Sounds from the Church: More Sermon Tips

Over the past couple of weeks we have been addressing the hows and whys of putting sermon audio on your website.  As I was writing those blogs, I was reminded of a blog article Paul wrote a couple months ago entitled “Supercharging Sermons with a Blog.”  I thought it would be a great addition to our theme for this month (and an easy blog for the week;)  Putting sermon audio on your website is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are many ways you can use your website to enhance your congregations experience and understanding as well as the effectiveness of the sermons.  In Paul’s article he addresses several ways you can do this.  So without further adieu:

As I was lying in bed at 5 this morning half-conscious trying to decide whether to sleep for a few more minutes or get up and start my day an idea hit me.  My mind drifted to a conversation I had with my pastor a couple weeks ago about the general trend of church websites.  I told him I see church websites fulfilling three general purposes: to help people looking for a church home, to assist people already attending the church to know what ministries and activities are available for them, and to help people grow spiritually by providing additional resources that complement the services and ministries.  I expressed how great I thought it would be to put audio of his messages online along with additional resources for people who wanted to go deeper on the topic.

That’s when it hit me and I got up and started writing…

A blog is the perfect format for helping people go deeper and apply sermon messages to their lives!

Imagine a sermons blog that would be updated each Sunday shortly after the services.  It would include…

  • A brief sermon outline.
  • An audio “podcast” of the message.
  • A “Going Deeper” or “Additional Resources” section that would recommend books, websites or other resources on the topic.
  • An “Action Steps” section that would list possible action steps depending on circumstances, including a link to an online presentation of the Gospel on those Sundays when the Gospel is presented.
  • A section where people could leave comments (anonymously if they like) about the service and how it impacted them. 
  • A “Contact Us” section where people could send a private message to the church if they wanted help or prayer, or wanted to let the church know how the service impacted them but not publicly on the website.

What struck me is how perfectly a blog lends itself to this purpose.  A blog is easy to update weekly, it facilitates the posting of comments, it automatically archives messages by date, topic, and sermon series, and it’s searchable.  Awesome!

So, I thought to myself… this makes way too much sense to be an original idea, and I went off to see if I could find a church that is already doing this.  I went to BloggingChurch.com because it has a list of about a dozen churches that have blogs.  I checked every one of them.  Many of them have audio or video of sermon messages, but as far as I could tell the only church in their links that comes close to using its blog in this format is Watermark Community Church in Dallas.  It includes a sermon outline and audio podcast, but no resources for going deeper or action steps.

I tried Googling “church sermon blog” and after going through about a page and a half of results I heard, “Daddy!  Daddy!  Juuuuuuuuiiiiice!”  It was 6:45 AM and that’s my two-year old son’s way of letting me know he’s ready to get up.
As of now I haven’t found a church that is using a blog in this way.  If you know of one, post a comment with a link.  This would be a very powerful way to use a blog to help people grow spiritually.  What do you think?

In His Service,
Paul Steinbrueck
OurChurch.Com

To read the responses from when this Blog was originally posted click here.

Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .

7 Responses to “Sounds from the Church: More Sermon Tips”

  1. More Information About Blogs

  2. Totally agree. I think more churches should use blogs and some type of podcasting of the sermons. Further insights, additional resources, etc. It just makes sense. I think the church is setup to really use this kind of technology.

  3. Daniel Adjei Sika Jul 11, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    ONE IN CHRIST,
    GOD HAS GIVEN ME THIS VERY GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO WRITE TO YOUR MINISTRY THIS HUMBLE LETTER. MY NAME IS DANIEL ADJEI SIKA.I AM A CHRISTIAN IN GHANA WHO WILL LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOU . I WILL LIKE YOUR MINISTRY TO SEND ME SOME ITEMS AS IT IS IN THE BIBLE THAT DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WANT OTHERS TO DO UNTO YOU. THESE ITEMS MAY INCLUDE A BIBLE, MAGAZINES GOSPLE TRACTS BOTH ON CDs, CASSETE PLAYERS, AUDIO AND VIDEO CDs AND IF POSSIBLE ON MP3 OR MP4. IF POSSIBLE I WILL LIKE YOUR MINISTRY TO SEND ME AN MP3 OR MP4 PLAYER TO DOWNLOAD SONGS AND PREACHINGS OR SERMONS ON TO CHANGE ME FOR THE BETTER. I IWLL LIKE YOU TO SEND IT THROUGH MY ADRESS WHICH IS:

