I’ve heard it a million times.
“Why would my church have a blog? We don’t even know what we’d write about.”
Of course you don’t.
That’s where everyone starts. However, today, we’re going to kickstart your blogging with a little theory and some practical suggestions to get you started.
If you want to know why your pastor or church should blog, check this other blog out I wrote for Kenny a while back. But for today, we’re going to assume that you’re already tracking with me (high-fives Matt Chandler for using his catch phrase).
Tell Lots of Stories
The most important thing to remember when your church writes a blog is that stories are your best friends.
Tell stories about your day to day, your staff, your personal life or whatever. People really engage with story. In fact, stories almost force people to listen. It’s science. Blogs naturally lend themselves to story.
Just like the other day, when I was writing this blog about stories. I started telling a story about how stories come so natural to blogs and everyone was listening. It was really cool. See? I just told a story about telling stories.
Be Personal over Formal
One of the great things about blogs is that you can write a little bit more like you talk. You don’t even have to spell words right or use proper grammar either! Actually, that’s not true. It’s just the practice of a lot of bloggers to ignore the proof reading phase of publishing.
Your people will appreciate your down-to-earth tone and start to see your church or your pastor (whomever is writing the blog) as a person that they can relate to. That’s valuable when you’re trying to tell them something that the Bible says that they may not want to hear. Platforms are powerful and they only come from relationship building. Blogs can help you with that.
Learn to Reverse-Engineer Your Content
If you will shut the announcement machine off for a second, you’ll find that underneath the whirring and clicking of the bullhorn machine there are voices crying out with problems on your social media channels, in your small groups, lobbies, and worship services.
Listen to what they complain about in their lives most. What are their pain points? When you figure out what the problems are, you can start to blog more about the answers.
You might hear parents talk about the lack of time, with the shuttle service always in full effect taking kids from practice to dinner to who knows what! But you know time isn’t the issue, it’s prioritizing your schedule and learning to say “no.” It could be time management or priorities.
Once you find out, blog about how to manage your time in a way that honors God and give them tips! HELP THEM.
So, when you start blogging, keep those things in mind. Set up a schedule for how often you will blog and pick a day and time to publish the blog each week. Staying consistent is helpful to boost readership.
But you didn’t really start reading this blog for theory. Give me something I can take home, Seth.
You got it.
Here’s 5 topics any church can blog about almost immediately.
A previous/upcoming event
Events are easy, low-hanging fruit. Write about an event coming up by telling a story from the last time you did the event. Make sure to keep the pain that the event answers out in front in the story to entice people to come to the event without actually asking for them to come to the event (set sly as serpents meter to maximum!)
You can also simply blog about the event you just had. Talk about how great it was and provide a few anecdotes. Make those who didn’t attend feel like they really missed something.
Theological/ Sermon Overflow
If you are asking your pastor to write the blog, he/she is going to default towards this one. Pick a topic and write. I would especially pick topics that people want to hear about, but you don’t necessarily have time to preach on.
You can also use the blog to follow up a sermon from the previous weekend that you felt you really ran out of time for. Maybe your charts and graphs with all the difficult sums could go here?
Whatever you do, if you’re the communications director with a pastor writing, get ready to edit him/her down. Pastors love to go on and on when they communicate the Word. Help them keep it under that 1000-1500 word limit (Best if below 750, but good luck).
Stories of your people living out the mission
You won’t always have a story (which is why you would benefit from creating a process for collecting stories), but when you do, let your people know about it.
“Just the other day, I was talking to brother Larry and he told me about a young man he met on the street…yada yada yada…now that young man is a believer. Our mission is to yada yada yada and that’s why brother Larry is great.”
Stories like that can inspire readers to take hold of the vision and learn what it means to live it out in their own lives.
Leadership is a broad category, so you can always find good fodder here. You might talk to fathers about leadership in the home, or address your business types with Godly leadership in the workplace, or leading your children in the home.
Whatever leadership angle you take, as long as you are approaching it with conviction mixed with humility, your people will appreciate the pointers.
Helpful and Practical
If you feel comfortable with a certain topic such as parenting, finance, marriage, or evangelism, you could specialize your blog around one of those topics. Your pastor may have several years of marriage counseling experience (giving, not necessarily going) so he might want to focus on issues in marriage.
If you don’t want to specialize, any one of these topics can provide you with content to blog about for a long time.
If you’re helping your people grow in their faith by simply learning to make Christ-like parenting decisions or how to love their spouse like Christ loved the church, then you’re winning big time!
Any church can start blogging right away.
Get a calendar out and start filling in topics on the day you’ve decided to post every week (once a week is a good starting point) and get crackin!
You’ll find that even though your congregation isn’t technically spending time with your pastor or whoever is writing, they will begin to feel like they know that person better. That builds trust, which is valuable when a loved one dies and they begin to wonder if God really cares about them at all.
So, start putting your thoughts out there. Trust me, churchgoers are desperate to hear your opinions on what is going on in the world so that they can navigate it in a Christ-like way.
What else could you blog about? Let us know in the comments.
Seth Muse is a blogger, podcaster, and ministry coach who brings seventeen years of youth ministry experience to the table. He was worked in both small and mega churches and is an expert in what not to do. He is married to Kara and they have two children, Kya and Rylan and live in Plano, TX.