As a pastor, your days are filled with staff meetings, hospital visits, counseling sessions, and fitting in your own quiet time with God, all while expecting the unexpected. With your growing to-do list, you strive to maintain relationships with long-time parishioners, welcome those new to your church, and be present in the community.
Blogging is a great way for you to connect with those both outside and inside your church’s walls. Carving time into your schedule to blog may be tough at times but provides numerous benefits for your church, your community, and even yourself. Here are some great reasons to start a pastoral blog along with some ideas for blog posts and promotion.
Blogging lets you connect with others. Since readers can comment on your blog posts, blogs naturally promote interaction, as you can reply to comments and have conversations with your readers. You never know – some of these interactions may spark ideas for teachings or for other blog posts.
A blog helps out-of-town church members and friends stay connected with you and your church. If your church is large, reading your blog may help those inside your church connect with you as well, especially if they are newer or more comfortable with electronic interaction. Asking questions is a great way to promote interactions on your blog, providing a forum for faith discussions even after services are over.
Remember that blogging isn’t a replacement for face-to-face interaction. Rather, it is just one of many tools you can use to keep in touch with people.
Establish your church’s reputation online
Like a website or Facebook page, a blog is a great medium for establishing your church’s online reputation. If you link your blog to the church’s website, potential guests may visit the blog before visiting your church to learn more about you and your ministry style.
Unlike social media, blog readers don’t have to be registered members of a site to read, comment, and enjoy your blog; it’s open to anyone with a web connection. Congregants and readers don’t have to worry about signing up for a service just to read your blog, even though most providers do allow blog readers to subscribe via email or RSS feeds. You can also use social media to share and promote your blog posts, providing easy updates for those on Facebook and Twitter™.
Best of all, blogging is affordable. You can pay for an optional domain or web hosting, but if you don’t need all the bells and whistles, providers such as WordPress and Blogger™ let you create a basic blog for free. Who can complain about free outreach?
Share your Personality
Too often, church members and visitors know little about the pastor besides what they see on Sunday morning. Blogging lets pastors show their congregants and friends that they are real people with real joys and struggles. It gives readers a small glimpse into a pastor’s life and mind outside the pulpit.
You may not have time to share a story on Sunday morning, but you can share it on your blog. Recommending books you’ve enjoyed may not fit into this week’s sermon topic, but you can recommend them on your blog. You can also use blog posts to expand upon your sermons if you think of something applicable after Sunday morning.
When blogging, write in your own voice – just like how you’d tell a story in person. You can even write with the same tone as if you were having coffee with your readers. Just be yourself.
Along with sharing your personality, you can also share your gratitude on your blog. Dedicate a post to personally recognizing administrative assistants, other ministers, lay leaders, and Sunday School teachers for their contributions toward your ministry. Devotionals, excerpts from sermons, and quotes (along with your thoughts) can also make great blog posts.
Once you start posting, you’ll find lots of blog ideas around you, and writing becomes easier. It takes some time to get started and write blog posts, but the benefits for you and your parishioners are worth it.
Amy Scott-Lundy is a technical writer for the support and training departments at ACS Technologies. When she’s not busy with “manual” labor, you can find her coaching beginner runners, painting, baking, yoga, traveling, and exploring Charleston, SC, by running various road races.