Recently, I covered why I think it’s important for your staff to blog. Your pastor, however, may take a little more convincing. In some cases your pastor might be ready to start but doesn’t have a clear picture of what it really takes to create and maintain a blog. Regardless of your situation, here are a few things that you might want to cover with your pastor before he or she begins blogging.
- It’s a tremendous amount of work. – Blogging is much more labor-intensive than most people realize. To consistently come up with engaging content for your audience requires a great deal of research, brainstorming, and planning. Ask your pastor what it would be like to preach another sermon on a different topic on top of the current preaching schedule. Answering that question will give your pastor some idea of how much time it could take.
- Writing a blog post and a devotional are not the same thing. – When pastors begin to blog, many of them default to a devotional style of writing. Maybe in the back of their minds they are going to be the next John Piper or Louie Giglio. However, they soon realize that devotionals are not really an effective way to generate traffic to their blog. Why not? Well, most devotional-style posts have little SEO (search engine optimization) value.
In other words, there are probably not a lot of people looking for an inspirational take on Ephesians 4. Instead, your pastor needs to ask these simple questions: What niche do I want to own? What I am an expert on? What can I bring to the conversation? This will encourage a focus on what type of posts to produce, as well as helping to ensure a high keyword count so as to produce good SEO traffic.
- A well-written blog turns your church into a resource for others.
As I have said before, many churches strive to become like Willow Creek or Saddleback. They want to play an influential role with other churches. While that takes a tremendous amount of work, one way to begin that process is to start blogging. A well-maintained blog will garner more traffic to your site than having a site with the latest technology.
- Church staff blogging on church time is not a bad thing. – If your pastor wants to transform your church into a leader among churches, then having your staff blog is a smart way to begin. This is especially true if your staff offer resources that help enable Kingdom work. (Elevation and Church on the Move do a great job of this.)
- It’s a great way to extend the conversation after the sermon.
A lot of pastors struggle with the “Now what?” question once their sermon is over. As people leave the pews they ask themselves, “How do I apply what I just heard in the sermon?” Blogging allows a pastor to follow up a sermon with practical advice and insight on how to live out what was preached from God’s word. It helps turn the worship service into a discipleship moment.
- A blog can offer a sneak peek into the sermon.
Your pastor can give your congregation a behind-the-scenes look at how a sermon comes together. This is an opportunity for your pastor to spend time breaking down word studies or providing historical information that helps inform and shape the sermon. It also gives church members insight into how the pastor thinks and where the sermon is headed.
Is your pastor already blogging? Is it something that your pastor took on independently, or did he or she need some prodding from you? Has it been successful? Contact me on Twitter at @dgirardier, and let’s continue the conversation.