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Blogging Basics for Pastors
By Seth Pierce
One of the greatest tools in building an online platform, as well as finding a place for the sermon leftovers that didn’t make the final cut, is a blog. While many people are familiar with blogs, and even have one, the truth is, like the book of Leviticus, many start but never finish. Maybe we crank out one or two theological manifestos or post a sermon — but the appeal diminishes easily among all the other stuff we have to get to but don’t.
However, the value of a well-crafted blog, is worth the effort. It allows another connection point within your congregation and even expands it to other avenues beyond your membership as people an share your thoughts with their friends. A well-focused blog can open professional doors for you — including paid speaking and writing opportunities. The one I maintain on my website, though in sore need of updating, has garnered speaking engagements both domestic and international and is a great way to connect with others around the world.
So what are a few helpful tips for maintaining a blog?
  • Make it easy to find: whether on your personal website, or your church’s, the blog should appear on the home page.
  • Include widgets that allow people to “share” on social media such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Don’t exceed 500 words: while an occasional 750 word pieces is permissible, most people break out in hives when they see a webpage full of text. Simmer down, focus, simply, and give people a shot of spiritual Red Bull.
  • Facilitate discussion: This is where you can elaborate on your points. As people comment, engage them and ask questions.
  • Don’t write in huge paragraphs — 2-3 sentences maximum. Make friends with your “return” button.
  • Use bold to highlight key phrases throughout the blog.
  • Use one image, usually right justify, to capture the attention of your more visual readers. Websites such as www.foter.com allow you royalty free photos, as long as you include the HTML code at the bottom of your blog for proper credit.
With a little effort, posting 1-2x a week, you will expand your platform and your ministry potential.
Seth Pierce is the Lead Pastor for the Puyallup Seventh-day Adventist Church in Washington