It’s the biggest frustration I have with Facebook ads.

Once you have your image uploaded, you can then type in your “Headline” and “Text.” Again, Facebook has very strict rules about how much you can write, so stay within the guidelines. Remember you’re pushing them to your site for more information, so you don’t need to try to cram everything into the ad.

There are some Advanced Options that I don’t get into, and you can also connect your ad to your Instagram account if you have one.

There’s one more important thing before we’re ready to place our order. On the right of the screen will be previews of your ad in different locations and formats. The only two I recommend using are “Desktop News Feed” and “Mobile News Feed.” I would remove the others.

Step Six

Ok, at this point you should be ready to click “Place Order.” You will need to wait a short time for your ad to get approved by Facebook, but once that happens you should start getting stats about how many people are seeing your ad, how many are clicking, and how much of your budget has currently been used.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, if you haven’t already, subscribe to the blog for tips on church growth, leadership, and more.

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