Lent begins in just a few weeks. The gateway to the season starts with Ash Wednesday and usually my social media plan would be to use an image of ashes on the forehead and pencil in messages about sacrifice, but when this solemn day falls on Valentine's Day well that just won't do. So to reconcile the secular with the spiritual my first tip is to create a theme that allows you to share a powerful message that combines both of these themes and I'm going with #NoGreaterLove!
The second tip is about sharing a daily inspirational message every one of the 40 days of Lent. This is super easy as Dynamic Catholic offers a video series, Best Lent Ever that provides food for thought to help viewers reflect on themes of the Lenten Season. Another option would be to have your pastor to create videos to share a message daily or find a devotional that you can create custom graphics to share.
Tip three is to find articles to help people to be introspective, prayerful and to practice sacrificial acts to draw them into a closer relationship with Christ. There are many options, but my favorites are from Aleteia.org or the Aleteia Facebook page, Dynamic Catholic shares four great ones on their page and Loyola Press offers a series of articles on perspectives of Lent that can be shared.
Spark communal engagement is tip four. Work with your pastor or liturgy committee to weave a common #LentenChallenge as a part of the homilies, social media posts to inspire acts of sacrifice or works of mercy during this season of sacrifice. The challenge could be the same one for 40 Days or it could change from week to week. The first week of Lent happens to be #RandomActsofKindness week so that could be the first challenge for the season.
Shift from giving up to just giving your time, talent or treasure to do things that will help you grow your personal spirituality. In terms of time attend additional masses during Lent, spend time in adoration, say the rosary attend a retreat. When it comes to talents share them for free or use them for the glory of God instead of yourself. Treasure is usually related to monetary donations. As a child I vividly remember having the paper rice bowls on the kitchen table for us to put spare change in during lent. It helped me to remember not everyone was a fortunate. So I would always save at least a nickel everyday to put into that rice bowl. It is a great lesson for our kids to help them develop a desire to feed the poor. Now that I'm all grown up I can donate online to many charities that benefit the poor, so can you and here's a list of 100 charities that you can choose to give your treasure to. That's tip five!
Starting with Ash Wednesday we begin the weekly practice of abstinence and fasting. So tip six is all about sharing #meatless recipes. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. You can ask followers to share their #meatless recipes on Facebook and Instagram with a picture of the dish and the recipe in the post. You can find recipes from your favorite foodie and share them or Google top #meatless recipes for a list. I am going to be sharing recipes from Catholicmom.com.
May you find these tips helpful for evangelizing and engaging people to participate more richly in the season of Lent.