As church leaders, we are professional communicators. Some of us preach, some sing, and others lead meetings and work with volunteers, but at the core of what it means to be a minister is to communicate the message of Christ to the world around us. Yet week after week, we are separated from our people as they interact with their families and coworkers for hours and hours while we sit in our offices among commentaries and bibles dreaming about what the next worship experience should look like.
A man was in church on Sunday, and the church’s coffee wasn’t sitting well with him, so he had to excuse himself to the restroom. Embarrassingly, he stepped out at the end of the first song, just as the pastor was coming forward on the stage to welcome everyone and share the latest announcements. The man swiftly exited the sanctuary, took care of business, and snagged a doughnut on his way back in. As he chewed his delicious pastry, he was glad to hear the music start back up to help conceal his gluttony. The worship experience continued on, and another week was faced away from his church family, consistently building a yearning to be back in God’s house with His people.
He returned next week, only this time, the announcements were mostly by video. It seemed as though the video producer was hard at work all week, spending hours upon hours to produce some content that would take up two minutes of this week’s worship experience, all while giving people a happy feeling about the outreach event that took place the day before.
What? An outreach event? Unfortunately, our doughnut eating friend missed the announcement last week and spent his saturday morning mowing the lawn. If only he had heard what was said last week, he may have had a good excuse to procrastinate on his mowing and be with his church family serving others.
Week after week, church leaders across the globe produce videos, sermons, music, readings, dramas, and all sorts of other creative pieces to communicate a message and keep people engaged in the mission and vision of the church, but after those 65 minutes have ended, 10,015 more minutes will pass before they hear the opening song hit their eardrums the following Sunday.
What can we do to keep people engaged in their relationship with Christ and with the vision of the church throughout the week? I believe that every church should develop a blog, and here are some reasons why:
- Blogging can teach our church leaders how to be better communicators. Teaching Pastors know how to write sermons, worship leaders know how to make music, and other church leaders may specialize in teaching classes, leading ministry teams, or producing videos. At the end of the day, we are all communicators. Blogging has its own challenges, but it also can have some great rewards.
- Blogging provides one more way to interact with the people we are trying to lead. Every church struggles with how much time to devote during our worship experiences to announcements. They seem to totally interrupt the flow or theme for that week, yet it seems like people just won’t know the important things they need to know if they aren’t said from the stage. With a blog, we can continually update our blogroll with the latest updates in a place where people can interact with each post, easily share them with their friends, and easily subscribe to every new post.
- Google loves blogs, and if people are looking for your church online, you want to make it easy for them to find you. Having a blog helps your rankings on search engine results, especially if you utilize a platform that is Search Engine Optimized right out of the box.
- A blog is a great place to share resources. Maybe you have a devotional guide that you want to offer to your people or a favorite study bible that you suggest they use. With a blog, you can link right to a place to order it online. You can also develop longer lists of resources than what you can easily communicate from a pulpit.
- A blog can become a strong voice for the church. Static websites are designed to present information about your church. Things like “Meet the Staff” or “Our Statement of Beliefs” are perfect for a static site, but a blog is for dynamic content. What is happening right now? What’s the next big event? Who is that guy playing guitar, really? On a blog, the whole leadership team can contribute to content and develop a voice. It also helps them to build credibility with the church and with their teams.
- Blogs can host several different types of media content. It’s really easy to embed a youtube video, upload an image, or even host a podcast with a blog. Blog’s provide an RSS feed, which can be used for a variety of things. Some people might want to subscribe to your blog updates in their RSS feed reader, or you might want to use IFTTT to automate posting to social media sites using your RSS feed.
- Blogs help provide content for your social media network. Many churches already have a presence on facebook and twitter, but sometimes it’s hard to find valuable content to share. If you maintain a focus on creating good content for your blog, it will be easy to hop over to facebook and write a quick hook to share the blog post.
- Blogging builds credibility. Not only does it build credibility with Google and other search engines, but it builds credibility with the people you are leading and others in leadership at other churches. Credibility helps to build trust, and a high level of trust is what it takes to get big things accomplished. If our community trusts us, we will be the place they seek out when they are in need, and since we are in the business of serving those in need, it seems like the perfect fit.
If your church website provides the ability to add a blog roll to the existing content, then go ahead and do that. If not, I suggest you install a subdomain (something like ‘blog.churchwebsite.org’) or purchase an extra domain name (‘churchwebsite.info or churchblog.org’) to host your blog. I personally prefer using a self-hosted wordpress installation as a blogging platform, simply because there are tons of plugins available that make it a very flexible platform. It’s easy to set up several user accounts with different levels of priveledges, and there are plenty of other bloggers, developers, and help forums that can assist you in developing your blogging platform.
Discussion Question: Does your church have a blog? If so, share it in the comments!