The complaint I get most often from churches is that they aren’t sure how to improve their community’s online presence. They know they’re supposed to do it, and they’re pretty sure it involves a website and being more involved in social media, but beyond that, they aren’t really sure.
But the problem goes even deeper than that. Because many of them get as far as a website, and still aren’t sure what to do.
My response is always to tell them they need to create great content. I feel like a broken record actually, saying “create good content, create good content, create good content” but of course this is easier said than done. Then recently my friend Josh Burns pointed out how churches are content factories and it clicked. It’s actually really simple. With a few small directions, you can create web-ready content to engage your members and potential members of your community online.
The best news is: It takes very little work.
Here are four things you can do to leverage the content your church is already creating in order to equip your online community with content that will be helpful for them.
1. Convert sermon notes into blog posts
Use the notes your pastor creates for his sermons each week and have someone on your team convert them into blog posts. It doesn’t have to be complicated or perfectly polished, the important thing is the message is communicated clearly. Chances are, you have someone on your staff who is a good writer and can do this.
Then, have the pastor glance over the post and approve it before you post it online.
2. Turn sermons into podcasts
Most churches are already recording their sermons, but they aren’t using this material on iTunes, where people who don’t know about your church can find you, and where people who need to hear the Gospel can be equipped with quality content. Taking those existing sermons and putting them on iTunes is a win for you, and a win for those who benefit from hearing them.
The other place you can put recorded sermons is in blog posts, or on your church’s website, where they can be easily downloadable by members and searchable for newcomers.
You’ve already gone 80% of the way by recording the sermons, you might as well go the remaining 20%.
3. Capture staff meeting notes
Many churches I know do weekly devotionals in staff meeting. Have someone take notes and capture what is discussed during that meeting and convert it into a blog post. I’m not talking about nuts and bolts, but about what God is teaching your leadership team. The benefits of sharing this with your congregation.
Not only will your community feel privileged to be invited into the “inner-workings” of your staff meeting, chances are they will be moved by the same lessons which are moving you.
4. Divide existing content into bite-sized pieces
This could be as simple as having someone take notes during the sermon on Sunday, and capture several Facebook and Twitter-sized (140 characters) thoughts. Save these in a document somewhere so you can send them out periodically during the week.
Okay, so I got the ball rolling but I know there are tons of other ideas about how churches can make this happen. Leave a comment below with ideas you have or things your church does that work well.