Church Marketing 101 – Start Blogging
I’m not a blogger. I’m actually a pastor at Shoreline Church in West Palm Beach, Fla. My undergraduate was in pastoral studies. I’ve worked in numerous churches since then.
But while I was getting my degree at North Central University I started a blog. I can’t even tell you what inspired me to do it—it was probably the cool thing to do at the time or something. But I wrote about three things on that blog: prayer, community and mission. These were the values I saw as invaluable to the church.
Writing was a lot of fun and it helped me with my schoolwork. It allowed me to process and communicate the things that God was doing in my heart. But it did something even more exciting than that.
I was able to speak the gospel message to an audience that would otherwise never have the opportunity to hear it. Here’s what I mean.
The blog became fairly successful. I started getting messages from high school friends who were not Christians, asking me questions about my faith. They were sharing my articles with their friends. I was getting e-mails from people I had never even met.
My extended family was asking questions they had never asked before. My mom told me she had been trying for more than 25 years to start some of these conversations that were now happening after a few months of blogging.
Suddenly it hit me. I was preaching the same message online that any pastor would preach on a Sunday morning to a group of people that would never cross the threshold of the church’s door.
The power of sharing the message of the gospel online is that it offers a safe way for people to enter the conversation. It allows people to access the story on their terms and in a safe place. There is something disarming about hearing the story of the gospel while you are sitting on your couch watching American Idol.
And if there is something we could be doing to help people hear the truth of the gospel why on earth wouldn’t we be doing it?
I think most of us just don’t know how to get started. Here are a couple of ideas.
It can be intimidating to get started but there is no way to move forward until you begin.
You might not know what to write about or how to design a blog, but that’s OK. Use a simple WordPress site or even Tumblr and just start writing about what is interesting to you. Write about what God is teaching you and your congregation.
The less profound the better sometimes. Just keep it simple.
Your Church Already Has the Content
The content already exists. It just needs to be put in written format. Think about sermons on Sunday morning or what a particular group is studying in a Bible study. Tell stories of things that are happening to your members or of lives that have been changed by coming to Jesus. Even your church’s statements of belief can be powerful content.
Invite a volunteer who likes to write to take what already exists and make it readable for the Internet.
You Will Learn as You Go
Look to other churches and ask yourself what they are doing that works really well. Borrow the ideas that fit your context. Ask yourself what they are doing that doesn’t seem very helpful, and let those realizations guide you too.
Do the same thing when you look to other bloggers. Let those who have gone before you teach you. Be willing to learn from your own mistakes as well as the mistakes of others.
Whatever you do don’t look at what others are doing and allow it to discourage you.
There is a learning curve for this and you have to start somewhere. You learn as you go. Let me re-state that. You will learn as you go. Practice makes perfect.
The most important thing is to get started.
The above article, “Church Marketing 101- Start Blogging,” was excerpted from www.DarrellVesterfelt.com, September 2011.
This material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”