A blog is a great tool for a church, but it’s only beneficial if you have concrete ideas about how you want to use it. Otherwise, it might start off strong, but it will eventually just sit there and stagnate. If you’re struggling to define the purpose of your church blog, or if you’ve run out of content ideas, here are seven blog uses you should consider:
1. Laying out core church beliefs
A blog is a great platform for explaining your church beliefs and values. The target audience of these posts is potential new members who want to know if your church is a good fit for them, but may not feel comfortable directly asking a pastor or staff member.
If you don’t already have a blog post that lays out the fundamental beliefs of your church, write one and put a link to it in the sidebar of your website, so anyone can find it just by visiting the home page. If you ever feel the need to make an update or qualification to your church beliefs, a blog is great tool for doing so.
2. Follow-ups to Sunday sermons
Perhaps you, as a pastor, have more ideas that you want to share with your congregation that couldn’t fit into your sermon. You can use the blog to expand upon the ideas you preached about. You may want to create blog posts that feature an audio recording or video of your sermon, followed by written thoughts or questions for your congregation.
3. Encouraging discussion
Often, church members can learn just as much from each other as they can from their pastor. Congregants can use the comments section of blog posts to discuss the sermon and the weekly readings with each other, helping each other reach new insights.
Bear in mind that you will have to moderate comments when using your blog for this purpose. The vast majority of the discussion will be cordial and appropriate, but you may occasionally get a commenter who uses hateful rhetoric or just tries to spam the discussion without adding anything useful.
Consider writing a comment policy so that everyone knows the rules they have to follow to participate and be sure to take down any comments that are hateful, obscene or irrelevant.
4. Getting church members more involved
Blog posts do not only have to be written by the clergy or staff members of a church. You may also want to invite the congregation to pitch and submit their own blog posts. These posts could be about how the congregant found the church, how the church has helped them in their personal life, or how they feel about a lesson, sermon or church teaching.
Giving congregants a platform to share their own thoughts will make them feel closer to the church and instill a sense of pride in being a member. These types of “crowd-sourced” posts will also alleviate the pressure on clergy and staff to produce all the blog content.
Obviously, you will want to read all submissions to make sure they are appropriate before publishing them.
5. Reviewing literature
You can also use your blog to review religious literature and recommend it to your congregation. Many churches have book clubs or reading groups, but members who do not have time to attend those groups may still want to read literature on their own. These members can look at the blog for recommendations.
If your church does have a book club, the blog can also be a place where book club members continue to discuss the literature in between their meetings.
6. Attracting new members
I already discussed how blog posts can give more information about your church to potential new members, but blogging can also help you reach more potential members who don’t already know about your church.
If members of your congregation share blog posts on their social media networks, there is a good chance those posts will reach other people in the community who may not have heard of your church before. Regularly writing blog posts will also increase the search engine optimization (SEO) of your website, making it more likely that people will find you via Google searches.
7. Making announcements
You only have so much time to make announcements during mass, and members may not remember what they need to do to sign up for a certain event, or what the date of an event is. A weekly blog post containing all the announcements is an effective way to give interested congregants all the information and resources they need to sign up for events, in one location.
Remember that blogging is all about creativity. Continue brainstorming to come up with new blog ideas that will take your church blog to the next level. Your congregation is your biggest resource—they may have some ideas that you haven’t thought of yet.