  4. I just found your site while looking for ideas on incorporating video podcasting of sermons into a church website. I’m surprised that it was hard to find more churches that use blogs as supplements to their Sunday messages. I agree with you that the idea seems like a no-brainer.

    http://www.PittsburghNewChurch.org is one such site that has been mixing blogs and audio podcasts to distribute and supplement sermons for more than a year, now. Further enhancements have been talked about, but so far are not on the site, yet, except for a recent inclusion of a “weekly task” in conjunction with an eight-week campaign currently underway. Next up will probably be video, and also “further reading” supplements.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. » Sounds from the Church: Podcasting Sermons - Nov 2, 2006

    [...] I’m back from Chicago and Kurt has passed the blogging baton back to me for our final article in the Sounds from the Church series. Last week we resurrected the idea of a sermon blog, which can be a great resource including sermon audio as well as notes, links to additional resources, and suggested next steps.  Once you go from simply posting sermon audio on your site to including it in a blog, a natural and very simple next step is to podcast your sermon audio. [...]

  2. Sounds from the Church: Podcasting Sermons | dipnoi - Nov 6, 2006

    [...] Sounds from the Church: Podcasting Sermons I thought about wishing you all a Happy Halloween, but I know many of you don’t celebrate Halloween because of it’s ties to the occult. Then I thought about wishing you all a happy Reformation Day, but many of you are Catholic. It’s not even fall for all of you, so I’m left with wishing you all a great last day of October. I’m back from Chicago and Kurt has passed the blogging baton back to me for our final article in the Sounds from the Church series. Last week we resurrected the idea of a sermon blog, which can be a great resource including sermon audio as well as notes, links to additional resources, and suggested next steps. Once you go from simply posting sermon audio on your site to including it in a blog, a natural and very simple next step is to podcast your sermon audio. A podcast is a multimedia file distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. Or to put it in layman’s terms, it’s an audio or video file that a person can subscribe to receive on a regular basis, and once received the person can listen/view it on their iPod, MP3 player, or directly from their computer. Most podcasts are distributed using an RSS feed. If you’re not familiar with RSS feeds or RSS feed readers, that’s a subject that could consume an entire article or more, so I’m just going to point you to our What is RSS? page. Before I get into how to podcast, it’s important to understand the reasons why you should podcast sermons. First, if you put your sermon audio on your church website by itself, or if you include it in a sermon blog that does not have RSS or syndication capability, then it is up to your visitors to remember to come back to your site to listen to future sermons. By podcasting your sermons, you make it possible for visitors to subscribe to receive future sermons automatically, greatly increasing the likelihood they will listen to them. Second, without podcasting even if people do remember to return to your site to listen to future sermons, they then have to find the next one, wait for the whole audio file to transfer to their computer, and then if they want to listen to it on a portable music player wait again while the file is transferred from their computer to the mobile device. It’s inconvenient and makes it less likely a person on the go is going to go through the hassle. On the other hand, many people with iPods/MP3 players run podcast reading software that automatically downloads the audio file as soon as its available and transfers it to their iPod/MP3 player. So, the bottom line is podcasting can make a huge difference in the number of people who will listen to your sermons compared with just making them available online. It’s like the difference between posting your church newsletters on your website versus allowing visitors to subscribe to receive them each week in their email. Once you’re convinced of the benefits of podcasting you’ll be happy to learn podcasting is very easy to do. Almost every blogging tool available today supports podcasting. Whether you install blogging software such as WordPress or Moveable Type into your hosting account or use a blogging service such as Blogger or TypePad, they all make it easy to podcast. A quick search of the web will turn up helpful articles such as WordPress Podcasting and Making a Podcast with Blogger. A quick search of “sermon podcast” shows that dozens if not hundreds of churches are already podcasting their sermons. Is yours one of them? If your church podcasts its sermons, please post a comment with a link and tell us what impact it’s having. If not, post a comment and tell us why. October 31st 2006 Posted to Our Church [...]

  3. » Evaluating Modes of Communication - Jan 25, 2007

    [...] Audience acceptance: medium-low, most church members simply aren’t going to read a church blog on a regular basis unless it’s very compelling and helpful like a sermon blog or a heavily promoted devotional. [...]