In a previous post, “We already have the story. The delivery is the easy part”, I wrote about how important and yet challenging it is for digital marketers to come up with meaningful content that makes a difference in people’s lives. I noted that content should not be a challenge for us. The church has content in abundance. We just need to learn to deliver it in a way that is easily accessible in today’s culture.
The fact is, congregations have more content than they realize and you can use digital ministry to share that more widely than just with those who come to your events for which you write the content.
Pastors write sermons nearly every week. Even if all you had to work with was a sermon, you may be surprised how many ways you can use the content in that sermon.
- In the beginning of the week, share some of your initial thoughts and questions on Facebook. Ask for feedback.
- Post a short (1-3 minutes) video of your initial thoughts about the text for your sermon.
- When you finish your sermon, post an intriguing sentence or two on Facebook and or Twitter with hashtag #sermonsnippet.
- Share some of the background studies you did on the text in a blog post.
- Post your sermon on a blog with a link to the video of your sermon. Be sure to title it in a way that someone searching on that topic will find it. (Do not title it “Second Sunday of Christmas”!)
- If you don’t use a manuscript, post a brief summary of your sermon with a link to the video or podcast. A blog post is more likely to be found on Google than a video or podcast.
- Write a blog about questions and tangents you were unable to include in your sermon.
- Put a quote from your sermon on an image and share that on Facebook or Instagram.
- Post reflection questions from your sermon.
Other Sources of Content
You have lots of content in your newsletter. Post your pastor’s or president’s column on a blog. Or take a few main quotes from that and put it on an image and post on social media.
The pastor gives devotions for different groups in the church. You can video the pastor giving the devotion. Or video them in their office sharing the devotion. It doesn’t just have to be the pastor. Video the Women of the ELCA president giving a devotion at a circle meeting. Or the Sunday school teacher doing an opening.
Just about anything can be made into a meme. This is an introduction to a study on Revelation I wrote many years ago for a newsletter. Share the meme with information about the class on Facebook.
Save your bible study handouts on PDF and offer them for download on your web page. Do the same with your Confirmation lessons. Note – Only do this if it is YOUR original material. Do not violate copyright laws and give out what is not yours to give away.
None of this takes much more time than you already spend on writing material for your ministry. Church leaders spend a lot of time writing content. It’s very likely people right now are searching the internet for information on subjects you have already written about. Digital Ministry allows you to get much more use out of the content you have developed and share it with a wider audience.
About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-HansonThe Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.
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